Photography that makes a difference.™
No Agua, No Vida
The Thirsty Colorado River Delta
The writer Wallace Stegner once called the arid American west our "Geography of Hope." Its vast skies and towering mountains promise a future of limitless opportunity. But at what cost have we watered this living mythology? We have compelled a once wild, red, living force — the Colorado River— to nourish our vision of the urban/industrial landscapes of Eastern states on a land of little rain. Without the Colorado River, civilization as we know it in the West would vanish.
These photographs are part of an ongoing project examining the consequences of creating a paradise of lakes, lawns and farms where none should be. The Colorado itself only rarely now makes its ancient rendezvous with the Sea of Cortez and the people of its Delta, the most affected and least powerful party on the Colorado, worry that the remaining water that sustains them and the land where they live will soon evaporate north of the border.
John Trotter worked as a newspaper photojournalist for fourteen years until March 24, 1997, when, while on assignment for The Sacramento Bee, he was nearly beaten to death by a half-dozen young men. During his long recovery from that attack he photographed Sierra Gates, a brain injury rehabilitation residence, where he had lived after his release from the hospital. A book of those photographs is forthcoming.
On the fourth anniversary of his attack, Trotter took the first pictures for his project on the Colorado River Delta, in Mexico.
He has lived in Brooklyn, New York, the Oakland of Manhattan, since 2000.
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