Louisiana, Purchased


Terri Garland


This project examines the consequences of greed and neglect in relation to both the loss of vital wetlands in the lower coastal parishes of Louisiana and the health of people living in close proximity to oil refineries along the Mississippi River. The foremost factor compromising the welfare of these regions and their citizens remains our insatiable demand for petroleum products and the irresponsible methods by which that demand is satisfied.

My intention is to create a comprehensive portrait of each of the coastal parishes containing threatened wetland areas. In so doing, I hope to expand the dialog regarding our dependence on oil while honoring the dignity of individuals photographed.

In many instances, the communities I am focusing on have been so jeopardized that demise is all but inevitable. What is the value of acknowledging this loss and how might attention to the privation of former homelands be of interest to future generations?  


Terri Garland received both BFA and MFA degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute. She teaches photography at San Jose City College.

As a graduate student, she began an examination of white supremacist culture that spanned over two decades, photographing individuals within various self-professed racist organizations.

Since the storms of 2005, she has divided her time between Louisiana and Mississippi, photographing communities that are imperiled and often overlooked by those in positions of power.

Her photographs are held in numerous collections and she has received a WESTAF/NEA Fellowship, a Silicon Valley Arts Council Grant and a Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship.


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