What can I do to help? - VISUAL

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art &
The George Bernard Shaw Theatre

Hurricane Ida: what can I do to help?

In solidarity with the communities affected by the issues addressed by our current Forensic Architecture exhibition, here are five things you can do to help.

Cloud Studies, our current exhibition by Forensic Architecture, includes an investigation on toxic air along the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Once known as ‘Plantation Country’, due to the slave-powered sugarcane plantations that once populated the riverbanks, the region now houses over 200 industrial plants. This ‘Petrochemical Corridor’ produces some of the most toxic air in the US and gives the region its nickname, ‘Death Alley’ or ‘Cancer Alley’. The towns that breathe this air, with great risks to citizens’ health, are inhabited by majority Black communities, descended from people enslaved on those same grounds.

In September 2021, the region was struck by Hurricane Ida, the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. (It arrived on the 16th anniversary of the most damaging, Hurricane Katrina.) Health concerns linked to toxic exposure underscore the array of long-term impacts brought by the category 4 storm. Nearly a million homes and businesses were without power, leaving hundreds of thousands more without access to clean water. And with hundreds of chemical facilities located within the path of the hurricane, numerous air quality tracking systems were left out of commission. It’s unclear how long it will take to access the full scope of the damage and its toll on residents.

Please join us in our pledge to support the communities in Louisiana that are fighting the expansion of petrochemical plants in the region and struggling to rebuild after the devastating effects of Hurricane Ida. Here are five things you can do right now to help.

1. Donate to Hurricane Ida Community Relief Fund

Your donation to the Hurricane Ida Relief Fund will provide emergency aid like food, water, medicine, and shelter to impacted communities. Once immediate needs are met, this fund will provide long-term assistance, with a focus on locally-led responses. All donations to this fund will exclusively support communities and first responders.

2. Sign this petition

to protect St James and stop Formosa Plastics from building a mega-polluting petrochemical plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana

3. Follow RISE St James

on Facebook and share this petition online using the hashtag #stopformosaplastics

4. Support Louisiana Bucket Brigade

who partner with communities to help residents amplify their voices and challenge the petrochemical industry's relentless expansion

5. Visit www.stopformosa.org

to learn more and donate to the campaign to prevent the expansion of Formosa Plastics

Cloud Studies by Forensic Architecture continues at VISUAL until 21 January. Click here to learn more about the exhibition.