Stanley Greene and Kadir Van Lhuizen are professional photographers. In 2005, Kadir was shooting the hurricane for TIME Magazine. It didn’t take long for both men to realize this disaster was unlike any other. This is Greene.
“And we started to realize that this was a bigger story. And I started to formulate the idea of those who fell through the cracks. Trying to understand: How could a group of people in one of the most affluent countries in the world fall through the cracks. How could they just be left with nothing?”
The men say they’ve covered wars and all types of devastating events in other places, but they never expected see what they saw in a city in the United States. So they began to document what they saw with photos. Van Lhuizen says they didn’t want it to be in a museum. They wanted to take their exhibit on the road, so they hung their pictures inside and outside of a truck.
“We wanted to really pay tribute to the people who survived. We also wanted to reach a broad audience of politicians, population who might not really be aware of what’s going on.”
The pictures show all facets of life in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. Van Lhuizen and Greene say the title Those Who Fell Through the Cracks was picked as a way or recognizing what happened to Katrina’s victims.
“How is it that in the United States that we couldn’t find a way to get people — or as they put it, the road home back into their lives? You know, it’s not their fault. They didn’t commit any crimes. They just got caught up in a hurricane.”
“New Orleans is in the end a small city for U.S. standards and it shouldn’t have been so difficult to get this fixed. Same with the oil spill now. It’s the response. How a government is reacting, how companies are reacting, which I think is really not what it should be.”
The traveling exhibit opened last week at the Lawndale Art Center on Main. It will be in Houston until Thursday before moving on to New Orleans to mark the five year anniversary.