Levee Along Highway 46, Saint Bernard Parish, LA

Backwater: Photographs of the South Louisiana Landscape

By Virginia Hanusik




Southeast Louisiana is experiencing coastal erosion faster than anywhere in the world, losing a football field size worth of land every thirty minutes. River diversions, sediment siphons, and other coastal restoration efforts worth billions of dollars are underway to salvage the land and cultural assets of this unique region. Backwater is an ongoing project that explores the response coastal communities have had to land loss, structural resilience, and habitat adaptation on the frontline of climate change.

The role of water is a primary component of this work. I’m particularly interested in exploring how its presence has been managed and manipulated over time, and how sea level rise is accelerating changes in landscape. The sites that I document along the coast convey a sense of hope, irony, and neglect, and tell the story of a place with a vibrant past yet highly uncertain future as encroaching water threatens its very existence.



Virginia Hanusik is an artist whose work focuses on the relationship between landscape, architecture, and identity. Her projects draw influence from her native roots in the Hudson River Valley region of New York, as well as New Orleans, the city she has called home for the past several years. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Bard College and has been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, Newsweek, and Fast Company.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This