Look and Leave

Portfolio, photographs by Jane Fulton Alt

This project grew out of having witnessed the aftermath of an unprecedented and devastating natural disaster. As a clinical social worker, I spent two weeks providing care and comfort to the survivors of Katrina and Rita, two deadly hurricanes that passed through the South in August of 2005. I was stationed in New Orleans and worked with a program called "Look and Leave." The residents who had been dispersed were "invited" back to view their homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, a New Orleans neighborhood that suffered not only the hurricane, but also from two breaks in a levee that drowned the community. I accompanied the residents back into their homes for the first time since they fled. I have been in mourning ever since. The stories I heard had one thing in common: they were all heartbreaking. These images are my attempt to describe what I saw. As public interest has waned, the media has pulled back. I hope these images will ensure that the survivors will not be forgotten.

- Jane Fulton Alt

Jane Fulton Alt was born in Chicago in 1951. Alt attended the University of Michigan (BA, 1973) and the University of Chicago (MA, 1975). She has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Alt is the recipient of numerous awards and her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Beinecke Library at Yale University, University of Illinois Comer Archive, Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Oaxaca, Mexico, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Wilmette Public Library and the Dancing Bear collection of William Hunt. In addition to photography, she is a licensed clinical social worker, practicing for over 30 years.