This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina ravaging the city of New Orleans. Photographer Seph Lawless was recently commissioned by The Guardian to use his camera to explore and document the aftermath of the storm as it appears a decade after its landfall.
While many parts of the city have made great strides to recover in recent years, other neighborhoods are still abandoned and in ruins. It’s a “grim reality,” Lawless says.
“I wanted Americans to see what was happening to their country from the comfort of their suburban homes and smart phones,” says the photographer. “Sometimes words just aren’t enough, so I started taking pictures.”
Here’s a portrait of two 10-year-old twins named Devon and Devin. They were born days after Hurricane Katrina, and Lawless found them playing near an abandoned home in the lower ninth ward.
“My goal is to use social media to raise social awareness” of what things are like, says Lawless.
Lawless was particularly affected by photos showing stairs and platforms that remain standing after the houses they were attached to have disappeared. He calls the images “The Stairs That Lead to Nowhere.”
Image credits: Photographs by Seph Lawless and used with permission