Leah Mahan's blog

Since 2010, I've followed the development of Margaret Brown’s documentary The Great Invisible, which explores the BP disaster with great care, artistry and respect through the eyes of people on many sides of the issues, from survivors of the rig explosion to unemployed seafood workers and representatives of government and industry. Brown was drawn to the story when her father sent her photos of oil boom lining the bay near her childhood home in Mobile, Alabama.  

On March 30, 2014, journalist Brentin Mock moderated a discussion about Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek with Leslie Fields (Sierra Club director of Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships), Reilly Morse (director of Mississippi Center for Justice), Derrick Evans (of Turkey Creek, Mississippi and co-founder of Bridge The Gulf) and me, Leah Mahan, (Director and Producer of Come Hell or High Water, and co-founder of Bridge The Gulf). The discussion followed the D.C.

On April 12, 2013, Bridge the Gulf and the Gulf Coast Fund convened a roundtable discussion with people working to bring attention to a public health crisis they have seen unfold since the BP disaster. Participants included a mother from a coastal Louisiana town overcome by chronic illness, a doctor, two scientists and a lawyer.

Searching for a way to mark the one-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster, I thought about a series of photographs I saw recently from Lower Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. They weren’t images of coastal destruction, they were the faces of people young and old holding up a simple handwritten message answering this question: “Why Should We Save Coastal Louisiana?”

When I heard that The Daily Show was sending one of its "correspondents" to Turkey Creek (in coastal Gulfport, Mississippi), I tried to imagine how a brief satirical “news” segment might shed light on a story I take seriously, and one that I've been documenting on video for more than a decade (read about the Turkey Creek documentary here).

I visited coastal Mississippi for the first time ten years ago. A friend I knew in Boston, Derrick Evans, had invited me to visit Turkey Creek, where his ancestors had settled after the Civil War. Soon he was drawn into a new life in Mississippi, and I was drawn into making a film about the struggle to protect Turkey Creek against urban sprawl, industrial contamination and disaster.

Subscribe to RSS - Leah Mahan's blog