essAy .................... by Andy Horowitz Calling this disaster "the BP oil spill" conditions an inquirer to look for damage caused specifically by oil, and to measure its duration by the length of time that oil was allowed to spill. But listening to the people closest to the Gulf, it becomes clear that as much as this experience has been defined by an acute, chemical event, it also has come to represent a chronic, cultural trauma. Memorial for "all that is lost," Grand Isle, LA, 2010. Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the author. aren Hopkins lives in Grand Isle, Louisiana, where she manages Dean Blanchard Seafood, one of the largest seafood processors in the state. Before the BP oil spill of 2010, she recalled, "a typical day would be about five nervous breakdowns." That is because Dean Blanchard typically bought between thirteen and fifteen million pounds of shrimp a year. For Hopkins, that meant: You have three trans-vac suction machines working. You have three crews in three different staging areas unloading boats that are waiting in line, and you have three men coming in with shrimp tickets from three different boats at the same time, and you
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 16, 2014
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