Category Archives: uncategorized

Palafitas in Recife

A shrimp farm lies next to a polluted stream in the Afogados neighborhood of Recife.
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During my time in Olinda and Recife, I was privileged to meet Andréia Vieira and Fatima Brayner, José Elisio da Costa, “Dançarino,” and his daughter, Alma. All of them helped me gain access to two “palafitas” communities in Recife:  Coelhos and Afogados. These are communities where low-income individuals and families live in stilt houses on the river’s edge, and they are some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Water regularly floods these homes when the river rises with high tide, and fire is another threat. But real estate speculation may be the most significant danger facing these areas now as the city expands and developers seek new spaces to build high rises.


Industrial Impacts Highlighted in The Guardian

The Guardian recently published a piece of mine about the impact that the Suape Port Complex, just south of Recife, is having on traditional fishing communities. This is the project that brought me back to Brazil, and I’m working on developing other outputs for it. My hope is to create a photographic and audio installation that will communicate some of the experiences of the people who live in the area near the port. In the meantime, you can read the story on how pollution from the port is impacting women shellfishers here.

  • Vania Maria de Alcàntara contemplates a mangrove tree at the start of a shellfishing expedition in a swamp near the Suape Port Complex.
  • Valeria Maria de Alcàntara tests a stream bed to ensure she doesn't step on a stinging eel.
  • This kind of exposure to polluted water results in high rates of skin and reproductive infections according to a study done by the Sociedade Nordestina de Ecologia.
  • A kilo of crab meat will sell for roughly 70 Reals, and it now takes 3 mornings to collect this amount, when it used to take just one.
  • Valeria Maria de Alcàntara styles her daughter's hair after a morning's work in the mangrove swamp.



Coastal Restoration and Louisiana’s Pay Disparity Between Men and Women

I proposed this story to Marketplace when the RESTORE Act was being debated as part of the Transportation Bill. A number of people provided critical help to me in getting this story off the ground, particularly Scott Eustis of the Gulf Restoration Network, who tapped into his rolodex, and Susan Bergeron of the U.S. Geological Survey, who did the same. I also have to credit Oluseyi Fayanju of the Environmental Defense Fund whose blog post gave me the initial idea for the story. You can listen to the story here. It starts at what is approximately 16:15 into the podcast.

Louisiana’s New Voucher Program: Some Children Left Behind

This spring, Louisiana’s legislature approved the most sweeping education voucher program in the country. The program has been excoriated from a range of quarters as lacking in accountability in terms of the educational standards in the schools receiving state voucher dollars and as potentially defunding an already struggling public school system. My article for New America Media, which was published as students began the school year, highlighted the voucher program’s shortcomings for students with special needs.

A Sunny Day in Brighton

These are a few photos I took on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Brighton Beach, UK.

  • boys on sea wall (800x536) boys on sea wall (800x536)
  • Roll Up (800x536) Roll Up (800x536)
  • Carousel horse and sun (536x800) Carousel horse and sun (536x800)
  • ladies dancing (536x800) ladies dancing (536x800)
  • shoes gettin' down (800x536) shoes gettin' down (800x536)

Bluegrass at the Hi-Ho

  • Playin' Playin'
  • Willie and his mandolin Willie and his mandolin
  • Bluegrass circle at the Hi-Ho Bluegrass circle at the Hi-Ho People gather every Monday at the Hi-Ho to play bluegrass. They bring violins, guitars, mandolins, cellos, and other instruments.
  • Women guitarists Women guitarists
  • Smiling Guitar Player Smiling Guitar Player
I took my camera out last night to the fabulous Hi-Ho Lounge, where there’s bluegrass and red beans and rice every Monday. Here’s one shot of the goings on.