Louisiana Photographer Joins Blogger's Online Community

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Matthew White, a New York native who has lived in and documented the unique beauty of Louisiana since 2000, is the newest "voice" on "Beyond Katrina: The Voice of Hurricane Disaster & Recovery." White's pictorial contributions to Hurricane-Katrina.org (http://www.hurricane-katrina.org) bring a fresh perspective to and advance the mission of the blog -- to inspire recovery, transformation & new vision through the deeper wisdom of crisis.

Louisiana Pictures Lend Optimistic, Reflective Voice to "Beyond Katrina".

Matthew White, a New York native who has lived in and documented the unique beauty of Louisiana since 2000, is the newest "voice" on "Beyond Katrina: The Voice of Hurricane Disaster & Recovery." White's pictorial contributions to Hurricane-Katrina.org (http://www.hurricane-katrina.org) bring a fresh perspective to and advance the mission of the blog -- to inspire recovery, transformation & new vision through the deeper wisdom of crisis.

"As a South Louisiana native who has witnessed the devastation wrought by this storm and the innocuous, depressing photos documenting it, I realized that I needed to evolve in content and perspective," explained blogger Margaret Saizan, "Beyond Katrina" creator. "To keep the issues brought about by this storm in people's awareness, readers need to understand why New Orleans, south Louisiana, and Mississippi need to be rebuilt. They need to have some sense of the beauty that is still there and from which we came."

Since Saizan's first posting on Aug. 28, 2005, hundreds of thousands of readers from more than 159 countries have connected with "Beyond Katrina" to learn about the event, understand its ramifications and realize how Louisiana's lessons can benefit the world.

Saizan and White have teamed up to create a photo-essay series beginning with where Katrina made landfall, then documenting White's photographic journey before and after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita starting in 2000. Each post will include a photo, a narrative of the photographer's experience at that location, and then supporting commentary from the blog's creator, which echoes the themes of "Beyond Katrina."

White began photographing most of the notable locations along the Louisiana coastline five years before the storms struck. His mission, to convey the beauty and uniqueness of the Louisiana landscape, didn't waiver after the storm. His collection of landscapes continues to speak for a state that has survived the worst from nature and continues to evolve after an unprecedented tragedy.

"As a relative newcomer to Louisiana, I was awed and inspired by this beautiful place immediately," explained White. "I fear that all the depressing images of floating corpses and destroyed homes have left the nation and the world with the wrong impression of my adopted home. Rather than focus on the clichéd incongruity of the landscape, my hope is to have my photographs speak for the state and convey the beauty that remains despite the wrath of Mother Nature."

For Saizan White is just the latest in a series of talented professionals who help her, as a citizen journalist, recount what happens in real time and real perspective.

White hopes to publish his collection of south Louisiana photos as a testament to a land full of culture, beauty and resilience. Until that memoir is a reality, view White's collection at http://rigolets.blogspot.com/. Fine prints are also available through his website.

About Matthew White

Matthew White is a native New Yorker who made Louisiana his home and his artistic focus in 2000. For five years he photographed nearly every notable location on the Louisiana coast. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita changed the landscape, but not Mathew's vision and desire to show Louisiana's unique beauty. While hundreds of others have documented the tragedy wrought by the storms, Matthew's body of work captures the beauty that the storms of 2005 could not erase. Rather than clichéd incongruity and depressing devastation, Matthew's photos capture a landscape touched by and triumphing over catastrophe. Matthew shares the same vision as blogger Margaret Saizan, looking "Beyond Katrina," and lending a silent voice to disaster and recovery.

About Margaret Saizan

Margaret Saizan (http://www.margaretsaizan.org)] is a new media publisher, personal/organizational coach, and community activist. The Baton Rouge, La. native became a blogger during the largest natural disaster in U.S. history -- Hurricane Katrina. A graduate of Newfield Network, one of the best regarded international coach training schools, Margaret focuses on empowering leadership and facilitating action during transition, crisis, and disaster as the pathway to new vision. Hurricane-Katrina.org and Big Vision Media aspire to ignite wise action, new vision and positive change through transformational media.

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