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Losing Ground

Losing Ground

The Cultural Politics of Cultural Landscapes in Plaquemines Parish

(p.139) Chapter 5 Losing Ground
Culture after the Hurricanes
W. D. Wilkerson
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores how pre-Katrina cultural policy, when combined with post-Karina environmental (mis)management and disaster recovery policies, has desperately endangered the cultural life of one comparatively marginalized parish — Plaquemines Parish. Instead of describing the extent to which Katrina affected all the parishes, this chapter chooses to focus on Plaquemines Parish, the ninety-mile strip of land south of New Orleans where Katrina made landfall. The cultural policy talked about in this chapter specifically refers to the state and federal initiatives put into place to enhance, promote, conserve, preserve, use, and/or financially support the cultural life of a given place. The state cultural policy, as formulated in the Roadmap for change, the Louisiana Rebirth plan, the Bring New Orleans Back Report, and Louisiana: Where Culture Means Business is plagued with problems. While it introduces culture as a way of life, it quickly reframes the idea of culture as a commodity, a business plan, or an economic engine.

Keywords:   cultural policy, disaster recovery policies, Plaquemines Parish, cultural policy, Roadmap for Change, Louisiana Rebirth, Bring New Orleans Back, Louisiana

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