Monique Verdin, Cancer Alley: From Istrouma to the Gulf of Mexico

A stretch of the lower Mississippi River is known as “Cancer Alley” because it’s got a reputation. What did the Indigenous People of these territories once call the sacred sites, crossroads of waterways and ceremonial grounds? How has the colonial experiment provided the foundations for petrochemical plants and multinational corporations to participate in the legacy of extraction, taking advantage of the delta’s natural resources and transportation access with little accountability for the toxic side-effects, human rights abuses, and the generational consequences caused by environmental degradation? In this work, site-specific territories are explored through the layering of United States Geological Survey Maps, historical imagery, and photographs to create a kaleidoscope of reflections on these questions.