Stop Formosa

Completed

2020

Medium

2 color risograph print

Dimensions

17" x 11"

Cost

$60

Description

This risograph print was inspired by the fierce determination of the members of RISE St James, a community group in St. James, Louisiana fighting the Formosa Chemical Complex, a massive plastic production facility proposed to be built in St. James, Louisiana, 60 miles upriver from New Orleans in the industrial corridor along the Mississippi River infamously known as “Cancer Alley.” I made this work in conversation with the members of Rise St James. I was able to attend the 2020 Juneteenth celebration that Rise St James held honoring the ancestors buried at the enslaved persons’ cemetery within the footprint of the Formosa construction site. It was a powerful experience to see what the land looks like now, undeveloped and wild, seeing the existing refineries at the edge of this site, thinking back on the history of this land as a former plantation and thinking ahead to the damage Formosa would cause if it is allowed to be built. The drawing is from the perspective of inside the now fenced-in cemetery plot, with flowers and protest signs on the fence that were part of that Juneteenth event. To honor the memories of the people buried on this site, as well as link to the effect plastic refining will have on the current residents of St James on the fence-line of this pollution the root systems of the plants reference parts of human bodies, arteries, veins, nodes etc. To connect New Orleanians with this fight, the soil line between the plants and their “root systems” is the path of the river from St James to New Orleans. Formosa will greatly add to the pollution affecting the health and environment of the residents of St. James as well as those of us living downwind and downriver; and in a time of ever increasing climate disasters, Formosa's fossil fuel emissions will only worsen our global futures. To learn more about this fight, visit stopformosa.org (Fifty percent of the sales will go toward environmental justice organizations in Louisiana.)
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About this Artist

Hannah Chalew

Hannah Chalew is an artist and educator from New Orleans. Her artwork explores what it means to live in a time of global warming with a collective uncertain future, and specifically what that means for those of us living in Southern Louisiana. Her practice explores the historical legacies that got us here to help imagine new possibilities for a livable future. She received her BA from Brandeis University in 2009, and her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2016. Chalew has exhibited widely around New Orleans and has shown around the country at Popps Packing, Hamtramck, MI, Dieu Donné, New York, NY; Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC; Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA; and other venues. Her work is held in the collections of the City of New Orleans and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Her work is included in two creative atlases by writer…
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