Image by Jade Sullivan A fishing boat outside of Shaggy’s in Pass Christian, Mississippi
I've had the pleasure of chatting with local creative Jade Sullivan about the details, her inspiration and the incredible adventure she and her mother have taken on in order to document the after effects on fishermen and and shrimpers caused by 2010's BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig explosion.
We've highlighted Sullivan's documentaries in the past; you may remember the short doc she did on local artist Timmy Pakron. She's also the brains behind a fresh flower delivery service, The Weekly Petal. While getting your sushi fix, you very well may have had her as a server at O-Ku, the best Japanese restaurant in town.
Now, Sullivan has taken her desire to share beauty and truth with the world on the road and we'll all remember what she has to show us for years to come.
In an email exchange earlier in the week, I asked Sullivan what her inspiration was to film such a heavy and geographically expansive documentary, here was her response:
I'm traveling with my mom around the Gulf Coast for about a month. From Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana and everywhere around and in between and left and right. It all started while we were listening to "After the Gold Rush" by Neil Young and talking about how mother nature really was "on the run" (on a 12 hour drive to my Aunt's house over Thanksgiving). I guess we got a little carried away because now we are making a documentary about it.
My uncle is the Senior Restoration Ecologist for the Wetlands Initiative, making his life's work to restore wetlands, so this type of issue is very close our hearts. I spent a lot of time with him growing up, which gave me a strong appreciation for different ecosystems, as well as an understanding of how fragile they are.
It's still been less than a year since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded off the Gulf Coast. I wanted to document it before it is forgotten, as there have been obvious attempts at sweeping this tragedy under the rug. But we are not looking to uncover information or expose BP in any way-- they've done that for themselves. We are simply talking with the community to understand what has happened and how it will affect them and the wildlife surrounding the Gulf Coast in the years to come--because it will.
Sullivan has created a blog where she's begun recording her discoveries, encounters and photographs from the trip. Keep up with her documentary process and follow along. I'll also link you off to Sullivan's Vimeo page where you can watch previous works including the short doc on local artist Timmy Pakron and her newest addition to her credit, a short doc on a James Madison University professor who makes his own Diddly Bows.