October 18, 2017
For immediate release
(New Orleans) A collective of Louisiana filmmakers, designers, web coders and longtime environmentalists have collaborated on an online multimedia project that tells the story of four people who are working to defend their communities against the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Permits for the pipeline have been requested by Energy Transfer Partners, the company that had a standoff with ‘Water Protectors’ at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. The Call to Action tab requests viewers to call Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and request an Environmental Impact Statement.
The creative team has partnered with The Louisiana Bucket Brigade who produced each video. They have also teamed up with eight other environmental groups, from the Sierra Club to The Indigenous Environmental Network, who have all cosigned on the project and will help release the content. “The Bayou Bridge Pipeline threatens our drinking water, our crawfish, our wetlands. It will further destroy our Atchafalaya Basin. Rather than build another pipeline, we should put people to work repairing the thousands of miles of pipelines in this state, much of which is falling apart.” Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of The Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
The Interactive website takes the viewer on a tour across Louisiana in a series of visually striking and emotionally charged videos that portray each unique community and how the pipeline threatens their health and culture. The cast is Jessi Parfait (“The Archivist”) of the United Houma Nation Native American Tribe, Pastor Harry Joseph (“The Pastor”) of the 113 year old Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in the historic African-American community of Freetown, Retired Lt. General Russel Honore of United States Army (“The General”), and Shane Doucet (“The Fisherman”) of the Atchafalaya Swamp Cajun crawfishing community.
The website’s first video opens with Dallas Goldtooth, who is of Dakota and Dine Native American heritage, as he depicts the struggle and police violence he experienced at Standing Rock and explains that the Dakota Access Pipeline both metaphorically and physically connects to The Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Jessi Parfait takes the viewer to a Native American pow-wow in Houma and describes how the pipeline would run through Bayou Lafourche, her community’s source of drinking water. Pastor Harry Joseph leads a Sunday Sermon and explains that his community, already surrounded by crude oil storage tanks, would be the terminus point for the proposed pipeline. Lt Gen Honore takes the viewer on a “toxic tour” through Louisiana, illustrating the industrialization and pollution the state already endures, and the amount of pipeline accidents that currently occur on an almost weekly basis. Finally, Shane Doucet, a Cajun crawfisherman whose family has fished crawfish in the Atchafalaya Basin for decades, takes the viewer on a boat ride showing how hundreds of east to west pipelines have disrupted the water flow and created “dead zones” throughout the swamps.
Interactive map animations separate the videos and visually illustrate elements such as the path of pipelines currently in operation and the locations of pipeline spills that have occurred throughout the last decade
“Not only would this pipeline directly threaten each of these unique communities, but I believe that at a time when we are witnessing the consequences of climate change, laying permanent fossil fuel infrastructure into our land and water is shortsighted and a threat to all of us,” said director Alexander Glustrom. He collaborated with other creatives, such as web developer Darin Acosta, who grew up in Norco, a community surrounded by refineries in an area dubbed ‘cancer alley.’ “We decided to create an interactive website as a way to host all the content in one place, with the goal of taking the viewer on a journey to communities that not only would be affected by this pipeline, but who are already suffering the consequences of Louisiana’s industrialization.”