ROCHESTER.- Photojournalist Chris Usher, a member of the White House Press Corps and freelance contributor to TIME, introduces One of Us, a unique book that highlights the results of nearly three years of photographic fieldwork begun the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005.
The portraits and interview excerpts contained in the book bear witness to the fear, fatigue, frustration and, ultimately, resilient spirit of those who survived Hurricane Katrina. Through the support of Kodak, Usher will donate 100 percent of the profits from One of Us to the Gulf Coast Fund and the Southern Animal Foundation, relief organizations that continue to provide post-Katrina aid and assistance in the Gulf Coast.
"For the people of the Gulf Coast region, Katrina is just as devastating today as it was in 2005," said Usher. "Katrina was a cataclysmic disaster that forced hundreds of thousands of people to migrate across the country, or stay and suffer with little or no help. Many of those who left haven't returned and those who stayed continue to face unemployment and mortgages on uninhabitable or non-existent homes. This project documents, through survivors' stories, that the situation is stilas real and as challenging as it was that very first day."
To fully illustrate the ongoing effect of Hurricane Katrina, Usher revisited the Gulf Coast region six times over three years and traveled across the country for two months in 2006 to find displaced residents. The subjects include families, parents, siblings, children, as well as first responders, volunteers, and the media.
After witnessing the continuing impact, Usher compiled these stories into One of Us. His goal was to generate awareness and a way for people to directly support Gulf Coast re-building efforts. Having already provided film and processing for the project, Kodak responded by enabling the digital on demand printing and an online ordering of One of Us, facilitating the donation of book proceeds in partnership with
ColorCentric, a KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press customer. ColorCentric is headquartered in Rochester, New York with manufacturing facilities in Rochester, New York, and Reno, Nevada.
"Katrina is a story that still has many chapters left. When you open Chris Usher's book, you realize just how important it is that we all continue to support rebuilding in the Gulf Coast. This book serves as a reminder and mechanism by which people can provide some much-needed support," said Jeff Hayzlett, chief business development officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "We've had a long and productive relationship with Chris and are proud to support this project. His work has touched countless people over the years because of his profound ability to capture images that tell powerful, moving stories. We're honored that we can use Kodak expertise in film and on-demand printing to support Chris and his ground-breaking project."
One of Us can be bought on line beginning Aug. 29 at http://www.chrisusher.com/news and http://www.kodak.com/go/one_of_us for $40.