EMILEY SWITZER-MARTELL                                                                     LAN1022                                                            FORTS AND TUMULI 21’   

Fort Jackson
Mississippi River
Louisiana, US

Many years after the ‘big flood’, the lower Mississippi River Delta has been deemed inhabitable due to shifting sediments and unstable grounds. By 2120, the changing climate will result in more extreme weather and rising sea levels, leaving the lower Mississippi River vulnerable to a new level of catastrophic storms.

By 2050, humans should have migrated to higher ground, leaving fluctuating and delicate coastal ecosystems free from further disturbance, allowing plants and animals to reclaim the land.

Through the context of civil war era Fort Jackson located on the northern most channel of the Birds foot delta. One human remains, living in the Louisiana wilderness, captivated by the beauty of the land and its strength, watching until one day their home sinks slowly back into the earth.

I knew I should have stayed in the room where I could be dry, relax and maybe munch on a catfish or something… But on that day, I felt restless.

I left my burrow and floated down river, staying away from bushy edges that were quieter than normal. But not too close to the deep water as my father always said: “stay in the shallows, you don’t know what’s under there”.

It’s just me now and it has been for some time. After the whole town left before the flood, we were the only ones who trusted the land to not to sink again.

Since then, I’ve been marking the waters level on the orange stones that make up my home. I wasn’t sure what it meant for my memories that live there.

I must have floated beyond my normal stretch because I was noticing how the water felt different. The shadows beneath me were all moving in the same direction, against the current which seemed to be moving slower than normal - if it was even moving at all.


The air felt different too, I could feel its weight and out from under the protection of dense brush I could see how its thickness had made the sky darker. Dark skies are never good, but this was different: something was wrong…

I turned around and headed back to my home, by the time I got there my shrub was half submerged and my home was right there with it.