“What is being lost on the coast of Louisiana is more than a neighborhood, or a storm buffer. It’s a piece of our collective memory and a unique piece of heritage that defines us as a nation.”

Kael Alford is the recipient of the 2012 Michael P. Smith Fund for Documentary Photography (MPS Fund) Grant. The MPS Fund awards $5000 annually to a Gulf Coast photographer working on a long-term cultural documentary project.

Kael was awarded for her work “Bottom of da Boot: Losing the Coast of Louisiana.” In this body of work Kael documents the Native American communities of Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. Alford’s portraits, tableaux and landscapes describe her maternal grandmother’s birthplace. While the project began out of personal curiosity, Alford’s work has developed into a multi-year documentary chronicling the rapid coastal land-loss that threatens the cultures and environment across southeast Louisiana.

Learn more about the award here. Visit Kael’s website here.