“You don’t think of your neighbors as people you miss. They just there. But not now, baby. Things ’round here ain’t nothing like they was before,” declares Anna Deavere Smith in Swimming Upstream: A Testimony, A Prayer, A Hallelujah, An Incantation. The play, written by sixteen women from New Orleans who lived through Hurricane Katrina, debuted in 2008, and is being performed this month in New Orleans and at the Apollo Theater in Harlem to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the storm.
Directed by Eve Ensler, the creator of the controversial Vagina Monologues, Swimming Upstream is at once a celebration of the resilience of humanity, a condemnation of the injustices and brutality that took hold in the aftermath of Katrina, and a lament for all that was lost during the storm.
It features performances by Troi Bechet, Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes, Anne-Liese Juge Fox, and Karen-kaia Livers. Swimming Upstream will be performed Monday, September 13 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.