In 2012, the Jersey Shore was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. In the summer of 2013, Ira Wagner, an adjunct professor of photography at Monmouth University, who is based in New Jersey and owns a home on the Jersey Shore, “noticed some of the houses along the NJ shoreline were being lifted through a rudimentary elevation system referencing the age-old communal activity of barn raising. Ranging from modest bungalows to mansions, they appeared to Wagner to be sitting up in the air on wooden supports that looked so wobbly you could push them over,” I read in the press release. And, that describes precisely my own impressions when looking at the photographs in “Houseraising”.
Why would someone decide to stay on a shore that was not only devastated by a hurricane but remains under threat from storms, erosion, and rising sea levels? I wondered. Needless to say, I can only guess. To me, this once again shows the stubborness of human beings, our inability to adapt, our refusal to change. As always, one can also see things differently and argue that the people who are determined to stay on such a shore are extremely capable to adapt – they decided to elevate their houses!
For the full review, see here