The video, “Lido Beach: Sarasota Florida”, symbolizes my own frustrations with the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill that continues to destroy the environment and fragile ecosystem of the landscape that I identify with as a native Floridian. This disaster threatens to eradicate the habitat of the gulf and its coastal areas. The video’s singular character, a young girl, struggles with the weight of this tragedy. Her endless search and repetitive trek back and forth down the beach carrying a bundle of sheets appears futile. As the audio builds and overlaps, the girl’s actions become more desperate and the tension between the audio and visuals mount. The contents of the bundle of sheets are unknown until she drops in exhaustion to unwrap them, but what we discover inside seems to oppose our expectations. What we might have assumed we would see a child or an animal, is replaced with a black stain of oil. She struggles to lift and contain the oil, unwrapping and rewrapping it inside the sheets which continue to fall open. The viewer and the protagonist make this discovery together and realize that what was being protected and carried was oil.
My greatest fear is that the millions of gallons of oil in the gulf will extinguish the life that exists and this is potentially irreversible. The video encompasses the bleak fate of my home. The piece is a desperate call for serious action. The future of the southern coast is in the hands of its inhabitants. Our identity here is being threatened as well as the environment becoming permanently altered.