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Dumbfounded and disgusted by the lack of meaningful progress in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, where he and Jolie live part-time with their four children, Pitt formed Make It Right, a relief effort aimed at picking up where the United States government failed miserably. While there has been some speculation that Pitt may run for mayor of the "Big Easy," his current focus in NoLa is the volunteer-run and donation-driven project centered on the perpetually unfinished post-Katrina rebuilding efforts.
The Pink Project, which couples the design skills of the Los Angeles-based design firm Graft Laboratories with Pitt's public persona, is a direct response to the continued failures of FEMA, which have now been piling up for several years after Hurricane Katrina. The idea came to Pitt while shooting in his sometimes hometown for the film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with director David Fincher. Representing homes wiped by Katrina and yet to be replaced, the project's pink structures, illuminated at night, were in place for a month this winter as a unique combination of campaign promotion and art installation. But rather than see the bright home-like shapes become an everyday part of the landscape, Make It Right removed them on January 6th and began the next phase of the project - constructing the actual homes that the pinks had been serving as placeholders for. The new houses, which will be mold-free and anchored to sturdy foundations, also have the added benefit of focusing on sustainability and energy efficiency for the residents of the 9th Ward, providing solutions to a number of problems while also satisfying the basic need for simple shelter. The iconic pink boxes may be gone, but its not too late to participate, as the project continues into the construction phase with the houses being built entirely on funding from Make It Right's ongoing donation campaign.
To get a better idea of the scope and inner workings of the Make It Right reconstruction effort, as well as what the pink project looked like on the ground in New Orleans, visit the website and while you're there take a short helicopter flyover tour of the area.
UPDATE: "The first book to document the progress of the Make It Right Foundation‚ efforts to rebuild in New Orleans‚ Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina is now available. With contributions by founder Brad Pitt and designs for the green, affordable cutting-edge Make It Right homes." The book is available for purchase now. SEE ALSO: www.makeitrightnola.org
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.
See other articles by Eric J Herboth.
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