The End of Austin

an exploration of urban identity in the middle of Texas

Downstream

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Without belonging to a particular incident, place, or act, these images are traces of another city where water drips slowly through the cracks, draining away the undesired and disposable. Until the storm, before the waters rise too high and the dam breaks once again, they are invisible. Then, without knocking, they will come crashing through feeble, metal houses – fallen trees, beer cans, tennis shoes – and drown the city into a new Atlantis.

On a southeasterly path, they head downstream, dripping slowly into what will become into a raging waterfall just out of earshot. The city feigns blind and deaf, too enamored by the limestone, cement, and glass barricades that have become its defense. Drop by drop, its lifeblood drains until the city’s fresh face becomes sallow, weathered, thirsty.

These images are a map, tracing the debris swept downstream by the grueling pace of the modern city. They are reminders of the precarity of this lifeline – and its resilience. Unseen and unheard, capturing this other phantom place of what was and what has been is the only constant in this state of flux.

These photos were taken along the paths of the Colorado River and Onion Creek, as they head Southeast of I-35.


Megan Coxe is an Austin-based writer and photographer. She has a Masters from the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UT Austin, where she studied the relationship between racial politics and spatial imaginaries in the Southern Cone of South America through visual and textual works. She has also published creative works in Bazaar and Poetry Quarterly, among other publications.

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2014 by in Ecology, Nature, Photography and tagged , , , .
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