Among the guests will be former Alaska journalist and author, Dahr Jamail. Dahr has been down in the Gulf of Mexico region, covering deeper aspects of the BP oil spill, since the end of the first week of June. For most of the summer, Dahr's dispatches from the Gulf have been accompanied by the sometimes heart-rending, often poignant and always surprisingly artistic images by award-winning, Texas-based photographer, Erika Blumenfeld.
Dahr's latest essay at his site, posted on September 13th, details evidence of the continuing use by BP agents, of the highly toxic dispersent, Corexit. Dahr's long article centers on the experiences of Shirley and Don Tillman, residents and commercial fishers from Pass Christian, Mississippi:
Shirley and Don Tillman, residents of Pass Christian, Mississippi, have owned shrimp boats, an oyster boat and many pleasure boats. They spent much time on the Gulf of Mexico before working in BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program looking for and trying to clean up oil.
Don decided to work in the VOO program in order to assist his brother, who was unable to do so due to health problems. Thus, Don worked on the boat and Shirley decided to join him as a deckhand most of the days.
“We love the Gulf, our life is here and so when this oil disaster happened, we wanted to do what we could to help clean it up,” Shirley explained to Truthout.
However, not long after they began working in BP’s response effort in June, what they saw disturbed them. “It didn’t take long for us to understand that something was very, very wrong about this whole thing,” Shirley told Truthout. “So that’s when I started keeping a diary of what we experienced and began taking a lot of pictures. We had to speak up about what we know is being done to our Gulf.”
Shirley logged what they saw and took hundreds of photos. The Tillmans confirm, both with what they logged in writing as well as in photos, what Truthout has reported before: BP has hired out-of-state contractors to use unregistered boats, usually of the Carolina Skiff variety, to spray toxic Corexit dispersants on oil located by VOO workers.
Most likely, Dahr's findings during his three-month-plus research on the Gulf will be the subject of Thursday's interview.
Here are a few of Erika Blumenfeld's photographs from her work with Dahr: