FloodZone: Photographs by Anastasia Samoylova at HistoryMiami Museum

FloodZone is an exhibition of an expansive and ongoing photographic series by Anastasia Samoylova, responding to the environmental changes in coastal cities of South Florida. By playing self-consciously with the familiar motifs and palette of the region, the photographs work as complex allegories. There are aerial photographs of the saturated topography; portraits of locals; and close-up observations of buildings, flora, and fauna. Samoylova’s images provide a broad yet acute perspective on what it feels like to live in at-risk areas while economic forces instill a sense of denial and disavowal.

The project focuses not solely on the environmental issues of the region, but on the geography of these cities; on the ways residents and a multitude of visitors navigate the space. Despite the climatic risks, South Florida is experiencing a surge of population growth. The concrete jungle continues to extend and replace the mangrove forests, wetlands, and farms. Hybrid images—halfway between observational portraits and cityscapes—ask viewers to consider how the economics of urban development affect human lives and behavior.

FloodZone, the exhibition, is conceived as an installation of 46 images printed on a variety of materials. While working as emphatic individual images, the arrangement and sightlines create a nuanced spatial collage of tensions and resonances.

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