Art of Medicine
Oct 2017


Kwesi Reynolds
AMA J Ethics. 2017;19(10):1036-1042. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.10.imhl1-1710.


These photos capture the Flint water crisis from the perspective of a photographer and cinematographer who is a resident of Flint. They represent citizens' struggles, town hall meetings, and some of the city's repair efforts. They also illuminate environmental injustice as a violation of human rights. 

 Figure 1Corrosion of Trust

Corrosion of Trust


After talking with a Flint resident and learning he had just completed some home renovations, I was invited to take a look at some of his home’s plumbing.


Figure 2Portentious Vote

Portentious Vote


At this Flint City Council meeting on March 25, 2013, the council heard comments from the public and voted to change its water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Karegnondi Water Authority.


Figure 3Signs of Change

Signs of Change


“Water Line Replacement Work Area” signs are scattered all throughout the city. Work crews dig up old pipes and replace them with new ones, which began in March 2016.


Figure 4Can Do: Water for Washing 

Can Do: Water for Washing


“Please Use This Water” sign found in a local public restroom instructing people to use canned water to wash their hands.


Figure 5Greetings from Flint

Greetings from Flint


This “Greetings from Flint” mural is found on Saginaw Street. Inside the letters are images that resonate with many people in the city following the water crisis. The artwork is part of a mural project by unspecified artists.


Figure 6Watered Down Rights

Watered Down Rights


This use of image and words highlights the overarching issue of environmental injustice and citizens’ right to safe water.


Figure 7Waterborne



The words “human rights” on a pregnant woman’s stomach represent unborn Flint residents with no voice, whose human rights are being neglected.


AMA J Ethics. 2017;19(10):1036-1042.



The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.