Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NOLA Diary - Fragments

It was too brief a trip. It was my first trip to the Crescent City and I only got a small taste. NOLA was in good spirits when I arrived. Jazzfest was in full swing, along with some ill-advised consumption of deep fried foodstuffs and crawdads. Yeah, I said it. Crawdads.

Some fragments of my impressions:

1. Time is measured by BS and AS. Before the Storm. After the Storm. The Storm holds weight. It is matter of fact. It is reality. It is not imagination. It is lived and it is real.

2. The fleur de lis has three points. It is symbol and totem. It is ubiquitous. It is an act of defiance. The phoenix that rises from the ashes. NOLA is rising.

3. Gentrification presents paradox. Rebuild, renewal and rebirth challenges the traditional neighborhood fabric and urban design. The communities of the 9th Ward, Mid City, Esplanade are in transition.

4. There's nothing French about the French quarter. Jackson Square is Plaza Mayor, Madrid.

You come to really know a place through the passage of time. Sure, I'd seen films about 'Nawlins' as well as the documentaries about Katrina. But it provides a limited point of view. It frames the narrative of communities and the people who live in them. You can see a picture and connect to place and feeling, but you're only looking at the object through a narrow prism of the photographer/filmmaker. You hope it evokes an awareness of space, sound and feeling that you may have felt when you took the shot. And in the sequencing of those images and sound, the filmmaker hopes to construct a larger narrative for her audience. It's still two dimensional. Memory works like that sometimes. It's spotty, fragmented, fractured and magic all at once.

Nonetheless, I've included some images from my travels.

I don't presume that my photos tell the whole story. I don't think that was the point in my taking them. It really says more about me as photographer. And all of this is a really long way of saying that I plan to go back as soon as I get the chance.

1 comment:

C Henry Horne said...

You observed, you felt, and you remembered, so the trip - as short as it was - had an impact. You will be prepared for your journey back to NOLA, and we'll be waiting for your new entry....CHH