After spending the perfect New Years Eve in Atlanta, I held up while I attempted to work out scheduling between NOLA and Jackson, MS. Based on scheduling and the realization that I would definitely be in Jackson, MS in April, I finally headed to New Orleans to discover what participation looks like in the Big Easy. Because I had waited so long to make arrangements, I frantically contacted some people that had been recommended to me. I received a reply from Tyler Hayes and was directed to house in downtown NOLA. I spent the next day and half exploring NOLA with the amazing culinary and architectural expertise of Dean White and Wes Miller.
The main reason I went there was to document the current project, The Music Box by Swoon and New Orleans Airlift. I was able to interview Delaney Martin about the project, participation and community. I am grateful that I was able to get a nice tour of the piece from Taylor. This is an utterly fantastic installation and I am excited for the next phase of the project, Dithyrambalina.
The thing about New Orleans is that it is a city built on a much different tradition that the rest of the US. It has participation at its very core. All of the parades during Mardi Gras are put on by the citizens of the city. Organizationally, they form Krewes that show the depth of character of the city, from High Society, Old New Orleans Family to the Krewe of Moms (Mystic Orphans and Misfits). I really did not focus much energy on the Krewes for two reasons. First, I was a touch hesitant to go down that path because I could easily see myself getting stuck learning more and more about the very interesting world of Krewes (maybe a future doc?). Secondly, while the Krewes do amazing things a large portion of them are exclusive clubs that require an invitation in order to join. I do not have a problem with that, but I do not believe that it fits with the film I am attempting to make. As I have traveled around, I have discovered that inclusive groups and cultures seem to create a more transformative experience through participation because there the only real barrier to entry is the ones you create for yourself. New Orleans has a very distinctive culture that I throughly enjoyed, well all but the day before the big ball game with all the really drunk people, as opposed to a normal NOLA day with all those drunk people.
I eventually moved to the West Bank area, Aligers Point, and stayed with a fantastic couple, Gretta and Taylor, two of the sweetest people I have come across. And Taylor is a wicked good cook. The food there was so utterly amazing. Yummy! I took a few days to catch up on some paper work and plan my next move to Houston.