Editor's note: Last week, multimedia artist Claire Bangser started a new portrait-based story project that marries image and text. NOLAbeings is inspired by the Humans of NY project, and comes from the belief that we can all learn from each others' stories. Primarily featured on Instagram (and tumblr), Claire meets people in coffee shops, grocery stores, living rooms, sidewalks, and learns something about each individual through a snapshot conversation and image. The first week saw 26 posts (and counting), so we here at NolaVie decided, after discovering and falling in love with the project, to feature a weekly 'roundup' of these NOLAbeings. Each Friday we'll exhibit five pieces to compile a cross-section of what this series documents on a continual basis.
"I hope this project resonates with folks in New Orleans who recognize some of the faces I photograph and are able to glean a sense of connectedness through reading the person's quote/story. Maybe next time they'll have a conversation." - Claire Bangser
“When you have the dovetail joint it's the strongest woodworking joint there is, so it's a symbol of quality, sustainability, strength. You can take that to mean whatever you want.”
“I play drums, tuba trombone, clarinet, trumpet, piano, and guitar.” “Which one's your favorite?” “Drums because I'm better at that and that's like what I really try to do my best on becuase I really am a drummer. Thats what I grew up doing... drumming.”
“Seriously I'm proud of this store – that it's back. 'Cause before the storm, you grew up coming here a lot. And to see how it was after was really tragic. And it's more authentic than Walmart. It's more homegrown. It's not fake, it's real. And I like working here better than Walmart. That was boring. The customers are more alive here. Since I been working here, so many second lines been passing!"
"I have a regular job...I just do this on the weekends. I'm a social worker. If I could afford it, I would love to do this all the time, but I'm sure that's just wishful thinking. I've got a kid in college!"
Bud the Barber
“The only thing I left in the Pacific was my hair and my hearing. I was with gunnery. If you're with gunnery all the time, it's a big bang. We had to shoot the enemy. The way I got them out of my hair was to not have hair. But I've had a good life. Lucky in the war. Some of my buddies are still over there. I'll be 91 in two months. Somebody up there don't like me... they don't want me! I had two strokes in 24 hours and it didn't leave me with anything – no slurring, no shaking, nothing.”