Multimedia artist Claire Bangser created NOLAbeings as a portrait-based story project that marries image and text. Inspired by the Humans of NY project, it stems from the belief that we can all learn from one anothers' 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. After discovering and falling in love with the project, editors at NolaVie asked to post a weekly roundup of her most visually and narratively stimulating photos.
“There’s a lot of things that I don’t talk to my parents about in depth... there’s a cultural divide because they’re immigrants. Like, I told my mom ‘Hey, I just saw my (ex) boyfriend and he told me that he’s engaged to another girl.’ And my mom had this brief reaction - not like outraged or ‘Oh how are you feeling? That must be terrible for you.’ It was just like ‘Oh okay’ and that was it. It’s just the result of growing up in different worlds. I don’t know if my mom would have the kind of advice that I’m looking for. She always gives sound, obvious advice like ‘You don’t need him anymore, you should move on’ - yes, I know those things are true - but the things that you want to hear that are comforting like talking through the different parts of what you went through, we don’t really have those kinds of conversations.”
Claire Bangser is a New Orleans-based photographer and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She is the creator of NOLAbeings and has produced work for local, national, an international organizations and media since 2009. Highlights include a three-month bike tour storytelling project on the west coast, documentation for a four-month National Geographic Young Explorer’s grant in Turkey, and New Orleans-based digital storytelling projects like Cry You One and BOUDIN: The New Orleans Music Project. Find more of her work at www.clairebangser.com.