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.
"This old man's turning 60 so we thought we'd drag him down to Jazz Fest finally."
"It was a nine month planning surprise project. He did not know he was coming until Tuesday night and he did not know that anyone else was coming - including his friends and his two kids who flew in - one from New York and one from Los Angeles - until he arrived."
“This is not our Treme. The music isn't here like it used to be. The bars are not here like they used to be. Our culture was transported down to Frenchman Street - this happened in the 90s and they're complaining. I always say ‘You don’t want it, send it back!’ We enjoyed it. We grew up living right next door to it. We always knew where our parents were! They was either in the bar, or in the church, or sitting on the stoop. They were very easy to find!"
"We got outsiders coming in and buying up (houses) because a lot of people didn’t come back. They sold to FEMA and FEMA auctioned it off and they getting it for little or nothing. They building and then they selling, building and selling when they should let us buy first."
"Give us the opportunity to buy."
“We got a lot next door to us, why not let us have first preference and keep it up instead of an outsider coming in building a house and then renting it out?"
"I’m a New Orleans girl! Seven generations on my daddy's side and five on my mama's side. When I would wake up on Christmas morning my mom would ask me what I wanted to be on Mardi Gras day. I grew up feeling every moment was magical."
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.