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.
"A friend of mine sent me a book by Bruce Lee. In the book it says 'violence is a part of life'. And I think for me what that means is we have all of these wonderful things around us, all these structures that help us understand what’s happening, but the reason why they exist to me is a recognition that the world is really chaotic - that you can get lost in the chaos of the world. That’s why we have insurance and we have homes. We have school and all of these societal safety nets. And I think that we need these things, but at the same time we need serendipity, happy accidents or even unhappy accidents, it’s all part of life."
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I been having a fishing camp in my family since I was four years old - down in Cocodrie - and that’s where I spent most of my time, weekends and all that. I remember fishing with my grandpa - just the way he enjoyed nature. A lot of the times he’d go out on the boat he wouldn’t even fish! He’d go out, smoke a pipe and enjoy nature. He brought me up on that and that’s my passion: outdoors stuff.”
“Did you know today is earth day?!”
“I ain’t into all that stuff! Well, I’m glad to be walking this earth then. Is that what I’m supposed to be thankful for?”
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.