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“New Orleans is a city that dwells within its own aura, and that aura is one of mystery and uniqueness.” So begins the introduction to writer Jon Newlin and photographer D. Eric Bookhardt’s Geopsychic Wonders of New Orleans, a curious and wonderful collection of evocative photographs and delirious prose first published privately in 1979. A 1992 reprint of the volume given to me by one of the authors became my road map of sorts when I first moved to New Orleans, despite the fact that several of the phenomena mentioned by Newlin and Bookhardt had already disappeared by then. But its practicality is besides the point: it’s more an idiosyncratic survey of New Orleans’ “secret realities” than the ones the visitor or resident can expect to find while walking down the street anyway.
The book is long out of print and hard to find (though used copies pop up online from time to time). But in the spirit of my Marigny walking tour last week, I wanted to share some excerpts with you here to give you an idea of what New Orleans is “really” like. As you look through through this set of photos, though, remember: “These phenomena, these wonders of New Orleans, are for the most part simply not explainable in terms of history and culture alone. There is obviously another force at work here, another system, a world of secret realities which is continuously and quietly in confrontation with our own.” In other words, folks: we’re not on Bourbon Street any more.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…