Sounds of post-Katrina New Orleans
In July 2010, a quartet of FSN'ers (Elena, Ezra, Jeremy and Chris) created a long-form sound art piece that tells the story of an intrepid group of youth activists who traveled to New Orleans for a life-changing project called the Food Justice Summer. Participants came from the Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia and various New York schools, and were led by NY2NO (New York 2 New Orleans) organizers, the oldest of whom was 19 at the time.
This extremely diverse crew worked on community revitalization and urban gardening projects while grappling --in a personal and unflinching way-- with issues of food security, social inequality, and the legacy of Hurricane Katrina. The project began at an alternative school in the Lower Ninth Ward, Our School at Blair Grocery, founded by charismatic Philly high school teacher Nat Turner. They then traveled to a social justice and healing center in Hammond, LA to explore community work from a more rural prospective.
This journey is chronicled in Found Sound fashion using interviews, reflections, conversations, meetings, and sounds recorded during the van ride, our stay in New Orleans, and at Sunshine’s place. We have assembled an hour-long documentary sound-art piece, divided into 8 chapters. The music that you hear --a duet in Lingala, a rhythm track using toaster sounds, and a reggae improv-- was all recorded during the week. This includes original works as well as traditional songs performed by the youth participants. The NY2NO project was funded through Kickstarter, and we would like to thank all of you whose donation made it possible.
*Note: Philadelphia-based organizers and participants of this trip have since returned to Philly to start their own organization, the Philadelphia Urban Creators, and are building their very own Educational Urban Farms at two locations in North Philadelphia. Check them out!