It seems like the coronavirus pandemic has touched just about everything around the globe. So I find it a little odd to write about new photo books because it seems like what they are showing is ancient history. But if anything, these books have taken on new significance. They will serve as reminders of what life was like before all of this happened. And in coming years, they will help record how we will have learned, survived and evolved into the next chapter of life on this planet. This is certainly the case with the work I am sharing with you today.
For almost a decade, photographer Akasha Rabut has been delving into the lives of her fellow New Orleanians, creating images that pay homage to the city’s vitality. The results of that effort have come together in her first book, “Death Magick Abundance” (Anthology Editions, 2020). The images are enhanced by oral histories told to the New Orleans Neighborhood Story Project, a nonprofit collaborative anthropological effort.
Rabut introduces us to many of the unique people who make New Orleans one of the most distinctive cities in the United States. Those people include the members of the Caramel Curves, the first all-female black motorcycle club, and the Southern Riderz, urban cowboys who ride through the city’s streets on horseback. Of course, Rabut includes photos that celebrate the fashion, music and style of New Orleans’s famed second lines, people who have joined a parade led by the first line, which includes a brass band — all coming together to form a roving musical block party.
Perspective | This photographer pays tribute to the vibrant people who make New Orleans unique
Akasha Rabut spent nearly a decade working with people she met in New Orleans. Her photographs paint a vibrant portrait of people living in one of the country's most distinctive cities.