Joseph Moran is a visual artist and documentary photographer who lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana. His photographs of the Cane River community were included in We Know Who We Are, an ethnographic study commissioned by the National Park Service. A feature story in Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine of his writing and photographs was awarded best photo essay by the New Orleans Press Club.
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That Was Then: Memories of Cane River
Cane River—also known as Isle Brevelle—is reputedly the oldest American settlement founded by and for people of color. Its origins date back to the late eighteenth century when Claude-Thomas-Pierre Metoyer, a French merchant, and his wife Marie Thérèse Coin-Coin, an enslaved African, established it as a sanctuary for their family. Over two centuries and several generations later, Cane River, Louisiana, remains home to descendants of its original founders.
That Was Then, Memories of Cane River is documentation through Joseph Moran’s photographs of the historic settlement. As a resident of Cane River for twenty years Moran sought to express his reverence for the home of his ancestors by photographing average inhabitants, folk practitioners, and community life. The collection of photos was selected from hundreds taken over several years and includes portraits of people Moran had a special connection with and affection for.
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