Debbie Fleming Caffery's 1999 photo of burning cane fields in Iberia Parish, from the Facing Change website
Acclaimed Breaux Bridge photographer and photo-journalist Debbie Fleming Caffery is among a select group of photographers and writers nationwide participating in Facing Change: Documenting America, a non-profit collective that, according to its website, “will cover and publish under-reported aspects of America’s most urgent issues and distribute the work through a innovative online platform while highlighting the efforts of individuals and organizations working to affect positive change.”
Conceived as a four-year project, FCDA embeds photo-journalists and writers in communities across America. Caffery is covering Louisiana with three other photographers. The FCDA site currently contains a collection of Caffery’s captivating black-and-white photographer from Acadiana, post-Katrina New Orleans and images documenting African-American spirituality dating back a quarter century.
FCDA is an outgrowth of changes in American news media’s willingness and ability via economic pressure to offer in-depth coverage of social issues:
At a time when America faces enormous challenges, FCDA will embed photographer/writer teams in communities across America to vividly illustrate the nation’s most pressing concerns-from health care to immigration to the cost of the war on terror. The result will be an unparalleled collection of visual and textual narratives accessible through an innovative online platform-called the Public Sphere–enabling a direct dialogue with America on the stories and issues. FCDA work will also be distributed via an active and searchable archive to major newspapers, and magazines worldwide.
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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