Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun

Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun

Year
2006
Location
New Orleans, Louisiana

Photographers

To continue their 30-year commitment to documenting African American residents of the Lower Ninth Ward and produce 40 post-flood portraits and 20 oral histories of fellow displaced residents now living in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Both raised in New Orleans, McCormick and Calhoun have been documenting the African American community in New Orleans and its surrounding areas for the past thirty years. Past work includes stories on laborers on the loading docks of the Mississippi River, sugar cane plantations on River Road, and day laborers working in sweet potato and cotton fields. In addition, they have produced an extensive body of work on Angola Prison, focusing on its incarcerated men and the impact of the prison system on their families. Their photographs have been included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Philadelphia African American Museum, Civil Rights Museum, and New Orleans Museum of Art. They have received several awards from the New Orleans Press Club, and their photographs of Angola State Prison were published in Aperture Magazine in February 2006. McCormick and Calhoun lost two-thirds of their photographic archives when their home and studio were ravaged by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. They have relocated to Spring, Texas but plan to return to their New Orleans home and photography studio, which is recognized as a local landmark and is currently being rebuilt with the assistance of a number of non-profit organizations.