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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
Filmmaker Seeks to Bring Truth About Acadian Ways Out of Exile
If you’re tired of hearing “Cajun” tossed around as an adjective for everything from overpriced food in the Quarter to the painfully inauthentic accents of True Blood, you’ll be relieved to know that there’s someone out there trying to put an end to the madness.
Lafayette native Allen Clements wants to make a documentary film called, We Are Cajun, but he's seeking financial support from the Acadian diaspora and their supporters to do it.
Clements recently directed a feature-length film about a legendary rock club in Lancaster, Pa., called The Chameleon Club. Now, he wants to come back to the south and document some real Cajuns and share their compelling stories with the world.
We Are Cajun (On est Cadien') would dispel many of the myths and untruths surrounding the word “Cajun,” and its use in national media, Clements said.
“Everyone thinks it’s a style of cooking or gambling-related. I want to get down deeper into family traditions, values, the rich culture from people who have great hardship. I’m not looking so much into the history as I am into the now. They were here before the Americans,” he said.
The Lafayette native gets his Cajun roots from his mother’s side of the family. Names like “Prejean,” and “Escudier,” pepper his family lineage.
Clements also thinks that people could adapt some Cajun ways to their own everyday lives, such as the appreciation of slow cooking.
“No matter where you live, people want the quick slice of pizza or fast food,” Clements said. “Cajuns know something about preparing something at home with love. Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme are great and everything, but to say that a gumbo is a quick meal that you can get together is an injustice.”
Although Clements doesn’t want to challenge anyone’s personal claim to Cajun heritage, the filmmaker wants to shine a light on Acadiana as the most authentic yet most overlooked Cajun country.
“People assume all Cajuns are from or live in New Orleans. Acadiana gets no credit. I’m from Lafayette, and as soon as I tell people I’m Cajun, they assume I’m from New Orleans.” The root of the word “Cajun,” is in fact “Acadian,” the name of the 17th century colonists that settled Acadia in what is now Canada, and were later banished from the area by the British in large numbers.
In terms of discrimination, Clements said that Cajuns still have a ways to go before people can truly appreciate their traditions.
“Historically, Cajuns were discriminated against. Older Cajuns remember when they were called stupid and told that their version of French wasn’t real. This was all World War II stuff. Now I think the greatest discrimination is generalizing the Cajun culture, not really recognizing it as a very maintained culture with religion, language, traditions, and values,” Clements said.
Clements wants to share other’s stories with as large of an audience that he can get. “My intention is to take this around the world to film festivals. I want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to watch it. If I can make something that’s entertaining to a group of people, I can get the word out in a modern independent documentary format that can really effectively give value to the Cajun image,” Clements said.
Those with a passion for cultural preservation and documentaries should check out the Kickstarter page for We Are Cajun. He needs is $16,190, and he’s got to get it in the next week. Every donation counts, so do some slow cooking at home tonight and use your restaurant money to help a Cajun spread some knowledge.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
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