Alexis Pazoumian is Armenian artist, born in Paris. He currently works as a photographer and director. He attended school for graphic design in Paris. In 2012 he spent a year in a favela of Rio de Jeneira. After returning to Paris in 2013, he had his first solo exhibition of photographic work.The concepts of territory, identity and society motivate his work. Through photographic projects in the favelas of Brazil, India, Armenia and recently in New-Orleans he has discovered a passion for studying humans in their environment. Alexis is currently a director of music video and short films. He joined the Hans Lucas Studio in 2016. Today we share his series, Faubourg Treme.
Ten years after Katrina, “Faubourg Treme” focuses on the daily life of the population living in one of the most legendary and historical districts of New Orleans when it comes to African-American culture: TREME. Every Sunday, the slaves would gather in its very heart, “Congo Square”, and dance to the rhythm of the percussions from their long lost, distant homeland. Later in time, the “Creoles of color”, free colored people, would regularly give brass concerts on the very same Square. Without knowing it, they were grounding the foundations of what would become one of the world’s most fertile music genre: Jazz music.
I decided to go back there, in order to observe the daily life of Treme’s inhabitants 10 years after the Katrina disaster. Music never left the city. Instead it exists in all the aspects of local culture, and has blended in each and every aspect of the city’s life : Religion, education, tradition ( specially jazz funeral and indians of mardi gras ) bars, streets, etc. With the yearly climax of Mardi Gras during which the entire city dances as one to the upbeat rhythm of the carnival and Indians. I worked about this different topics in order to understand better how work this city and his unique population.
The Night, neighborhood far from the center liven up, a special atmosphere of places, the lights of bars outside give an unique aesthetic. Each and every space of Treme is inhabited by music, as a remedy against the bitterness of a life that has never been easy around there. This project aims at studying the traditions and life of these people who, after Katrina, were abandoned and left aside by all, as David Simon reminded us in his magnificent tv show “Treme”. It is an outlook on these men and women who live and sometimes even survive to the sound of brass. The beauty of exaltation and fervor triggered by music has become the center of my photographic approach to this subject.
To view more of Alexis’ work please visit his website.