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Mario Tama September 6, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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New Orleans 2007

Mario Tama (b. 1979, USA) studied photojournalism at Rochester Institute of Technology. He began shooting for journal newspapers in suburban Washington D.C. before freelancing for The Washington Post and Agence France-Presse in Washington. Mario joined Getty Images in 2001 and has since covered global events including September 11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the funeral of Pope John Paul II and more recently, Hurricane Katrina – before, during and after the storm. He has received numerous awards from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Competition and the White House News Photographers Association.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken in the B.W. Cooper housing projects in New Orleans, known by locals as the “Calliope,” about two years after Katrina. The projects were always a dangerous place, yet for the people who lived there, it was home. They were a true incubator of New Orleans culture where Bounce music originated and where the Neville brothers and Master-P grew up. Most of the projects in New Orleans were torn down following Katrina in what many thought was an attempt to rid the city of poor African-Americans. Most of the people who lived in the Calliope have now been priced out of the city, as affordable housing stocks haven’t been replaced. A small section of B.W. Cooper remained open and I was fortunate enough to spend some time there. None of B.W. Cooper’s recreational areas were rebuilt after Katrina. Yet as you can see, New Orleanians are masters of improvisation. Of course, improvisation in New Orleans gave birth to jazz.”

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