Thursday, May 3

New Oral History Project Online: Down the Bayou

We are pleased to announce that our latest oral history project, Down the Bayou, is now part of our online archive.

The people of Bayou Lafourche and Grand Isle, Louisiana, live and work smack dab at the center of nature—an aerial view of the area shows more water than land, and Grand Isle is definitively the end of civilization, tapering off into the Gulf of Mexico. They also live at the heart of our country’s most expansive oilfield. Steel structures crisscross the horizon, helicopters hum overhead, and drawbridges lift to allow crew and supply boats an easy path down the bayou to service and stock rigs in the Gulf. To the outsider, this intermix of oil and wilderness appears odd. Even ugly. But from the perspective of the bayou Cajuns (their more landlocked kin, the prairie Cajuns, live around Lafayette), the oilfield and nature coexist in harmony, the financial gains from the former funding good times in the latter.

Sara Roahen set out to talk with subjects who could help paint a picture of the area’s food culture. What she found was a set of people who necessarily walk a line between industry and nature.

Get to know the people of Bayou Lafourche and Grand Isle by visiting the project online.

And then listen to the latest edition of Okracast, the SFA podcast, to listen to a Down the Bayou interview in its entirety: Nick Collins of Collins Oyster Company.