HBO Second Line in the Treme

Treme Crew Party Second LineGood lord, it’s hot in New Orleans! I know, I know–it’s a good problem to have if you are living somewhere where it’s already snowing. But I long for fall bike rides. Then again, the sun felt good as I headed out on my bike toward the Treme after watching President Obama’s Town Hall at UNO, skirt flying and doing my bike dance. Summertime in October. Whoa.I met up with J. for a second line put on by HBO to welcome the crew of the new show, Treme. I thought this was going to be part of a shoot, so sped over hoping to sneak in as an extra, but no such luck. I took this picture of folks dancing outside the Backstreet Cultural Museum and thought about the many layers of performance going on here. The second line refers to the people who follow the main line of a parade put on by a Social Aide and Pleasure Club, with roots in west African, Christian, and other cultural traditions, but this performance was very different, not an organic celebration, but one commissioned by HBO to celebrate the filming of a series that will represent life in this neighborhood. It felt a bit strange to be there, like this was a performance many times removed from the tradition, and as an onlooker, it felt a bit like trespassing on a trespass, if that makes any sense. People seemed to have a good time, and I’m sure I’ll have lots more chances to think about questions of authenticity, appropriation, memory, voyeurism, and all that good stuff as they film hopefully many, many seasons here.

4 thoughts on “HBO Second Line in the Treme

  1. I envy you your sunshine. I’ve complained about this year’s all-too-sudden fall in the comments section of at least three blogs. I can’t help it; it’s just too cold too soon (and too wet, period).

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