Editor’s Note: Claire Bangser is a New Orleans-based freelance photographer and short filmmaker, and founder of the Roots and Wings Creative. Her work – spanning commercial and editorial projects – is centered around telling human stories powerfully. In February 2014, she started the popular New Orleans street portrait project NOLAbeings. Since then, her work has been featured by a wide range of media, including National Geographic, The New York Times, TIME, Wired, Glamour, Vox, Amazon’s DP Review, Le Parisien Magazine and New Orleans Magazine. Claire leads trips every summer for National Geographic Student Expeditions, where she teaches filmmaking and photography to high school students abroad.
In this short film about Ihssan, a New Orleanian from Iraq who came to the US on a refugee visa after serving as an interpreter and cultural advisor for the US Forces, Claire blends her photographic eye and sociological interest in the world into this man’s story. The film was made in collaboration with the Catholic Charities Refugee Services Program.