Mardi Gras 1956: Through My Father’s Lens

Mardi Gras 1956: Through My Father’s Lens

Posthumously discovered photos of a long-ago holiday parade help an artist discover her dad's secret passion, and cherish his memory. (Boing Boing)

As artist Mar Dore watches historic footage of a 1956 Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, she scans the faces in the parade crowd for her father, John Mizenko, who coincidentally was shooting still photographs at the same time and place the film was made. She didn’t know this until after he died, when she stumbled across boxes of slides her father had taken at Mardi Gras. She considers those pictures a “gift” from her Dad.

Mizenko’s photos offer a glimpse of what New Orleans was like in the Fifties, and document how the city has changed. Women wearing respectable hats and white gloves, outlandish aluminum foil-clad floats and jubilant crowds in front of the now-defunct Miller-Wohls department store are just some of the many images in this time capsule of Canal Street.

Dore knew her father loved Mardi Gras, but was surprised and touched to discover his love of photography. She discovered a part of her history, as well as her father’s joy in capturing the spirit of New Orleans.

This Boing Boing video poignantly juxtaposes the unknown filmmaker’s archival footage and fresh historical narrative with Mizenko’s colorful still images that are accompanied by his daughter Mar Dore’s reminiscences.

CHANNEL: Boing Boing

Length: 5:16

Co-produced by Xeni Jardin, Mar Dore, Eric Mittleman
Executive Producer, Director, Script, Narration: Lee Nima Mam Ajq’ij & Dr. M.X. Quetzalkanbalam