Cajun Crawfish Farmers in South Louisiana — Culture AND Agriculture

The lines that one can draw between the (primarily western) developments in agriculture and the degradation of culture by way of globalization is no coincidence.

Many years ago, I launched a campaign to make a film about what it means to be \”Cajun.\”  This was important to me because I myself identify as Cajun.  Many people associate the word Cajun with a particular style of cooking but fail to see it as a culture or people with a specific heritage, set of customs, language, and perhaps lastly, cuisine.

I love the fact that Cajuns are celebrated for their cooking but for those who are generally aware of the culture, they are often looked down upon and associated with ideas of being poorly educated, crass, drunk or \”backwards.\”  This could be nothing further from the truth but rather just a reflection of how society has progressed to needing to marginalize certain groups to feel better about themselves.  So my job, if it were in this endeavor was to \”set the record straight.\”

My firm at the time invested in an exploratory trip to South Louisiana with the purposes of making a film trailer and gathering my first several interviews which I did.  In the end, the crowdfunding campaign did not reach it\’s goal and I was at point in my life as a film-maker when I did not think this was something that I wanted to do in an underfunded manner.  All of that being said, I emerged with several interviews which really captured the lives and life work of several people.  These Crawfish Farmers were two of those people.

One day this project popped into my head. I felt regret for never doing ANYTHING with the footage and I thought about the farmers. I remembered speaking with them about pesticides and organics and polycultures.  This was never a modus operandi for the Cajun film but now, all of it started to make sense. I had to investigate. I had to remember.

When I pulled the old hard drive labeled \”WE ARE CAJUN\” I blew the dust out of the ports to ensure that the connection would be strong and true. I plugged it in one night and started watching the raw interview of the Crawfish Farmer.  I was blown away not only by the vital agricultural exposition and information within this interview with these two far from backward agrarians.  I then proceeded to watch an interview I did with an old friend Bernard Pierce who spoke very passionately about the marginalization of the Creole culture within the setting of the Bayou Teche, and beyond.  He spoke deeply about culture interrelations that build larger cultures.  There was more too. I spoke with two Cajun Historians and a Catholic Priest (the devoted foundational religion of the Cajuns) I began to see ecosystems and relationships between everything and decided that something needed to be done.

So now we are we watching this at The Forest Ranch and it\’s become clear to me why I asked some of the questions that I asked and perhaps even why I embarked on that project years ago.


The lines that one can draw between the (primarily western) developments in agriculture and the degradation of culture by way of globalization is no coincidence.  All of this becomes clear as we will watch these films about South Louisiana.  I hope you enjoy!

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