In downtown Lafayette, there’s a shop called Deuxième Vie that provides secondhand materials for local artists: extended reach paint rollers, colored pencils, sidewalk chalk, thread, ink, broken pieces of porcelain, loose Mardi Gras beads, tiny plastic pigs, watch faces. One day, I found a stack of photographs. Thumbing through them, faces repeated and became familiar, places fleshed out from different perspectives of time and space, and a story started to tell itself.
It would be simple enough to say that these photos document a glass blowing festival in Girard Park in 2001. But, as you all know, answering that old chestnut what’s it about? when it comes to a piece of art hardly does justice to the experience of art. It would be simple enough to deem the photos amateur or kitschy, not worthy of attention. But I side with John Berger when it comes to the need to undo tired institutions and systems of value: we should do what we can to work against stultifying status quos, for example “that art, with its unique undiminished authority, justifies most other forms of authority, that art makes inequality seem noble and hierarchies seem thrilling.” We need art by other means.
So the found photos found their way into Rougarou. It’s my hope that the ethos behind including these photos speaks to the ethos of the texts we publish. It’s also my hope that Rougarou will find its own deuxième vie despite having to say goodbye to Kym, Couri, and others. We can’t thank them enough for their work and guidance and we’re looking forward to discovering the new Rougarou together.
This issue is a real peach. We’re excited to share it with you. Thanks to all the writers who grace our pages. Thanks to the editors, readers, and copyeditors, new and old. And thanks to our readers. Let’s eat.
Maxwell Gontarek and Brandi Hanna
Maxwell Gontarek, Brandi Hanna
Jahidul Alam, Haven Gomez, Sam Huang, Madeline Trosclair
Patrick Caoile, Dora Holland
Harold Bosstick, Taylor Decuir, Ladi Opaluwa, Charlie Serigne
Chrys Albarado, Cortney Levine