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From New Orleans to Amsterdam and back, here’s the story of the oldest-known footage of Mardi Gras

A still photograph of the 1898 film, Mardi Gras Carnival, shows the Krewe of Rex rolling through New Orleans
Photo courtesy of the Eye Filmmuseum
A still photograph of the 1898 film, Mardi Gras Carnival, shows the Krewe of Rex rolling through New Orleans

Last week, the Library of Congress announced that the short silent film titled Mardi Gras Carnival has been added to the National Film Registry. The film, which captures about two minutes of the Krewe of Rex rolling through New Orleans in 1898, is this year’s oldest inductee.

But this film was actually long thought to be lost. Until Mackenzie Roberts Beasley, an audiovisual researcher and archivist for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, tracked it down earlier this year in a trail that led her all the way to Europe. She joins us for more about her unlikely journey to recovering the footage.

Last week, a Louisiana grand jury brought criminal charges against five officers in a case involving Ronald Greene, a Black man who died in police custody in 2019. Paul Braun, Capitol Access reporter for WRKF, has the story.

But first, all week we’ve been bringing you the story of Cameroonian asylum-seekers who found themselves in Louisiana, where judges were less likely to grant asylum. As they languished in detention, many say they were treated poorly and even tortured.

Today, we bring you the final story from Type Investigations and the Gulf States Newsroom, as Bobbi-Jeanne Misick tells the stories of two men and their years-long search for protection.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.