The actress, singer and New Orleans native spent the past five years documenting the effects of Hurricane Katrina on her and her family. On May 20, Wilson will present her documentary, “Crepe Covered Sidewalks,” at the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Did your project start immediately following the hurricane? I got the idea to film right after Katrina. I was living in New York at the time and I really wanted to go back home and be with my family, to contribute something positive about New Orleans. I really wanted to tell the story from the perspectives of people who are from the city.
What unique insight were you able to deliver because you’re from the city? Being a native, I know certain overlooked places in the city that an outsider wouldn’t know.
What were some of the most profound things you experienced while filming? We definitely had to go to a lot of funerals, and that was very difficult. There was so much devastation following the hurricane, so to go into homes where people lost everything was very difficult.
Do you live in New Orleans now? I actually live in San Francisco now, but I go back ... as often as I can. It’s been a frustrating recovery there, but I really think the collective spirits of the people have been lifted following the hurricane.
— Will Reisman