The Second Line

By  |  January 9, 2017
 Chosen Few at Revolution second line, Tremé, New Orleans. All images © Charles Muir Lovell Chosen Few at Revolution second line, Tremé, New Orleans. All images © Charles Muir Lovell

Artist: Charles Muir Lovell

Project: New Orleans Second Line Culture

Description: New Orleans Second Lines Culture presents traditions of New Orleans’s African American community seen in second line parades organized by social aid and pleasure clubs. This unique New Orleans art form is derived from West African dance circles and practiced on Sundays in the Tremé neighborhood in Congo Square. The social aid and pleasure clubs date back over 130 years to the founding of Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association in 1884 and were initially formed to provide insurance and burial rights for the African Americans. Lovell has sought to document these cultural traditions since he moved to New Orleans in 2008; he photographs every parade on a weekly basis.


Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New Orleans photographer Charles M. Lovell has spent ten years documenting the city’s second line parades, capturing and preserving a unique and vibrant part of Louisiana culture. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, are found in several permanent collections, and can be seen on his website and on Instagram at @charleslovellart.

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