L. Kasimu Harris’ love affair with news started around 1985 as a second grader when he began reading the newspaper. His passion for photography came a decade later, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival when he took his father’s Canon AE-1, a 35mm camera purchased in 1976, to document jazz musicians. Since then, a camera has never been too far from his hands.
In 2002, Harris began honing his writing skill as a student at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he was a senior staff reporter at the school’s newspaper. He graduated from MTSU with a B.B.A. in entrepreneurship, then decided to further his journalism studies. Harris enrolled in the M.A. program at the University of Mississippi during the fall of 2005, days before Hurricane Katrina devastated his native New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He learned to be a compassionate journalist and work through personal tragedy while reporting from New Orleans 45 days after Katrina.
Harris graduated in 2008, but his studies went past journalism and into fine art and documentary photography. Moreover, his work environment went beyond America and Harris has reported from South Africa, Paris and Italy.
He has traveled across America photographing Delfeayo Marsalis, a jazz musician, and has meandered through the streets of New Orleans documenting Mardi Gras Indians and brass band second-lines.
Harris is a storyteller who uses writing, photography and video to push narratives. He has shown in 20 group exhibitions across America, two abroad and three solo photography exhibitions. This summer, Harris’ War on the Benighted series is a part of Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories, a group exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Harris’ work modulates among photojournalism, documenting culture and constructed realities to tell stories of underrepresented communities in New Orleans and beyond. Harris’ feature for Edible New Orleans was selected for the book “Best Food Writing 2016.” Currently, he is a food columnist and photography contributor for the Bitter Southerner. Harris has images in several publications including Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style, by Shantrelle P. Lewis by Aperture. He holds a BBA in entrepreneurship from Middle Tennessee State University and a MA in Journalism from the University of Mississippi.