The 2011 9/11 Photography Freedom Project

by Jim on 2011/09/30

This post is a work-in-progress, which is why I haven’t alerted anyone to its presence yet or posted it anywhere.  This will be a compilation post for the 9/11 project, and I want it to have a September month in the automatic URL and the automatic archives but did not have time to do anything with it before the month ended except make a post of a few paragraphs.  I’ll announce later when this is completed.  Thanks for all of your support.



This is a compilation post for my big 9/11 photography project.  This project  was inspired by the assault on and erosion of civil liberties in the United States of America (and other parts of the world) in a world after the September 2001 terrorist attacks as well as the nasty behavior expressed by Americans since then.

Like many photographers, I’ve had several encounters with law enforcement in the post-9/11 world for my safe, legal, and harmless actions, but a particular incident with the New Orleans Police Department in April 2008 in which my constitutional rights were violated as I was detained for an hour-and-15-minutes stood out.  That incident, which led to a call to action for photographs to get out and affirm our freedoms on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, led to the long article, published September 5, that started this project:

2011/09/11 – A Call To Glass For You Photographers

As you can see, that article got plenty of comments in the comments section, and according to Facebook, it was shared more than 60 times on that site.

In my first follow-up post to this, I discussed how we have become slaves to fear, and how we are allowing ourselves to change who we are with our “security” culture.

In my second follow-up, I expressed my recent awakening and empathy about the “driving while black” issue, and how it relates to what has happened to me and other photographers.

In my third follow-up post, posted on the eve of this year’s 9/11, I offered some final thoughts before my big day of railroad photography, hinting at the fears I’d experience later that night as I was kept up most of the night with visions of myself being taken to jail for taking pictures or refusing to relinquish my equipment or my pictures.

Part 1

Jimbaux expresses deep fears and eerie connections to someone else on this morning of 9/11.  Chasing and photographing Amtrak’s Crescent passenger train from New Orleans to Slidell, Jimbaux has an encounter with law enforcement early in the morning, but it turns out to be even more than that.

Part 2

Amtrak Special Agent Bell tells Jimbaux more revealing sides of his 2008 incident with the New Orleans Police Department, which leads to a weird discussion in the comments section.  Jimbaux photographs barges on Lake Ponchartrain before returning to New Orleans to photograph some Norfolk Southern Railway action.

Part 3

Most of what is shown here is Norfolk Southern Railway train 314 switching at NS Oliver Yard in New Orleans, with the last picture showing the southbound trains waiting for the 314 to clear.

Part 4

Comments on race, racism, and racial profiling among pictures on NS train 314 leaving before three southbound NS trains arrive, CSX’s transfer to the Canadian National Railway returns home, a stranded woman begs for help, and the southbound City of New Orleans arrives.

Part 5

The end.  Amtrak’s Sunset Limited arrives shortly after the City of New Orleans, a BNSF train climbs the Huey P. Long Bridge, and moonrise on the Kansas City Southern Railway.

I followed up with one post showing the pictures that other people took on 2011/09/11.

More to come . . . .

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