Into the South — Connecting with The Mississippi Delta Chinese

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Hosted by Nate Kan
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Emanuel Hahn & Andrew Kung

Hosted by Nate Kan
Audio by Elphick Wo
Photos by Emanuel Hahn & Andrew Kung

In this story, Nate chats with NY-based photographers Emanuel Hahn and Andrew Kung. While both have a large body of experience with commercial work, the two left the big city behind for a few weeks in October 2017 to personally connect with a community in the South that’s been rooted there for generations, but remains largely misunderstood—if known at all—by the rest of America.

Part photojournalism project, part personal exploration of racial and regional identity, The Mississippi Delta Chinese is audiovisual narrative that captures the community’s stories with honesty, respect and beauty.

Check out the full experience on the project website.

<p>4th generation cotton farmer Taylor Pang in Marks, Mississippi.</p>

4th generation cotton farmer Taylor Pang in Marks, Mississippi.

When we reached out to them, a lot of were asking us, 'What is your agenda, what are you trying to do with these photos?'

— Emanuel, on the community’s initial wariness following previous attempts to document them

<p>Jerome Seu stands in his shop in Greenville, Mississippi.</p>

Jerome Seu stands in his shop in Greenville, Mississippi.

<p>Gilroy and Sally Chow of Clarksdale. Now retired, Gilroy is a former NASA scientist while Sally was a teacher.</p>

Gilroy and Sally Chow of Clarksdale. Now retired, Gilroy is a former NASA scientist while Sally was a teacher.

What we quickly realized is that Southern Hospitality is very real. As soon as we broke down those barriers and built that trust, people opened up to us and treated us like we were family or like their grandchildren.

— Andrew, on the importance of building trust with the community before production

<p>Brothers Kwan: Shawn (mechanic) and Ryan (Delta State University student).</p>

Brothers Kwan: Shawn (mechanic) and Ryan (Delta State University student).

<p>Artist Steve Yee in East Memphis, Tennessee.</p>

Artist Steve Yee in East Memphis, Tennessee.

<p>Frieda Quon, retired librarian at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.</p>

Frieda Quon, retired librarian at the Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum.

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