From the storyteller, “Marie Baron was among thousands of forçats, or French criminals sent to Louisiana in the early 1700s as forced laborers. Most were convicted for life terms, but if they survived the first few years (the majority did not), they could acquire a de facto freedom. In 1719, Marie was shipped with several other women from France “under orders of the king.” New Orleans’s mythology has remembered these early women as prostitutes, but Marie’s life simply illustrates the harsh conditions of French working-class women, both at home and in the colonies.”
Paper Monuments is a public art and public history project designed to elevate the voices of the people of New Orleans, as a critical process towards creating new narratives and symbols of our city that represent our collective visions, and to honor the erased histories of the people, events, movements, and places that have made up the past 300 years as we look to the future. Artist: Jeffrey Goodman. Storyteller: Shannon Lee Dawdy. Matted and framed.