HAVE you ever thought of how your copy of a daily newspaper comes into your hands? Or how a flat tire returns to normal so you can drive your vehicle again?If you need a haircut or makeover, a visit to the beauty parlor solves it all. If you need to get around the island and you have no car, there are taxis to take you to your destination. Go to a store and a salesclerk will be there to assist you.
Each of these everyday things that we all take for granted are possible because of real people with real lives.
For two weeks in August last year, renowned photographer and historian Dr. Dirk Spennemann made the rounds observing and capturing people from all walks of life on Saipan, Tinian and Guam, freezing moments of everyday life.
Spennemann covered a wide variety of subjects documenting the daily lives of people in the Marianas, both at work and at play.
All these moments are now available for free viewing in the exhibit “Marianas Wide,” which opened on Wednesday night at the CNMI Museum of History and Culture on Middle Road in Garapan.
Go over the images and see for yourself how Spennemann captured the everyday stories in stores, churches, the night market, tourist sites, farms and a scrap metal shop, as well as other work places, at the cultural center and historical sites. You will meet familiar faces in these powerful images.
They tell stories about life and people in the Marianas. Spennemann crossed borders and cultural barriers in these snap shots, capturing Chamorros, Carolinians, Koreans, Japanese, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Chinese and other islanders in Micronesia.
These images will be valuable parts of the history of the islands, giving future generations glimpses of what life was in the Marianas in the early years of the 21st century.
Spennemann is an Australia-based photographer whose work explores the interaction of cultural expression, landscape and human experience through the medium of photography. He is associate professor of cultural heritage studies at Charles Sturt University in Albury, Australia.
Spennemann used a vintage 1960s Panon Widelux — one of those Japanese 35mm film cameras designed to reproduce a panoramic image covering 120 degrees, the same breadth of vision that the human eye normally sees.
Spennemann’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Australia, Alaska, California and Saipan. Visit http://www.ausphoto.net to see more of Spennemann’s images.
Photographers, historians and community members attended yesterday’s opening of the exhibit, which will run until July 13. For more information, call the CNMI Museum at 664-2160.
First published HERE