David Anderson will be going back to Enewetak and Ujelang to reconnect with people he lived with, in the 1970’ies and take the same photos he took back then to document social changes as well as see how nature has reclaimed Ujelang since it’s last human residents left.
The Photo Expo will be about the growing Micronesian population in the USA, with focus on the current impact of climate change and forced migration as well as the nuclear testing legacy, told through pictures taken of people who lived in the islands 20-30 years ago with new pictures of the same people today, some here some in the Islands, and their stories next to the photos.
Currently, the fastest growing population group on the west coast is the Pacific Islanders from the COFA nations. Despite having a rich culture and long term roots in Oregon, the community is largely forgotten. Equally, the injustice that was done to them, first with nuclear testing in their homeland, and lately climate change displacement, seems to be overlooked. The Oregon Micronesians, some born here, some migrated, are still part of us and our shared history. Clackamas is one of the centers of Micronesian communities, and we hope to bring this under-served community to light, and share their story equally with all other Oregonians.
We hope to bring in at least 1000-1500 people to our expo over 14 days. We will do this through our partnership organizations, social media, and media outlets.
The impact on the general population is hard to quantify, but based on our previous project (building an Outrigger downtown Portland last year), our community reports significant increase in awareness about the Pacific Islanders (People now know that there exists such a place and the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau, and that not all Pacific Islanders are from Hawaii).
With this photo expo, we are continuing our effort to build community bridges between a largely forgotten population group and the general population. Almost everyone we meet is shocked to learn how many Micronesian and Micronesian descendants live and work in the USA.
David has been in contact will most of the people he has pictures of (that are still with us), and they are all willing to be part of this project.
About Photo Journalist David Anderson
David is a former Marshall Islands Peace Corps volunteer. Working there he collected an extensive collection of pictures of the local population.