Foundation Hosts Photo Exhibit of New Hampshire’s Cultural Diversity 09.22.2014

Somali woman

A young Somali woman photographed by Becky Field in Manchester

 

CONCORD – New Hampshire is generally known for having low cultural diversity, but Becky Field has a different view of the Granite State.

Three years ago, she started a photography project to document the lives of foreign-born residents in New Hampshire. Since then she has been immersed in an abundance of cultural and ethnic diversity.

The proof is on display with a free exhibit at the Foundation for Healthy Communities (FHC) that will run through November.

Focusing on immigrants and refugees, Field has photographed people from more than 45 countries. She has been invited into homes and served interesting food; photographed ethnic and religious ceremonies; and documented people at work and at play. She has gone to citizenship ceremonies and recorded that important day for New Americans. She has witnessed the universal grief of losing loved ones, even photographing funerals at the families’ request. She has made new friends and learned about the lives and experiences of our New American neighbors.

The photographs show New Americans learning new skills, having fun, and practicing their traditions.

“The Foundation for Healthy Communities works to support health and improve access to quality health care for all of the diverse population groups in the state,” said Shawn LaFrance, executive director of the FHC. “We are excited to have Becky’s engaging photographs on display to demonstrate the diversity of people who live in New Hampshire.”

By using these powerful images, Field’s project shows that while we have many differences, we still have the same dreams to raise healthy happy children, work to support our families, and learn new skills and practice traditions, both old and new.

“My intent is to show the strength, vitality and beauty that cultural and ethnic diversity brings to our communities,” said Field.

Field holds a Certificate in Photography from the NH Institute of Art in Manchester. One of her photographs of a Somali girl was a winner in the FACES 2013 Contest in the magazine Photo District News. She lives in Concord.

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