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Maskun

vor 9 Jahren639 views

»Maskun« in the Pingelapese language means »don`t see«.
Pingelap is a small Island in the Pacific Ocean and belongs to the Federated States of Micronesia. About 240 people live on this atoll. Around ten percent of them suffer from acromatopsia, a genetic colourblindness. In addition the handicapped are only able to see their environment very diffuse and they react very sensitively to bright light.
In the book »The Island of the Colourblind«, the author Oliver Sacks describes the life of the inhabitants of Pingelap. His interest is based on the question, if, because of the multitude of the involved, there is an independant culture of colourblind people.
Because of the book I felt inspired to travel to Pingelap. I took notice of the perception of the community with my camera. In daily life the affected people are hardly distinguishable from the ordinary ones. Only the permanent twinking of the eyes in a bright environment tells who is suffering from Maskun.
In the search for signs, which could visualize the conditions of the people who suffer from this disease, every situation on the island had to be thought over. The differences are elusive, so that the pictures are getting the atmosphere of a fevered quest. The monochromatic pictures are an abstraction of the elsewise colourful south see idyll. Similar is the case of the windows of an achromate‘s house, which are provided with coloured tape. The blaze of colour ( being alike the jungle infront of the door) is only for protecting the eyes from the bright light.
This photographic contention is an approchement to the strange perception of the people with Maskun. On the base of the narrative photographic examination the culture of the islanders is only reflected as unreal. Through the intentional use of focus, subjects like landscapes and Humans are becoming more abstract. This photographs give an impulsion to deal with different perceptions and offer a view on a very special society.