NH Photographer Becky Field's “Different Roots, Common Dreams”

A photographer shows the state’s emerging cultural diversity



It started the day that vile graffiti was scrawled  on the homes of four refugee families in Concord ­— Becky Field calls it “an act of hate.” The incident inspired Field, then a fledgling photographer, to portray the rich diversity of the state’s immigrant communities with her photographs. (See our feature on her work here.)

Camera in hand, she was soon documenting the daily lives of people from all over the world, places like Bhutan, Iraq, Myanmar and Sudan. She says, “It was not uncommon for me to be the only American-born person in the middle of a joyful party or sacred service.”

The images that she captured have been gathered in a book, just released this month, “Different Roots, Common Dreams” [Peter E. Randall Publisher, $35]. The photographs are divided into sections: Faces, Young People, Together with Family and Friends, Working to Support Families, Cultural Traditions, Learning New Skills, Keeping the Faith and Journey Stories.             

“Faces” is perhaps the most riveting. You see beautifully photographed faces, some looking totally Americanized, baseball cap and all, but most wearing the colorful clothing of their native land. They are faces that invite questions.

Some questions are answered in the “Journey Stories.” There, refugees share their reasons for leaving their homes to come to America. Many of their hardships are difficult for us to imagine.

Field wanted to show the beauty and resilience of new Americans who now call New Hampshire home. She succeeded brilliantly. 

 

More book reviews you might be interested in

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Three New Books for Your New Hampshire Shelf

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An Unsung Heroine Has Her Day

"Never Caught" tells the story of a presidential slave who found freedom in New Hampshire.

Gift Guide: New Hampshire's Best New Books

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Where Beauty and Darkness Intersect

A high school counselor by day and photographer by night explores dark portraiture in "Michael Winters: Friends and Muses."
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