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CHamoru artist & Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Manny Crisostomo

Guam’s first and only Pulitzer Prize winner, Manny Crisostomo, is a tireless advocate and chronicler of indigenous people and cultures of the Pacific, including CHamorus living in the Marianas and in the diaspora.
His unique Foto Fashion collection is curated from his intensive catalog of images and designs of Oceania and indigenous people of the Pacific. Limited edition prints are from four decades shooting around the world.

About the Manaotao Sanlagu Project

In 1991 I wrote in my book Legacy of Guam: I Kustumbren Chamoru “Oh, to be home again. We Chamorus have a word for such yearnings. ‘Mahalang’’ speaks of missing someone or something. It stirs a number of feelings inside me – loneliness, homesickness, a longing for the familiar. I see a lifetime of images of Guam compressed within the time it takes to utter the phrase, ‘Mahalang yu’.”

Three decades later I find myself again very “mahalang” but do not have any realistic way of moving back home to Guam like I did 30 years earlier. A friend of mine told me that feeling is a common, almost universal, one that Chamorus away from home speak about. She suggested that I mitigate this by replacing this intense sense of longing with a sense of belonging. She said to find people with similar experiences. Find Chamorus, connect with them and be mahalang together — and in the process, find a sense of belonging.

This transition from longing to belonging is the crux of my new work.

It’s a simple premise: To photograph and share the stories of CHamorus from the Marianas living away from the home islands in a visual documentary, “Manaotao Sanlagu: CHamorus from the Marianas” translated as “our people, the CHamorus, overseas.”

-Manny Crisostomo