The Mystery of Nunu: A Photo Essay.
My passion for photography stems from my curiosity towards people and understanding who they are, what makes them tick, how they think, and what makes them do the things that they do. I presume that this could be due to the influence of my previous marketing career, where I learned to use the art of story-telling in order to reach out to target audiences effectively.
Some may say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I believe that a picture is worth a thousand stories. Photography is the ultimate story-telling tool. It is a snippet of time. The capturing of a fleeting moment, where nostalgia and beauty meet. It is no wonder why we all keep photographs of the things that are dearest to us.
Unlike the creation of music and writing, photography treads into existing story-lines: the stories of real peoples’ lives. It is the magnifying glass between us and another world. Some are obvious, and others are so mysterious and enigmatic that they leave you with more questions than you had when you first started shooting.
During my last trip to the island of Mariah in Oman with my mentor and friend, David Nightingale, and another fellow photographer, Catalin Marin, I noticed graffiti on the main ferry port saying: نونو “Nunu”!
Who is Nunu? Who is calling for Nunu? Is Nunu a term of endearment? Or is it a tease? As we drove around the island we found more and more of the same graffiti spray-painted in red everywhere… from the walls of houses, to the back of street signs, and even rocks and sidewalks.
Our day became an obsessive chase to unravel the secret of Nunu. Every time I had spotted a new graffiti, we would stop the car, and jump out to take photographs. Some were obvious and exposed, while others were hidden in places you would not expect them to be.
Exploring these visual elements in a natural setting was a very intriguing process. Each of us had narrated the same story in our own style. Although we were taking photographs of the same things, we viewed them from different angles. (David’s take on this story will be posted as soon as he publishes it.)
What do you reckon is the story behind this graffiti? Is it a story of love? Nostalgia? Obsession? Have you come across anything like this in the past? Please share your stories with me, as I would love to hear them.
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