In 2004, after I finished my master thesis in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Heidelberg, I was one of ten students who got offered the opportunity to conduct fieldwork as part of my dissertation. I didn't have much time to write a proposal and also, I had no clue where to go.
Then I bumped into Don Rubinstein, Ph. D. Professor of Anthropology, who conducted Fieldwork in Micronesia on the Island of Fais in 1973 - when I was not even 1 year old. He came to Heidelberg in summer 2003 to give a lecture on Micronesia and some of its outer islands, Yap and Fais. He brought Sesario Sigam with him, a Fais-Islander, with whom I made friends, had a couple of beers and just hung out in Heidelberg during his stay. Sesario was one of Don Rubinstein's students at the University of Guam. When he and Don Rubinstein left Heidelberg at the end of 2003, Sesario told me: "Come to Fais! You will love my island! I will tell my family, that you are coming."
I didn't really take that very seriously, but the idea of going to Fais - that little outer island of Micronesia with 300 inhabitants - didn't let me go.
3 month later I was sitting in the plane to Micronesia. It all felt surreal. In my notebook I wrote that day: "I didn't feel any pain the last 3 month of leaving home. It was pure excitement. Because suddenly my dream came true: to combine my love for Anthropology and Photography!"
Since there was no electricity on the island, I had to go analog. So I brought 400 film rolls with me, color slides and b/w Ilford FP4 and HP5. Due to the temperature and humidity, I had to improvise and developed the b/w films on the spot with a self-made "dark-room", a little box with two holes to stick my hands through. The slides I sent back to Germany. Only one batch didn't arrive. I photographed with two cameras: 35mm Nikon FM2 and a medium format Pentax 67. When I was back in Germany, I scanned the negatives and slides with a Nikon 9000 scanner.
The first photo shows Sesario's family, who adopted me and with whom I stayed most of the time of my stay.