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Historical photographs are valuable: Masidi
Published on: Sunday, July 16, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said historical photographs taken in the State were valuable as they served as records of the State's past for future generations.

Masidi said the Sabah Museum has several photographic collections such as that of Woolley, Landgraf, Knowles and Berwick, historically all of which are very valuable; Woolley's pre-war photos date from 1906 to 1927, and Knowles post-war photos date from 1947-1950s.

"Whatever dates, era or period photographs are taken, they become permanent records, become history and therefore valuable, though some are definitely more precious than others, such as the Woolley photos due to their rarity and age.

He said this in his speech read out by Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi at the launching of the Faces of Sabah exhibition by Latana at the Sabah Museum, in conjunction with its 52nd anniversary, Saturday.

Masidi said he was pleased to officiate a photographic exhibition entitled "Faces of Sabah" by Latana at the Museum where 25 black and white images from Latana's collection were displayed.

He said the "Faces of Sabah" images were taken by Latana in the 1980s, 30 years or just a generation ago.

"Although considered as recent photographs, they are also valuable as they are historical records.

Looking at the images, one might think they were taken at least 50 or more years ago, as many of the images are not seen any more today."

"Social changes in Sabah in the last 30 years have been so dramatic the old lifestyle is almost obsolete.

Thanks to these images beautifully captured by Latana, we can view Sabah's nostalgic past.

"In the 1980s, if you recall, more and more people were into colour photographs; black and white photographs were becoming less popular. It is therefore quite surprising, but fortunate, that Latana was still taking black and white photographs.

"What she had done is to history's advantage, because we now know that black and white photographs last more than 150 years, whereas colour photographs - well, just ask yourselves, how good are your wedding photos compared to your parents'?"

He also commended Latana for her efforts in documenting the people of Sabah through her lenses.

"I would also like to thank her for sharing her collection with the people of Sabah through this special exhibition." - Neil Chan

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