Sep. 3—In Alcalde, New Mexico, a Native American man dances on top of the pedestal from which the controversial statue of Juan de Oñate was recently removed. In Santa Fe, a man scours the ground, searching for a piece of the shattered obelisk on the Santa Fe Plaza to keep as a memento. In Albuquerque, a homeless woman, her sister, and niece manage to scrape up enough money to rent a room for the night.
Protests, homelessness, immigration, criminal justice reform, and substance abuse didn’t disappear during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in many instances were only exacerbated by it. In an online photo collection, Our Lives Now: A Photographic Journal of Life During the Pandemic (searchlightnm.org/our-lives-now), writer and photographer Don Usner chronicled life during that time, shooting images for stories published by Searchlight New Mexico and shooting on his own.
For most of his career, the 64-year-old was