I am very excited to finally be heading back to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
I have a busy trip booked that will see me meeting a Minister from the Autonomous Bougainville Government, several farmers from the Central Bougainville region and many friends that I have made from my previous trips there. I have been chipping away at this project for three years now and I feel as though I am only just starting to gain an understanding of the place and people who make up this Pacific island nation.
I have never travelled to a more diverse place – there are so many languages, so much history and so many political views in such a compact, geographically diverse island.
This trip I am aiming to find more ways to give back to the people in exchange for their stories of life during this period of autonomy. I am planning on taking the junior-school photos at Panguna (again) and have packed a lot of instant polaroid film for the people I meet and photograph during my visit. I will also be taking a drone with me for the first time to video the villages and landscapes to help me in painting a better picture of life in Bougainville. I plan to use this footage to gain support for funding this project a little further down the track... a project within a project.
Wish me luck on all fronts!