Once the world's richest open cut gold mine, nowadays Panguna Mine is a hole in the earth full of toxic substances and big enough for clouds to live in (see video above). Since its inception, it has been the carrot dangled by politicians and entrepreneurs to the people of Bougainville. The mine and its value to Bougainville is such a complex equation that I am only slowly coming to understand it after four years of working on my documentary project.Read More
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!
After a 10 year civil war with the Papua New Guinean (PNG) Government, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will vote for independence between 2015 and 2020 and my goal is to document what life is like their, through my photography, during this period.Read More