Love Letter to the Soldier

A letter from a Papuan woman to an Indonesian soldier who was once based in her village on the PNG-Indonesian border. Theirs was a controversial relationship but she begs him to return to meet their three-year-old daughter: “I will continue to wait for you, Samsul. I don’t care what people say.”

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Papua Calling

Ustad Adnan and Fadhal are part of a small minority of West Papuan Muslims. They argue that the problems in Papua don’t just affect the predominantly Christian population. “Don’t view the problems in Papua as Christian problems,” says Fadhal. “This is not a religious problem, this a humanitarian problem.”

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What Mama Kasmira Wants

A Papuan cocoa farmer from the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border region had to leave her farm to work for a palm plantation when the village elders made a deal with a Rajawali Group company to sell her land. Every day Kasmira works hard under the boiling hot sun, clearing bushes for the plantation. However, she has great hopes for her three children.

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Left To Survive

Dominikus Mesas lives in the Keerom District, near the northern border of West Papua and Papua New Guinea. While other villagers succumbed to selling their lands to palm plantation companies, he is resilient in keeping his own lands and urges others to do the same.

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The Last Hunter

In 1990 the Wasur National Park in Merauke was made to protect the biodiversity and empower the local inhabitants. In 2012 there are very few animals left in the park. Leo Wambitman, a hunter who lives in the Yanggandur village, is on the verge of giving up his bow and arrow to sell timber instead.

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Awin Meke

Papuan women traders struggle to sell their goods in modern Jayapura. In their first fight, the women won a space to set up shop. However, local city administrators backed out of their promise to support them by opening a competing market, run by non-Papuans, which sells the same goods. ‘Awin’ is ‘mother’ in the Biak language, and ‘meke’ means ‘belonging’ in the Wamena language, so the mamas refer to ‘awin meke’ as ‘what belongs to us’.

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