Indonesia International Photography Week

03rd January 2015
Indonesia International Photography Week 2014

In June 2014, I spent nearly 2 weeks on a photographic tour of Indonesia. There were delegates from 23 countries invited by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. The countries represented were Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Myanmar, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and USA.

The photo week was organised by a prominent Indonesian photographer, Agatha Bunanta and her highly efficient team. The idea was to promote some of Indonesia's lesser known islands by invitiing well known and award winning photographers from around the world. There will be an exhibition of our images in Jakarta early 2015 and a book is planned.

Day one was a day of presentations and talks by some of the invited photographers in the National museum in Jakarta, where we were joined that evening by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mrs Mari Elka Pangestu, who officially opened the Indonesia International photo Week 2014.

After that there was little rest until the tour ended in Bali. In between we visited three of Indonesia's larger islands, Buton, Lubuan Bajo and Lombok. We visited many traditional villages, starting as early as 1am to catch the end end of an all-night traditional ceremony in Wabula, Buton. Suku Bajo Benteng is a traditional fishing village of the Bajo tribe constructed on stilts out in the sea. The Melo people are a hill tribe in Lubuan Bajo where we witnessed ritualized but dangerous fighting displays using traditional weapons of whip ended sticks and hardened animal skin shields.

Every village welcomed us with a traditional ceremony of music and dance. There were official engagements of lunch or dinner with the regents and governors of the 3 islands. I was delighted to be asked to give a presentation of some of my images to local photographers in Lombok.