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Going Their Own Way
Photograph by Alexandra Boulat

A Papuan militant carries a bow and arrow during the Second Papuan Congress held in Jayapura, Irian Jaya, last spring. Despite increasingly harsh responses from police and army troops controlled by Jakarta, Papuan separatists continue to raise their own flag, name their own home, and insist on the right to determine how the rich resources of their land will be used.



Camera: Canon EOS-1N
Film Type: Unrecorded
Lens: 17-35mm Canon zoom f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Time of Day: 4 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Natural +81B filter

Special Equipment or Comments:
I was fascinated with the style of the people who attended this congress. They were from different tribes and were dressed as such. Maybe just a bit more careful about their look, because they wanted to look impressive for the meeting in town. I was amazed to meet optimistic naked troops, armed with arrows and bows, and determined to fight for their rights. Irian Jaya is sitting on a huge mining business, and is a great land of resources for Indonesia. The problems that follow are created by a conflict of interest between the Irian Jaya natives and the Indonesian government. Also, the invasion of industry, often internationally coordinated, is a dramatic change to the general atmosphere of the Papuan culture.





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