A curious Papuan child wants to take a peak at the strange white people. Konica DiMAGE Z10, 44mm, f/3.2, 1/40
When you are in a place where no one knows you, where there isn’t anyone who understands your language within a 1,000 km, and there are none of the support mechanisms that we westerners take for granted it can get a little disorienting. My family and I lived in Indonesia for a year in the province of Papua and at Christmas we went out to visit friends who live in the very remote village. In this village there are no cars, no TV,s no radios, no electricity at all, their experience of the world outside their valley only happens through the planes which occasionally come and go on the primitive dirt airstrip. Because of the way that the flights worked, these were tiny little jungle planes; Cessna 206’s, we had to stop and wait in a village all on our own for about an hour. We were the only westerners within a 1,000 km and the whole village came out to see us. As we waited, we wandered around the village of Biome and about a 100-150 people followed us around to watch us, to see what we would do, to listen to our strange language. There was never any feeling of danger but we walked past the hut pictured above and I saw another child climbing out of his hut to come and see us. I quickly pulled up my camera to grab the image and as I did the father pulled his child back inside. I guess, perhaps, we were a little too strange for him. The camera was on full auto so I can’t claim artistic intent when I snapped the picture but I love the way that the slow shutter speed allowed the child’s head to blur as he looked back at his father and yet the father’s hand, the other child’s face and the walls of the hut are crisp. It was an amazing experience and this is one of my favourite photos of the it.