foto//friday – Merauke, Papua, Indonesia

Merauke, Papua, Indonesia. It is way over on the other side of the world. It is estimated that Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands, and getting from Jakarta (the capital) to Merauke is a 10 hour flight, stopping on three of the bigger islands.

I was there to photograph a story about a community center that is starting in Merauke. They will be providing youth programs, musical instrument lessons, English classes, health and AIDS awareness classes, and many other activities. You can download the entire story here, or view the magazine online here.

These children of transmigrant workers use the beach as their playground, while their parents are trying to provide a steady income for their families. There is a lot of tension between the transmigrant Indonesians who have been moved here to remedy overpopulation of other islands, and the West Papuan Indonesians who feel that their land is being taken over.

The local community center is hoping to build a bridge between the two groups in the city of Merauke.

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