notes from a fragile archipelago…
I love Indonesia…climbing the trees, plumbing the seas, providing entertainment for the locals. I work with conservation organizationss and editorial markets, my efforts subsidized by hardship postings at luxury villas.
My mediums are words or pictures, or film with Jungle Run Productions, sometimes all of the above.
Visit me in Bali (villa photos at Cahaya Foto) or around my favored haunts at Indonesia Wild.
Below, some projects, prospects and passions. They’re for sale, for assignment and for insight into ideas that excite me. Poaching punishable in your next life as a Balinese street dog! Collaboration perhaps welcome…
The Volcano and the Wizard
photos and text available
In its latest fury, Merapi, one of the world’s most dangerous and densely populated volcanoes, spat burning ash, gas and boulders under the nose of scientists and onto the doorstep of a Javanese wizard. The loss of life and the livelihoods of villagers who did or didn’t flee are depicted in a Krakauer-like countdown to disaster by writer Marc Herman. He finds that on Merapi, centerpiece of ancient Indonesian kingdoms, the views of scientists and sultan-appointed seers aren’t so far removedâ€”all observers defer to nature’s greater power.
stock, stories, footage and film now available
Fighting the world’s highest rate of forest loss (an area the size of Belgium each year) Indonesia tries out technology better known from the checkout stand. Bar codes track timber from stump to shelf, helping buyers tell good wood from bad and keep their money out of illegal logging.
stock and stories available, ongoing project
Essays and photo essays from the roof of the rainforest. Encounters with hungry bears, bloated pythons, palm-sized primates and preposterous bird of paradise. Adventures with animists and poachers-turned guides. Dizzying perspectives on the “forest photic zone”, where life tackles its most outrageous experiments far from prying eyes. Until now.
Look Ma, No Dams!
upcoming print and film project
In the largest experiment of its kind, 35,000 villages tap electricity from “run-of-the-river” micro-hydro generators. Do try this at home!
Muslims Who Still Practice Magic
limited stock available, big or small prospect
Seers and shamans, sorcerers and healers weave a colorful past and present in the world’s most populous Muslim country. But the mesh of mystical Islam and yet more ancient traditions is now rapidly unraveling in Indonesia’s rush toward orthodoxy.
A Million Years of Mariners
stock available, ongoing passion, stories big and small
Investigating our maritime Cape Canaveral, where human ancestors set out on their first known sea voyage, unleashes some 900,000 years of sailing yarns. From Java Man’s John Glenn to the Astronesians who colonized half the globe, from the mammoth ships of Sriwijaya to the fearsome Bugis “pirates”, hidden histories of Indonesian seafarers are now being revived. And while traces of the past yet thrive among some sea people of Tanah Air (Land of Water), still more are fast disappearing.