New Internationalist

NG Swanti

Issue 348

I was bored, hanging around waiting to go hunting. I figured out I could do the same thing with photojournalism, catching a story with pictures. This concept impressed me very much. However, it was hard to find the right story. Many ideas came and went. In 2000 I was working nine-to-five for a company in Jakarta. The Easter holiday was a great opportunity to take pictures. I was keen to watch a re-enactment of the ‘stations of the Cross’ in east Java. I spent three days in a quiet village and enjoyed shooting.

One picture became my favourite. I saw a worker finishing a statue of Jesus Christ. I had seen similar statues in churches, hanging on the wall above the altar. Here, a long way away from Jakarta, this statue was lying sprawled on the ground. It looked meaningless. Suddenly it reminded me of the current situation in Indonesia and I felt miserable. People don’t respect religion – it has become a political issue instead of a personal matter.

I come from a non-Catholic family, but I continued with this story in different places around Indonesia and learned more about Catholicism. I quit my nine-to-five job and became a professional photographer.

NG Swanti is 32 years old. She works as a photographer in Indonesia.

Drik Picture Library Ltd

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