Dugout 12

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

A Balancing Act

This lone boatman performs a balancing act as he paddles his dugout between two symbolic colors of reflections on the Fly River: brown-green for the natural foliage along the riverbank and blood red for a passing cargo ship.  Such colors also represent reality — the continuing struggle between protecting the environment and exploiting the natural resources.  The Fly River is an indigenous transportation network and a vital source of food and livelihood among the locals but its waters have been contaminated by mining operations upstream, an important source of employment and development assistance for communities along the river.  As always the case, the impoverished natives find themselves in a precarious situation trying to balance their acts and choices between two opposing forces.