Faces of Bougainville: Bystander

Jessie T. Ponce Photography

“Bystander” / Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea / December 2012

The day was bright and village life was in full swing.   There was a big meeting amongst the women at the village center.  Their kids were either running around or innocently observing the discussions.   Most of the men were out in the fields or tending to some livelihood chores.  The rest of the community were just as busy.

But not this man.  Physically unable to participate in any of the village activities, he just sat there, alone and away from the crowd.  I tried to approach and talk to him but a village leader forbiddingly pulled me away.  Before I turned towards the village meeting, I snapped this photo wondering what his story was.