Thursday, April 21, 2011

Streets of Jakarta

Wherever I travel, I find that the best stories are told in the lives of the people who live there. Although cultures and customs may differ, there is a common thread of quiet dignity in all people, particularly those who may at first seem to be "less privileged" than the "haves." But as I walk through the back streets of cities around the world, the common folk bear witness to such a misconception. Remarkably, even the homeless laugh and enjoy what little they have. As a friend in India recently said, "I think that those who have the least are often the happiest." Earlier this month, I spent a few days at a student-led conference in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city; 500 high school students from around Asia converged on Jakarta International School for the annual Global Issues Network Conference, started by two former colleagues: Clayton Lewis (former principal at the American School in London), now head of school at the Washington, D.C. International School, and Linda Sills (former teaching colleague at the International School Bangkok), now a consultant in San Francisco.
Here is a glimpse of the lives of the people in Jakarta's less traveled neighborhoods. Next: Northern India.

All photos by the author. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.

Repairs in a fishing village near the Jakarta port.

Many years of hard work in the face of this boatyard worker.

Rickshaw driver taking a break.

Homeless under the freeway.

Proud shopkeeper.

Tattoo contest: I lost big time!

A quiet scene in Jakarta's back streets.

Light moment, waiting for alterations. Note the sewing machine mounted on a bicycle!

Colorful canisters with rice cake snacks

Jakarta kids.

Boat repairs, using sawdust jammed between the planks!

Preschoolers in their bus.


Ed Haynsworth said...

Great Photos John! Why aren't you on FB? Lot of issues I know but you still need a presence there since it is the medium for now. if you get a minute please take a look at my website and offer critiques. My hope is to get this up and running and get the hell out of here. Also would like to teach English this summer-non profit; if you have any ideas let me know and give best to Kat!



Harper said...

John! FANTASTIC photos! We need to go out on a 'shoot' together again one day soon! I want to talk to you about Jakarta as we will go there this coming Christmas.

Z said...

Thanks for sharing these photos, John! I did not expect there to be so much variety of color in the surroundings of the allegedly 'less fortunate'. I guess I associate colorful surroundings with wealth, and perhaps expected the dull gray uniformity of concrete one might encounter in the West.

drbruce said...

Excellent work. I haven't been in Jakarta for years now - hard to leave Bali unless I have to, but your photos have the feel of the city once you get past the glittery malls and five-star hotels.

Divine Miss E said...

Wow that was great! Those are amazing pictures. Looks like you had a great time, what an enlightening experience!

Ed Haynsworth said...

Great photos!!! especially like the rickshaw with background graffiti...very good work!!