Albertus Vembrianto

6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania Talent: Albertus Vembrianto, Indonesia

“Albertus Vembrianto is one of few photographers that dedicates his life to give voice to the Papuan people.” - Cristian Rahadiansyah, Indonesia, editor-in-chief of DestinAsian Indonesia and 6x6 nominator.

Albertus Vembrianto is a documentary photographer and freelance photojournalist, also known as Vembri Waluyas. Vembrianto mostly works on independent projects in Papua, Indonesia, including a focus on the changing landscapes of Papuan life today. His photographic work has been published by international and national media and journals, and he has produced three publications with fellow photographers and writers.

Fragments of Papua

This series focuses on the recurring discrimination and violence towards indigenous Papuans of Indonesia. Papua, which became part of Indonesia in 1969, is commonly known internationally as a tourism destination and for its indigenous cultures. The recurring facts of human rights abuses and oppression against the indigenous Papuans by the Indonesian security forces; the Indonesian state development that marginalizes instead of empowers the Papuans; the low standards of healthcare services; and the poor and low quality access to primary education that isolates Papuan children from their own culture are poorly and rarely reported to the Indonesian public and outside world.

Children of Gold Land

Thousands of indigenous Papuans stay on the side of the riverbank that is flooded by the tailing of Freeport McMoRan, an American company which runs the world’s largest gold and copper mine in Mimika Regency, Papua, Indonesia. These families come from the coastal forested areas which have been radically transformed by logging and palm oil plantations. Now, they make a living by becoming illegal miners in the tailing areas of the mining operation. The tailing contains hazardous materials such as copper, arsenic, cadmium, and selenium. These families stay in plastic tents without access to clean water and electricity. Their children legally obtain the right of profit sharing from the mining operation, but they grow up without going to school.

Albertus Vembrianto also received nominations from Ridzki Noviansyah and Ng Swan Ti.

Discover work by the 6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.