Yoppy Pieter

6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania Talent:
Yoppy Pieter, Indonesia

“Yoppy has great potential as a storyteller and his talent is already visible in recent personal projects. His respect of the dignity of the people he's approaching is very noticeable. Through his works, we can feel Yoppy takes his time to develop his stories and projects, with a certain sense of poetry in his narrative photography”. - Peggy Porquet, photo editor, art director, curator and 6x6 nominator, France

Yoppy Pieter acquired his first photography training at PannaFoto Institute and further developed his skills with the Permata Photojournalist Grant 2011. He participated in the Angkor Photo Workshop in 2012 and the Erasmus Huis Fellowship in Amsterdam in 2015.

Saujana Sumpu

“I felt an overwhelming silence as I set foot in a Rumah Gadang (a Minangkabau traditional house) at the gate of the village, where the tragedy of its lost beauty was amplified by the absence of its owner. Every step I made, however slow and silent, still disrupted the stillness witnessed by the nocturnal creatures of the house. What was left of the wooden walls and windowsills was lying on the floor, waiting to be devoured by the colonies of termites. I asked a woman passing by, “Where is the owner now?” She answered, “Oh, they’ve moved out, migrated.” Rural migration has reached a whole new level in Minangkabau culture, abandoning its primordial roots in the process. Sumpu, through its Saujana - a cultural landscape, has somehow managed to immortalize this phenomenon. As the green scenery stretches between Bukit Barisan and Lake Singkarak, I would never have imagined that underneath the natural wonders of Sumpu, has long laid an open wound. A heartbreaking story of a land that for hundreds of years has given birth to tough, hard-working migrants. It is the story of the slow death of a cultural heritage, quietly destroying the identity of the Minangkabaus.” - Yoppy Pieter

Black Gold

Indonesia is an archipelago rich in natural resources, especially fossil energy sources, including oil, coal and natural gas. In the heart of Java, there is a rural oil field built by the Dutch colonial administration that has been exploited for over 100 years. The field itself is located in the mountainous area in Wonocolo Village, Bojonegoro Regency, East Java. With such a high rate of poverty, and lack of safety and health awareness, the 700 wells of Wonocolo are considered a hazardous workplace which are likely to result in serious injuries or worse, death. “Of course we are concerned about possible accidents, but we’ve never heard about the people being injured or killed in accidents,” says Karno, who has worked on the field for more than 20 years. Administratively, Wonocolo wells are located in an area managed by Pertamina, an Indonesian State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

See Yoppy Pieter’s 'Black Gold' on Witness, World Press Photo's online magazine.