From 2014 to 2017, photographer Muhammad Fadli and writer Fatris MF documented stories from the Banda Islands through a repeated visits and stays. The result is a book filled with photographs combined with writing, hoping to give an insightful view from various facets of life on the islands, its past and its present state.
Publisher: Jordan, jordan Édition
Header Photo: The summit of 667m high Gunung Api Banda, an active volcano. Although it makes the archipelago so fertile, the existence of this volcano was also a source of frustration for the Dutch. During the occupation of Banda Islands, it erupted several times resulting in considerable damages and distrupting the nutmeg business. It last eruption in 1988 destroyed few settlements on its northern slope.
The Banda Journal highlights the legacy of centuries-long colonization and exploitation in the remote Indonesian Banda Islands. An archipelago comprises of twelve small islands surrounded by vast sea, Banda was the setting of some earliest European ventures in Asia and played a key role in global economic history. It is because Banda was once the world’s only source of the highly prized nutmeg, an aromatic spice functioned as preservative and believed as cure for various illnesses in the Middle Ages.
The race for the valuable spices sent the Portuguese navigating the Cape of Good Hope, led Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America, and saw the birth of the world’s first multinational trading company: the Dutch East India Company. In Banda, like in many other places, the spice race resulted in the islanders’ misery. And these days, Banda Islands is nothing more than just a backwater.
The video interview aim at generating discussions surrounding the production process of The Banda Journal, its collaborative and innovative methods, critical approaches to storytelling and historiography, and the public reception of this archive. All Photos & Footages By Muhammad Fadli THE BANDA JOURNAL, Jordan Jordan Edition, 2021.
Book Specs: The Banda Journal by Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF published by Jordan, jordan Édition 2021 | 240 Pages | Softbound, Swiss Binding with exposed spine interior | 24cm x 16,5cm | ISBN 9781735452104. Available here.
Winner of the 2021 Photobook of The Year by Aperture Foundation, Paris Photo Photobook Award.
Muhammad Fadli is a Sumatran-born Indonesian photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, focusing on documentary and portrait photography.
Fatris MF is a Sumatran-born Indonesian journalist and travel writer. He is now a freelance journalist specialized in environtmental reporting.
Jordan, jordan Édition is an independent publisher, founded by Jordan Marzuki, a graphic designer based in Jakarta–Indonesia, he is alumni of The Basel School of Design in Basel–Switzerland, majoring visual communication and typography.