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.

Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
Levi Noya, a policeman stationed in Banda Naira.
Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
The storm cloud above Banda during the western monsoon season. It was the same season that led the arrival of early traders and European in the Banda.
Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
The gate of the former ‘Welvaren’ nutmeg plantation in Ay Island. The name ‘Welvaren’, a Dutch word, means ‘prosperity’.

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.

Publisher’s Info

Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
The villagers of Selamon in Banda Besar Island gather by the seafront during a traditional ceremony. The bamboo poles symbolize Dutch’s execution of forty-four islands’ chiefs in 1621 who their heads impaled on bamboos. This event followed by a massacre that almost wiped out the entire Banda’s population.
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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.

Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
Portrait of Baeng, a resident of Rhun Island upon arrival from Banda Naira.
Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
Statue of nutmeg (myristica fragrans) at the top of a warehouse in Banda Naira.
Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog
Lahaji Lasiddiq lives in Ay Island as a nutmeg farmer. Like many other current settlers of Banda Islands, he is not a native Bandanese. His ancestor initially came here from another part of Indonesian archipelago to work in the nutmeg plantation during Dutch occupation of the islands.
Muhammad Fadli and Fatris MF - The Banda Journal - Bildersturm Blog

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.

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Muhammad Fadli is a Sumatran-born Indonesian photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, focusing on documentary and portrait photography.

Artist: https://www.muhammadfadli.com/

Fatris MF is a Sumatran-born Indonesian journalist and travel writer. He is now a freelance journalist specialized in environtmental reporting.

Artist: https://fatrism.com/

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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.

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