Karangasem is the poorest region in Bali, which exists in the rainshadow of the island. In March of 2016 I partnered with Rumah Sehat to accompany two nurses and a guide on foot to provide food and minor health care to a small village spread across the leeward slope of Mt Agung. These families were forcefully displaced by the growing tourism industry from their coastal homes with rich fishing activities to a more desolate landscape without the necessary precipitation to grow food. A lack of access to education and proper healthcare acts only to compound their problems and further isolate them from a society that caters more and more to western cultures. The majority of the local population now struggle to survive on the arid mountain slopes with an income of less than $75 per year.
This portrait series was a humbling and eye-opening experience for me to see and share some of the poverty caused by government corruption and oppression. Bali is considered one of the best economic environments in Indonesia, in-part because of it's large tourism industry, but that industry is often a double-edged sword, negatively affecting the lowest class and forcing them into deeper levels of poverty. Tourists rarely, if ever, get to see this side of the island as they have been so well hidden in the mountains.