Distance covered: 591 km (367 miles)
Subjects found: 2
When I first launched The Human, Earth Project in March, I identified ten people that I expected to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find. Six of those people were photographed here on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, and appear in these photographs.
Each year the Islamic majority of Lombok celebrate Idul Fitri, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. As for Christmas or Chinese New Year, this is the most important time of the year for family, and people travel for days to be with their loved ones.
Not only were these photographs taken during the week of Idul Fitri five years ago, but these young men are part of a demographic highly likely to be working or studying elsewhere in the country, or the world. After these photos were taken, they could have gone anywhere.
I have a good friend here in Lombok named Habibi. Here’s a photo of Habibi, my brother and myself here five years ago. For three days Habibi has been helping us search the villages of Lombok for these six young men, and yesterday we found one.
His name is Abdullah – or Bedul, to his friends and family. He’s the boy smoking on the right side of the first photograph. He lives in a small village forty minutes’ ride from where the photographs were taken.
Until recently, Bedul was studying in Praya, the largest city in central Lombok. Three months ago, he suffered injuries to his head and neck when his motorbike was hit by a car, and spent 25 days in a coma. He has since moved back home with his family.
He remembers the day on the beach, when the photographs were taken, but can’t tell us where the other young men in the photograph might be found. He’d met them only that day, and never stayed in contact. We haven’t given up.
Bedul’s story will be the subject of the second in a series of short films we’ll be producing throughout the course of The Human, Earth Project. The first will focus on Wayan, this young boy we found in Bali last week. We’re working on sharing it with you as soon as possible!
Twelve hours ago my brother Will shared a short piece about The Human, Earth Project on the image-sharing website imgur.com. It has since made it to the front page and had an amazing response, with over 3,500 Likes (or Points), a surge in The Human, Earth Project website activity, and dozens of new followers on Facebook. For those who have just joined us, welcome aboard!
Please share this around, and let your friends know what we’re doing!