"From the panoramic mountain vistas to the jungles and the beaches, Papua New Guinea—the largest tropical island in the world—is a naturally blessed and beautiful land. But a peaceful land it is not.
A country of high unemployment, poor education and widespread corruption, Papua New Guinea is rife with ethnic conflict and infested with criminal gangs, known as ‘raskols,’ (the indigenous Tok Pisin word for criminals) that trade in guns, drugs intimidation and violence.
Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, is regularly cited among the world’s five worst cities to live in. In 2004, an Economist survey ranked Port Moresby the most unlivable city on earth.
As a photographer who has covered stories of conflict the world over—from the conflicts in Afghanistan, Angola and Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and East Timor’s struggle for independence—Stephen Dupont was drawn to document Papua New Guinea’s troubling story.
His new book Raskols: The Gangs of Papua New Guinea, published by powerHouse Books this month, showcases an essay of portraits that he shot in the country he has visited frequently over the last eight years."
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