Fire in the Fields: Java, Indonesia

Fire in the Fields: Java, Indonesia

island that speaks in three tongues can be disorientating for
those visiting. I see a blue haze of smoke in a field so green and
feel like I am hypnotised. I haven’t resorted to smoke signalling
as a means of communication, no. Rice paddy fields are abundant
here and burning them is a common agricultural tradition. Carried
out in mountainous regions, the process of clearing and burning
forestland while using the wood ash as natural fertiliser is the
cause of the billowing smoke.

It’s possible to grow at least four crops of rice a year in
Java. Rain is plentiful – exceeding 5000mm annually – making

the third-largest producer of rice in the world. The
process of planting, harvesting and threshing the rice is slow;
farming traditions date back to the early Bronze Age and local
farmers complete each stage of the crop cycle by hand. Bent backs,
rough hands and sunburnt skin. The determination and altered frames
of farm workers emphasise the laborious nature of their work, which
I tried to capture in this series.

@daniellesiobhan |

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