Border life: People walk a road in Kiunga in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province. Indonesia is just around the corner.For decades, the struggle for West Papuan independence has been fought from the vast rainforests along the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). But there has been little progress, and now second generation refugees from the Indonesia portion of the island of New Guinea — which they term West Papua — are discarding the guerilla tactics of their parents in favor of international networking and information efforts.
From Kiunga in PNG’s Western Province, Indonesia is just around the corner. The border itself is formed by the Fly River, named after the first European vessel to reach this gridlocked part of the world in 1842.
Today, the river transports gold and copper from the Ok Tedi mine, north of Kiunga. Along the road to Ok Tedi, paid...