Wamena Post-bellum

23 September 2019 will be a date hard to forget by residents of the city of Wamena, Papua.

On that date, there was a big riot, residents killing each other and burning houses, offices and other buildings. 32 people died and more than 200 buildings burned.

The city that was once crowded, now become quiet. They are scared in their own space. More than 5000 people left the city. They are looking for a safer space, flocking to move to another city.

The incident allegedly started from the racist words of a teacher to his students who ignited the emotions of indigenous Papuans.

For 2 weeks the school was closed, the atmosphere was tense, the curfew was imposed, the police patrolled nonstop.

Residents displaced from their own spacebar.

But this did not last long, a few days after the riots, the people worked together to make the city safe again, the market reopened, the stalls returned to selling.

2 weeks after the riots, students returned to their schools. They were invited to play, laughing cheerfully even though there were still faces of trauma from the great riots.

Now, Wamena is safe, the city that was once deserted, is now back in color, the lost space is filled again.