Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Jakarta | Five portraits


What to say about Jakarta? It’s a vast, sprawling, congested mess of a place. A megacity of more than 30 million people with no obvious centre, it’s more than a little overwhelming for the first time visitor. It’s a difficult city to love, especially at first sight, but in between the multi-lane highways and behind the concrete blocks, there are pockets of humanity, regular neighbourhoods where regular people go about their everyday lives. There were moments when I felt like I was in my element – there’s nothing like wandering around a new place with a camera and a 35mm lens. But in between these moments were long periods spent sitting in traffic, or simply looking for a place to cross those multi-lane highways.

I think you’d need a lot of time and patience to really get to know this city. I just spent a couple of days there at the start of a month long trip through Java and Bali. In that short time, I barely scratched the surface of Jakarta. I can’t offer a comprehensive overview of the city with my photographs, but I can share a few portraits, some small fragments of Jakartan life. It’s my way of trying to show the city’s human face.

More from Jakarta, and elsewhere in Indonesia, coming soon.





6 Responses to “Jakarta | Five portraits”

  1. allentimphotos2

    Jon, as always a very nice series. The outstanding one is the man with the fishing nets. The composition is excellent and the way the folds are in the net, your eye is drawn to the man. Well done!!!

  2. orangewayfarer

    I loved the women with fruits and vegetables the most!

  3. Sheisa Sastaviana

    Interesting series! How do you like Jakarta? I could only live there for three months and then went back to my home town. Where else will you be in Indonesia?

  4. bluebrightly

    Your is the kind of description that would be genuinely useful if I were going there…as it is, I doubt I’ll get there, but you give a view that interests me.


Leave a Reply to daisymae2017 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: