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Bali, Small but Mighty

An unassuming island the size of Palestine, wedged next to Java at the end of Indonesia’s titanic Greater Sunda Islands, Bali is a place whose reputation far surpasses its size. It has cultivated a unique culture, language, and alphabet that has, for better or worse, managed to capture the imagination of people from all around the world. While tourism has brought with it international recognition and economic benefits, mass tourism has only intensified existing issues. Pivoting from a traditionally agricultural society to a population whose majority now depends on tourism, it is facing a growing stray animal problem, continued environmental degradation, and cultural erosion during a time of hyper fast development. 



Join me on a photo walk for a day through the diverse landscapes of Bali, accompanied by the chimes of traditional Gamelan music.







You may have noticed that stray cats and dogs are a central feature in this video. There are over 650,000 stray dogs and an uncountable number of stray cats living on the island, and even more owned animals that are allowed to roam freely without being sterilised or vaccinated. Education, adoption, and treatment programmes are needed, but these issues are mostly ignored by Bali's government. To fill this void, many rescue organisations for cats, dogs, and other animals have been founded, such as Bali Animal Welfare Association who manages rescues, educating communities, vaccinations, sterilisations, etc., Bali Pet Crusaders who operate a free mobile sterilistation clinic, and Villa Kitty who are the island's only cat-specific rescue group. Please consider donating to or adopting from these or other similar organsations.


Photos in this video are part of a stray animal photography project I am currently working on. Read the project's mission statement here and follow Strays In Sqaures, an instagram database of stray animals from around the world, here.





Locations:

  • Blue morning with stray dogs at Kuta beach, close to the airport.

  • Driving through the backstreets to the town of Ubud

  • Visiting rice paddies at Jatiluwih.

  • Hiking the cliff beach at Pantai Nunggalan along the southern coast.

  • Passed by long-tailed macaques by the road.

  • Returned to Kuta to watch the sun set over jukong fishing boats at Jerman beach.






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