Also, I have gone through thousands of documents including internal records from BCL and PNG and public records in Australia. Given the suffering and hardship caused by the conflict, it deserves nothing less than rigorous scholarly accounts.
Now I have developed a website which features a case study on the Bougainville conflict, focusing on the period 1987-90.
The historical account includes primary and multimedia materials including the aforementioned records and interviews as well as documentary footage from Bougainville and letters written by the Panguna Landowners Association and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army during 1988-89.
In short, the case study attempts to document and analyse the illegitimate practices employed by the PNG and Australian governments and BCL during 1988-1990.
It was a challenge to put together. I certainly did not want to objectify the suffering of people during the conflict; to that end, I elected to include documentary footage and photography in a bid to give victims voice and dignity and introduce outsiders to some of the key actors in their own words.
And there are a few caveats. The site was designed to reach a wide audience, including students in the United Kingdom, so it contains information that would be obvious to someone on Bougainville or PNG.
It reflects my focus as a state/corporate crime researcher, it is not meant to capture, let alone make sense of, everything that occurred during the conflict, and it certainly should not be viewed as an endorsement for any political faction. The display of documentary footage should not be seen as endorsement for its content.
Owing to spatial constraints, the social dynamics discussed are simplified and my opening podcast is pretty bad – I will never make it as a broadcaster.
Constructive feedback is always welcome.
Photo: The Post-Courier front page of 19 February 1990 shows PNGDF soldiers returning from the Bougainville conflict. The troop withdrawal was followed by the tragic 10-year civil war