WITH submissions to the historic My Walk to Equality anthology about to close on 31 December, the project team is in the final stages of cataloguing and editing what we have received.
Phil Fitzpatrick of Pukpuk Publications has commenced the process of compiling the master copy of the first collection of Papua New Guinean women’s writing in preparation for publication in early February.
In addition to the writing, one of the important decisions that had to be made concerned the book’s design – and especially its cover.
Tania Basiou’s evocative, black-print image of a woman bearing a bilum will feature on the cover of the anthology. As a first-of-its-kind book publication for Papua New Guinea – to be launched on International Women’s Day, 8 March - we needed something special and Tania certainly provided it.
Tania, a full-time nursing student, was introduced to photography in childhood by her father. During weekend and university semester breaks, she now offers freelance photography services across the Brisbane and Toowoomba regions of Queensland.
Her company, Tania B Photography, has produced portraiture that has managed to capture the attention of many social media users, including professional photographers in Papua New Guinea, Australia and elsewhere.
Tania captures the faces of Melanesia, Polynesia and the nations of Africa. This portrait of a young Bougainvillean woman, bilum slung across the forehead, conveys a vivid impression of both the literal and metaphorical journey of Papua New Guinean women.
“Through my lens, our sense of cultural identity and rich traditions would meld with modern influences,” says Tania of her photographic vision.
She is motivated by the desire to contribute to society's drive for inclusion and empowerment, using images to convey this narrative.
“I make for myself an affirmation of all the natural beauty, innate strength and perseverance I see in PNG women,” Tania says.
It is absolutely appropriate that this philosophy also finds a home in the cover image of this first-ever volume of writing by Papua New Guinean women.
Since our project launched just over two months ago (it seems much longer), Tania has donated her photographic services to strengthen the impact of what we are seeking to achieve – the greater participation and empowerment of PNG women in our country’s affairs.
Tania’s images also complemented a recent article on the project published in the current issue (number 14) of Lily PNG magazine, whose managing editor, Margo Nugent, has been very supportive.
We’re really grateful and appreciative of Tania Basiou’s talent and her invaluable contribution to the My Walk to Equality anthology.