Betel Ban – Words and Pics in SMH …

Making Images is one thing … but putting words together is a little more problematic.

So, I’m more than a little gratified that the Sydney Morning Herald has today published my 1000 word story “Chewing Over a Betel Ban” (and three pics) on page 8 of their News Review section. They are also running the story online and an accompanying pic gallery of seventeen images.

The story and images are the result of a recent (self funded) visit to Papua New Guinea to document the story of the just imposed ban on the sale and public use of the habitual carcinogenic betel nut – or ‘buai’ as it is called locally. The social implications of the ban and it’s effect on the betel nut trade that is a bread winner for a massive proportion of PNG residents will be immense.

The results of my journalistic torment can be found here in the SMH at … and the image gallery here at (update: unfortunately SMH have now – as at Oct 2015 – removed these.)

The complete essay of 27 images on the betel nut story can be found on my website at and on the web site of the  ‘fotostrada’ collective at

Below is a screen grab of the SMH story as published on the printed paper page.

Images/Words © Brian Cassey


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