QMMA’s ‘Best Image’ …

QMMA – Queensland Multi Media Awards

The QMMA’S are now in their nineteenth year … not an insignificant achievement. The catchment area for the awards is basically the entire state of Queensland – but minus Brisbane – and it attracts entrants from all regions and from a wide spectrum of media and advertising organisations and individuals.

Last Saturday eve at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino Cairns this years presentations were made and I was fortunate to take home the ‘gong’ for “Best Photographic Image”. The pic “The Betel Nut Trader” (below) was made in Papua New Guinea late in 2013 as part of an essay on the ban in Port Moresby of the trade in the natural and traditionally chewed mild narcotic betel nut (buai). It was published by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Image © Brian Cassey



Pecha Kucha? … What The Hell Is That … ?

“Pecha What ?”  That was the question I asked of ‘The Tanks Arts Centre’ curator Chris Stannard over a beer after the Degree South collective exhibition “PEACE” about a year ago.

Turns out that ‘Pecha Kucha’ – ‘the art of concise presentations’ – is a world wide phenomenon.

The idea is that you present and comment on twenty of your images in a slide show in front of a live audience … each slide changes automatically after twenty seconds. Quick bit of maths gives you a presentation time of six minutes and forty seconds. Apart from that there are no rules. Just entertain your audience with your pics and words.

Apparently the format was devised by a couple of architects in Tokyo in 2003 … and has now spread around the planet to over seven hundred and twenty cities in over a hundred countries. Now one of those 700 plus, Cairns showed it’s first Pecha Kucha at the wonderful ‘The Tanks’ venue in 2011. It has been steadily growing in popularity since.

Sounded a fair idea … so I lost my Pecha Kucha virginity last May with “The Dogs of Sai Kung” in Cairns volume #7.

Next Wednesday eve sees the first Tanks Cairns Pecha Kucha presentation for 2014 – Cairns volume #10 – and I am once again amongst the presenters – over a dozen for the night. I have selected images made in our closest neighbour Papua New Guinea and the subject is “The Impossible Ban on Betel Nut” selected from my “Betel Nut Ban in PNG” essay.

A Pecha Kucha evening is a great opportunity to network, catch up with friends, fellow artists and photographers, share a beer or three, promote your work and see the images of others – and The Tanks is a great venue.

Below is just one of the images from my presentation next Wednesday. The image shows betel nut (buai) traders with their produce at Eight Mile on the outskirts of Port Moresby following the ban on trade and sale. Come along from 6.30pm and see all the imaginative and creative work on show.

Image © Brian Cassey




Betel Ban on Web …

Have now added the pic essay “Betel Nut ban in PNG” to my personal web site at … https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/photographs/betel-nut-ban-png/

It is already in place on the web site of the photojournalist collective ‘fotostrada’ in “Latest Stories”at … http://www.fotostrada.com/#/latest-stories/betel-nut-ban-hard-to-chew/BCBetelNut12

The essay was the result of a recent (self funded) visit to Papua New Guinea and it was published, along with the result of my dodgy written word skills, in the Sydney Morning Herald. You can see the story here … http://www.smh.com.au/world/chewing-over-a-betel-ban-20131108-2x6ra.html … and the online SMH pic gallery here … http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/world/the-betel-nut-20131108-2x6hb.html .

The story/pics is also due for publication this month in PNG magazine “Lily”.

Below is just one of the images from the essay … “City Rangers” scour the central business district of Port Moresby on the lookout for the now illegal betel nut.

image © Brian Cassey


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 http://www.smh.com.au/world/chewing-over-a-betel-ban-20131108-2x6ra.html … and the image gallery here at http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/world/the-betel-nut-20131108-2x6hb.html (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 https://www.briancasseyphotographer.com/photographs/betel-nut-ban-png/ and on the web site of the  ‘fotostrada’ collective at http://www.fotostrada.com/brian-cassey/betel-nut-ban-hard-to-chew/BCBetelNut12/

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

Images/Words © Brian Cassey