Indonesian Coal Country

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Indonesa’s coal heartland in Eastern Kalimantan was a hub of big money activity during the global commodities boom of the first decade of the 2000’s driven largely by coal and palm oil output.  Big housing projects, glitzy malls, even an amusement park were built during the heyday as coal continually reached new highs over the decade.  But as the boom came to an end, the region has experienced a huge loss of employment and many of the plans made when prices were reaching their peak have been put on hold or have been made obsolete by the new economic dictates of an era of sharply lower commodities prices. I travelled there to see the contours of a place shaped by asset bubble dynamics.

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