There’s No Place Like Home

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For 30-40 dollars a month Sunita rents a small dark and airless room crammed in amongst dozens of others underneath a highway bridge in central Jakarta.  Many of her neighbors have been living there for nearly 10 years, and many work for the city government as street sweepers.  Several months ago they were told that they would have to leave, though most cannot afford the 70-80 dollars/month or more it would cost for a small and cheap but legitimate apartment.  Just a few days ago all of the residents under the bridge were evicted and their makeshift housing destroyed.  It’s a never ending struggle. Thousands of impoverished Indonesians come to the capital every year to find opportunities that don’t exist in their home towns where farming is generally the only way to scratch out a living.  But, Jakarta itself isn’t prepared for the onslaught and arrivals from the country often have to make do with whatever shelter they can scrounge up in unused public spaces alongside railroads and rivers and under bridges. The clash between the need to clean up Jakarta’s perennially flooded infrastructure and the shortage of low cost housing results in those with the least resources getting shuttled from one inadequate housing situation to another.

2 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. Nice work Ed. Very moving. Couldn’t find captions for the ages in the slideshow though. Great to see you ticking over with these stories. Hope life in Jkt is treating you well.


      Hey Jonathan. Thanks for having a look and I’m glad you liked it. I haven’t put additional caption info in their. Its embedded in the IPTC but for the life of me cannot seem to find a slideshow app that will read it. Do you know of one?

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