Ben Bohane

Ben Bohane is an Australian photojournalist and tv producer based in Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

For the past 30 years he has specialised in reporting religion, conflict and culture across the Asia Pacific region for a variety of Australian and global media including TIME, Vanity Fair and National Geographic. Most of his work since 1994 has been focused on the much under-reported Pacific islands region, where he has documented the forgotten conflicts of Bougainville, West Papua, East Timor and New Caledonia among others.

With the global “centre of gravity” moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, the Pacific region is now on the frontline of climate change and geopolitical tensions between China and the US, and Bohane has focused on these stories in recent years. Another area of interest for him has been the role of kastom, cult and cargo-cult movements across the region; how religion and indigenous belief systems collide and co-exist, how they spark but also end conflict, ushering in kastom reconciliation processes and peace.

His photos are collected by The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and Australian War Memorial, as well as being held in private collections.

He is the founder of Waka Photo Agency, the first photo agency in the Pacific, as well as a co-founder, along with Tim Page, of the Australian war photographers collective degreeSouth. He is on the Advisory Council for the main think tank in the Pacific, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, and currently works with the Pacific Security College based at the Australian National University.

His books include Follow The Morning Star about the struggle for independence in West Papua; War by the degreeSouth collective; and The Black Islands – Spirit and War in Melanesia, a 20 year photographic journey through kastom and conflict in Australia’s closest island neighbours. In 2014 he made Island Style, a one-hour documentary following the experience of Pacific island soldiers serving in Afghanistan that screened widely across the Pacific. In 2019 he was the inaugural winner of the Walkely/Sean Dorney award for Pacific journalism.