MEMBERS of the New York City Explorers Club came together in June to hear from a panel of artists, photographers, filmmakers and adventurers sharing tales of their time in Papua New Guinea.
PNG Tourism Promotion Authority said the group discussed topics ranging from their favourite dive sites in PNG to how the country has evolved from the 1930s to today.
What is in store for the nation in coming years, the challenges of making a documentary in PNG and the difference between tourist art and museum quality art were also discussed.
The event showcased rare black and white photographs of PNG, never before seen in the United States, as well as a social media project in PNG called Humans of Papua New Guinea.
PNG Tourism Promotion Authority said the panellists included John Fairfull, a Canadian fine artist who spent four years as a boat captain in PNG.
Mr Fairfull became so connected to the culture that he was initiated into a local tribe through “crocodile scarification,” an ancient ritual of scarring the body to represent the sacred crocodile in the East Sepik Province.
Award-winning marine photographer and member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame Michele Westmorland was also a panellist.
Ms Westmorland, who has visited PNG 30 times, filmed a documentary in the country tracking the works of Caroline Mytinger, who journeyed to PNG in the 1930s to paint portraits of local tribes.
Another panellist was Wylda Bayron, a National Geographic award-winning photographer who spent a year and a half traveling solo around PNG.
In each destination she photographed the traditional dress from each of the provinces and achieved her goal of attending every festival in the country.
Tour guide Mary-Jane Murray, who has opened and managed lodges in PNG’s most remote regions, was also on the panel.
While based in the Western Highlands, Ms Murray was part of the committee for the Mount Hagen Show.