Bruce Connew


Out of Print

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August 2007

Indians first came to Fiji as indentured labourers in 1879. Since the Rabuka coup d’état in 1987, and three subsequent Fiji coups, Indian-Fijians have been emigrating from the country in earnest.

Stopover is a haunting suite of Bruce Connew photographs from the tiny Indian–Fijian sugar cane settlement of Vatiyaka, taken during seven visits between June 2000 and November 2003, placing an extended family inside a story of migration. Connew’s narrative captions and a short story by Brij V Lal, Professor of Pacific and Asian History at the Australian National University, take the reader to the heart of an embattled life.

This beautiful book was designed by the award-winning Wellington designer Catherine Griffiths, Epitome Typography and Design.

Stopover opened as an exhibition at Pātaka, Porirua, Wellington, August 2007.

Praise for Stopover
‘Labour of love is a horribly hackneyed phrase, but it’s difficult to think of another that adequately sums up the exquisitely crafted work that is Stopover. Bruce Connew travelled to Fiji seven times over a period of as many years to record the lives of the Indo-Fijian community of Vatiyaka. The resulting work reveals a Fijian reality far from the well-worn tourist track. In a series of intimate photos Connew lays bare the daily lives of a cane cutting community.’

—Jeremy Rose, Scoop Review Of Books

‘NZ photojourno Bruce Connew has produced an inspiring book, Stopover, on Fiji's indentured labour, George Speight's coup and the story of Indo-Fijian post-coup migration. Superbly designed by his wife, Catherine Griffiths, it's a must read.’ 
—David Robie, Café Pacific

‘Equal parts documentary, artwork and memoir, Stopover is a beautifully presented, affecting, and informative book.’
—Matthew Butt, Salient

‘Behind the tourist fantasy and news of the latest coup lies the hidden reality of Fiji's disenfranchised and dislocated Indian population. A remarkable book by photographer Bruce Connew captures their story with luminous empathy and insight.’ 
Sunday Star Times

‘Connew’s work combines haunting images with a text that is poetic, elegant, and moving in its clarity. There is a power and persuasion to his work that even the most scholarly and responsible analyses cannot match.’
—David Hanlon, University of Hawai’i

‘The social commentary embedded in these visual images and in the text, which provides fitting local and historical context for the photographs, would be of great interest to those working in South Asian and Indian diaspora studies, Pacific studies, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, visual anthropology, political science, and development sociology.’
—Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Cornell University

Born in Auckland in 1949, Bruce Connew began photographing at an early age, documenting his extended family with a ferrania Duplex Z2 Italian box camera, which he used at age 13 to capture Queen Elizabeth’s 1963 visit to New Zealand. Connew made his first documentary series in 1976, focused on an Aboriginal community in northwest Australia. Over the past three decades, Connew has travelled extensively, undertaking documentary photography projects all over the world, in locations including New Caledonia, South Africa, New Zealand, eastern Burma, immediate post-war Kosovo, Bhutan, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Vanuatu and Fiji. His previous books include On the Way to An Ambush (1999) and with Dean Tiemi Te Au, Muttonbird – Part of a Story (2004).

Visit Bruce's website