Joe Moses is a former Papau New Guinean university worker and a land activist from the community of Paga Hill in Port Moresby. The settlement, home to about 2,000 people for the past 70 years, became the site of conflict when the government granted a lease to the Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC), a joint venture between local and international investors, to build a luxury resort on Paga Hill in 2012. Joe led the charge in organizing the community in the fight to keep their homes and raising awareness of the struggle via the internet. Moses was forced to deal with concerns for his own safety, when armed police forced out the remaining residents from the Paga Hill settlement and their homes were bulldozed in 2014. With the assistance of international NGOs in late 2016, Moses was able to secure a flight from Papua New Guinea to Panama and then to Britain where he currently lives. Joe Moses continues to lead his fight from the UK attempting obtain compensation for the Paga Hill residents who were displaced. A newly released documentary titled “The Opposition“ tells the story of the fight to save Paga Hill. The film has featured in several international film festivals.
Illustration by Stephen Lim
Papua New Guinea
The design motif and visual style of Joe Moses’ portrait was inspired by Papua New Guinea’s traditional masks and contemporary art. Almost childlike line work and bright colors depicts a warrior mask, expressing Mr. Moses fight for the rights of PNG’s people.
462,840 km2 (56th)
Papua New Guinean
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy