Sam Iduri is a former school principal turned Solomon Islander politician. He was elected to Parliament in 2006 and was later named to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet as the Minister for National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace. In 2009, Iduri introduced a bill that led to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which attempted to investigate and rectify abuses suffered during the violent ethnic conflicts that plagued the islands between 1997 and 2003. Iduri’s Commission was modeled after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that had been established in South Africa with South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu lending vital support and assistance. Of the reconciliation process Iduri stated, “Throughout human history we witness that our human will to survive rises above all our struggles, challenges and brokenness. The choice and determination to reconcile and forgive one another is critically important to our continued co-existence as one united Solomon Islands.”
Illustration by Katie King Rumford
The Solomon Islands recent history of violence and abuse of power inspired the form of Iduri’s portrait. The portrait suggests a visual shift of focus from the war-ridden past to the peaceful efforts of the future of the Solomon Islands. The carving style of the piece is drawn from the country’s organic geometric patterns that were commonly found in pearl inlays, turtle shell and giant clam shell. These materials were a symbol of prestige, status or rank among the people and worn as pendants around their necks.
Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy