Our selection of 4 videos, which included Awin Meke, Love Letter To Soldier, Ironic Survival, and Left To Survive, screened to a crowd of over 200 people on the first afternoon of the 2-day event.
Filmmaker Wensi Fatabun and myself were present to participate in a post-screening discussion, where questions and comments were raised regarding the contents of the films, as well as the socio-political situation in West Papua. Wensi was also video interviewed by MalaysiaKini.
Several friends from Camp Sambel were also present at the festival, including Mahamasabree Jehloh and Shafie Dris, who had their films screened as well. The occassion served well for all of us to discuss our various projects and collaborations.
And we'll be back in Kuala Lumpur in November to conduct a workshop on video distribution and online subtitling. If you're an activist, filmmaker, journalist, student, or active citizen, please contact me and sign up.
The 9 videos highlighted a variety of issues and topics, from street children to transgender and workers rights in Malaysia, to the grave state of the forest and the indigenous people in Indonesia, to human rights violations in the conflict zone of South Thailand. Some of the featured videos were produced by our affiliates Mahamasabree Jehloh (Southern Peace Media), Sathis Kumar (CJMY), and Indrani Kopal (MalaysiaKini).
The subtitling and translation work by our volunteers in our Amara team helped in making many of the videos accessible by the international audience present.
Audience members commented that the mix of videos served to highlight the common issues facing the region. They were also interested in the other work that we do, and hoped that we could organise similar future events in Malaysia.
EngageMedia will be in Malaysia again on the 22nd and 23rd of September for the Freedom Film Fest, where we are curating a screening session on videos from Papuan Voices, and having an information booth.
List of films screened at Palate Palette:
Last Wednesday night, the University of Technology Sydney held its biannual Social Justice and Human Rights Award ceremony in the Great Hall of the Broadway campus. The award recognises staff and students who have made contributions to the advancement of social justice or human rights at a local, national or international level.
As both a student and staff member of UTS, I was thrilled to receive the 'Creative Media Social Justice Award' (for the creators of an audio/visual and/or multi-media project in which human rights and social justice themes are explored). I was nominated for my work on EngageMedia's Papuan Voices project, including the organisation of Camp Sambel, at which three Papuan Voices videomakers participated in distribution and security training
While I play just one part in this complex project, I am very proud of this award and believe it is a great indicator of the reception of Papuan Voices on a global scale. Papuan Voices is not so much about demanding that mainstream media take notice of the appalling situation in West Papua, as it is about helping Papuans tell their own stories, produce those stories as videos, and get them out into the world. It was particularly excellent to be recognised in this category, which shows that human rights work can be creative, innovative, and collaborative. The other nominated projects were of a very high standard and included the SBS series 'Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta' (Andrew Jakubowicz) and the youth movement 'Silence is Betrayal' (Toha Mohamed).
It was also very encouraging to know that there are so many people at UTS committed to equity, justice and sustainability. Too many of us go about our own busy working lives without taking the time to find out what the person in the next class room is doing.
I would also like to mention the recipient of the Jo Wilton Memorial Award for Women, which went to Sydney Friends of Bumi Sehat, for their sustained support of the Bumi Sehat clinic in Bali which provides a clean and safe birthing place for local women.
From 7-9 September 2012, EngageMedia and 5 workers unions conducted a video production workshop with the main theme of Freedom of Association (FOA).
In this workshop, participants learnt basic skills in video-making, including basic interviewing skills, risk management, and gaining consent. We are hoping they will be able to utilize these skills in a wide range of advocacy work (workplace campaigns, campaigns on national/regional issues such as wages etc).
More broadly, the project aims to give workers a voice on labour rights issues, as well as strengthen active citizenship and advocacy capacity amongst Oxfam’s partner organizations in Indonesia.
In this training session, participants also discussed about how to distribute their video to wider audiences using tools for accessing, sharing, and distributing multi-media online (e.g. via social media sites).
After this workshop, participants go off to shoot individually. The gathered footage will then be professionally edited into one 20-25 minute film on the impact of the FOA protocol in Indonesian footwear and apparel factories.
The film will feature stories and interviews with workers in factories where the protocol is in effect, as captured by the workshop participant. It seeks to explore their working conditions and whether the FOA protocol has caused in any changes in their workplaces.
EngageMedia is set to meet them again soon to view and discuss more about their videos.
EngageMedia would like to congratulate Nova Ruth for her great achievement in music, video and performance arts. Nova was on the EngageMedia team for a number of years and was instrumental in making the first Camp Sambel happen, in Malang, in 2010. She also trained hundreds of Indonesian videomakers in online distribution and was an ambassador for Creative Commons.
This year, she was awarded the Makers Muse Prize, along with Miranda July, Josh Macphee, Carlos Motta, and Fardin Waezi.
Watch Nova's videos here
Check out more about Nova here