Last week, we announced the work that we will begin doing in Myanmar. One of the main activities that we will be holding in Myanmar is the Southeast Asia Video Camp.
The camp is aimed to be a space for Burmese video and filmmakers to meet, interact and collaborate with video and filmmakers from the rest of Southeast Asia. We are aiming to create an interactive learning and collaboration environment for three days, where film and video makers can learn from each other about the following topics:
- Effective distribution strategies within our region and for different communities
- Video security issues and strategies
- The use of video for social change and advocacy
- Subtitling of videos in Southeast Asian languages
We will open the agenda of the camp to participants to make sure that the event is relevant to everyone. For those of you who are familiar to our Camp Sambel 1 and 2, we envision this camp to be as interactive, engaging and collaborative as those events. We will be asking participants to propose and lead sessions about topics they want to learn, share and discuss.
While we have not chosen specific dates for the camp, we will definitely be holding it in the first two weeks of June 2015. We will also definitely do it somewhere in Myanmar. We will be announcing the dates and the application form for the camp by February 2015.
We are also looking for local partners who will help us organise the camp. If you are interested in participating and/or helping us as a local partner, please contact us.
We began our journey to inner Flores in Labuan Bajo, which is a growing tourist destination site since it's located near Komodo Island. As we neared Ruteng city to meet some of the facilitators in this Kelola Foundation project, we noticed the island's rich and attractive nature.
While it has been categorized as "underdeveloped" in the eyes of the Indonesian government in Jakarta, we were taken in by people of Flores who were so hospitable and helpful to complete strangers. Our work in this island was to document the activities surrounding Kelola's participatory video workshop in at least 8 scattered villages.
And so, for almost 7 days we moved from one location to another, documenting and learning so much along the way. We met several people from these workshops who fascinated us with their stories of how they've been introduced to cameras, learned how to edit video, write stories, and the challenges that they've faced.
On this journey, we also noticed how video or media literacy can change people, making them feel more confidence. The workshops also became tools to bring diverse people together to discuss their social problems and looking at the various solutions they have come up with by themselves.
At the end of trip, when we were just about to leave this island for Labuan Bajo, we left reminiscing the amazing experience, and hoping that we can return very soon!
Videos documenting Kelola's work can be seen here.
We are excited to announce that EngageMedia is launching a series of activities in Myanmar to amplify the impact of human rights and environmental video through effective collection, curation and outreach. As some of you will remember, we conducted a scoping study on the use of video to support democracy in Myanmar last year, and we aim to put some of the recommendations from that report into practice.
The first phase of the programme is to curate and promote videos from Myanmar to a global and regional audience, as well as to promote videos on regional issues that resonate with audiences in Myanmar, through translation and subtitling. Through this, we hope to build stronger connections between video advocates and campaigners in Myanmar and those in the region focusing on issues in Myanmar. An ongoing networking and collaboration effort will enhance the knowledge sharing of video advocates in Myanmar via the development of a shared community of exchange.
In the second phase of the program, we are planning a video camp that will bring video activists from Southeast Asia together with those in Myanmar to foster networking, peer exchange and collaborations. You can take a look at previous video camps we ran: Camp Sambel I and Camp Sambel II. The camp will take place in Myanmar and the dates for the camp will be announced shortly, so keep watching this space.
We are interested in partnerships and collaborations as we launch these activities. If you are a video maker, campaigner, activist, media outlet or an enthusiast with interest in Myanmar, we would love to hear from you, and discuss how we might be able to work together. Please get in touch!
A quick update about RightsCon Southeast Asia. We’ve received some excellent submissions, and are encouraged by the breadth of the proposals that people around the region and the world are preparing for submission.
To account for this volume of interest, we’re extending the deadline to December 1st.
Propose your sessions here! And don’t forget, you can reach out to us about the submission process - we’re happy to answer questions, play matchmaker if you’re looking for session partners, or just to chat.
Many corporations, governments, and institutions have committed to sending high-level representatives, including Twitter, CloudFlare, Mozilla, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, ICANN, ISOC, Amnesty International.
Some participant attendees thus far include: Dan Bross (Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft), Eileen Donahoe (Director of Global Affairs, Human Rights Watch), Richard Stallman (Founder, GNU Project and Free Software Foundation), Charles Mok (Hong Kong Tech Sector Legislative Representative), Nnenna Nwakanma (FLOSS activist and organizer, Web We Want Foundation), Roger Dingledine (Director, Tor Project), and more to be announced, soon!
Programming Committee Assembling
To help us craft the most relevant, action-oriented program possible, we’re enlisting some expert help. Joining our Advisory Committee are experts from every sector, and all corners of the globe.
Newly confirmed are May-Ann Lim (Young Leaders’ Programme Singapore), Rebecca MacKinnon (New America Foundation), Jacob Applebaum (Independent Researcher), Matt Perault (Facebook), Shita Laksmi (Hivos Southeast Asia), Jed Adao (TechSoup Asia), Nick Grossman (Union Square Ventures), Sara Harrington (LinkedIn), Andrew Puddephatt (Global Partners Digital), and more!
Upon hearing the name 'Papua' in Indonesia, people usually thing of two things: ‘independence struggle' and ‘Freeport’. They both might be valid examples to describe what’s going on in Papua, but they are also over-simplification. West Papua, like any other place in Indonesia, is multi-dimensional in its character and in terms of the problems faced by the people. Only that the problems are worse.
For example, large scale economic development is taking place right across West Papua in the form of logging, agricultural plantations, mining and gas extraction. The Papuans enjoy very weak or non-existent land rights and many are losing vast areas of land with little compensation. Everywhere this is creating conflict and hardship for local people.
And although a significant number of Papuans work in the public service, senior positions are mostly held by migrants while most private sector employment is also in low paid jobs. Business and economic activities are dominated by non-Papuan migrants.
Education and health services are also very poor in most regions with few doctors and medical staff and few teachers who actually turn up for work. The HIV-AIDS rate in West Papua is around 2% (although the data is incomplete), making it the worst affected area of Indonesia. The Papuans are the poorest, worst educated and most unhealthy population group in Indonesia, even though their province is the richest in the country in natural resources.
Freeport is widely considered to be causing the most exploitation and environmental devastation, there are also a plenty of other corporations that do just that. Take the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) program, for example, whose propaganda claims the planned large-scale cultivation of rice-fields, integrated with other food items would provide for Indonesia’s food security in the future. Activist groups such as awasMIFEE have documented that 2.5 million hectares of now under control of MIFEE was seized from indigenous people.
Instead of food security, West Papuans now face food crises, socio-cultural problems and several other issues. The story of MIFEE is told in one of the films from the first Papuan Voices collection, Ironic Survival (featured below).
Information that comes out of Papua today is limited. International media remains banned in West Papua, as seen with the recent arrest of two French journalists who now face five years in jail.
From 2011-2012, we ran a project in Papua called Papuan Voices, which was a project that combined capacity building and video production by focusing on training and producing content by citizen video journalists and human rights advocates in Meruake and Jayapura.
For the second edition of Papuan Voices we worked with participants from Wamena and Sorong. It is currently in the process of post-production and is set to be released in January 2015.
One of the films in Papuan Voices II, Mutiara Dalam Noken (Pearl in the Noken), tells the story of a Papuan woman who was fortunate enough to get a higher education and became a doctor. She then devoted her life to treat the ill in very remote areas in Papua. And she does that to carry on the legacy of her parents who did the same when they were young health officers.
And that's just one out of eight amazing stories from Papuan Voices II that we can't wait to share with the world. So stay tuned to our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates in the lead up to the official launch!
This event an brings together activists, advocates, researchers, media makers, corporate tech developers and business owners, and government officials to discuss human rights and the internet.
We have an all-star group of advisors, who you'll be hearing more from in the coming months in a series of EngageMedia interviews. These advisors are located around Southeast Asia and work in all of the previously mentioned sectors. They are bringing their knowledge and networks to the event and will help us to shape the program and activities. here.
- Al Alegre, Executive Director, Foundation for Media Alternatives
- Donny BU, Co-Founder, ICT Watch
- Htaike Htaike Aung, Co-Founder, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO)
- Jac Kee, Women's Rights Programme Manager, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
- Merlyna Lim, Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society, School of Communications, Carleton University
- Charles Mok, Legislative Council, Hong Kong
- Mong Palatino, Former legislator and Blogger, Global Voices
- Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director, Center for Internet and Society India (CIS)
- Chat Garcia Ramilo, Deputy Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
- Bobby Soriano, Security Expert
- Arthit Suriyawongkul, Co-Founder of Foundation for Internet and Civic Culture and Coordinator with Thai Netizen Network
- Gayathry Venkiteswaran, Executive Director, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)