On 29 Nov 2014, Crossroads, our collection of advocacy videos on migrant workers, refugees, and stateless people in Malaysia, was screened to 100 first-year Law students at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Representatives from Pusat KOMAS and Tenaganita, our local partners for Crossroads outreach in Malaysia, presented the films Polis Pao, Perangkap, and the animated clip, Terabai. Both organisations had also recently worked together to screen Crossroads on International Migrants Day 2014.
The students asked several questions during the Q&A sessions conducted after each video, and expressed their enjoyment of the interactive event. Fajar from Tenaganita effectively managed to shed light on the negative perspectives on migrant workers that some of the students seemed to have, such as, "They take the jobs of locals", "They cause crime", and "They come here through illegal means".
We concluded by sharing that every human being has a right to livelihood and movement, and so should be allowed to travel to wherever necessary, especially to survive, but within the limits of the laws of the countries that they are traveling to and from.
With the Crossroads videos as a medium for more similar engagements with the Malaysian public, we hope to play our part in changing perceptions on migrants there, one screening at a time.
To commemorate International Migrants Day in Malaysia, we worked together with video4change colleagues Pusat KOMAS and Malaysia's leading migrant rights organisation, Tenaganita, to screen selected videos from our Crossroads collection on migrant workers, refugees, and stateless people.
KOMAS, who are now our official partners for Crossroads outreach in Malaysia, curated five films to screen during the event on December 14, which had a total of 40 mostly Indonesian participants. They were, namely, Perangkap, Polis Pao, Sekolah Harapan Bangsa, Jalan, and the music video 'Song of a Foreign Land', which was accompanied by a live performance by Crossroads filmmaker Muhammad Mundir.
Along with the distribution of Crossroads toolkits, the videos were also compressed into file sizes that made them small enough to be copied to the mobile phones of the attendees.
The lively audience found Sekolah Harapan Bangsa, a film on the education of the children of migrant workers in Sabah, East Malaysia, particularly thought-provoking as most of them have been concerned about their own children who are living in Malaysia and not allowed to study in local schools as their legal statuses are not recognised.
The rest of the day included Tenaganita's peer training on handling cases of abuses for migrant workers, a traditional Silat Cekak performance, and lots of singing and dancing over dinner.
Moving forward into 2015, the next steps for Crossroads outreach in Malaysia is to build relations with these Indonesian migrant workers and organise screenings within their respective community spaces so as to encourage discussions on the issues and with Tenaganita's assistance, offer possible solutions to them.
On 9 and 10 December 2014, we collaborated with Rumah Poros, Kotakhitam and Sekolah Tinggi Pembangunan Masyarakat Desa (APMD College) to screen 'The Look of Silence' in Yogyakarta to some of survivors of the past anti-communist purge and students from several universities.
The event itself was part of a nation-wide campaign to encourage the public to remember what actually happened during the transition period from the Old Order government under President Sukarno to the New Order government under General Suharto, 1965-1966. In some venues however, screenings were reportedly disrupted or stopped by military personnel.
EngageMedia and Canopy Indonesia collaborated with Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK), to host a video distribution workshop in Pontianak on 25 and 26 November 2014 in order to raise awareness of the anti-corruption movement to youth there.
The sessions held over the two days covered a variety of topics including building video distribution plans, identifying allies, and tips on promoting videos in social media.
On the second day, participants learned how to subtitle videos online using Amara. We also conducted a screening at the end, featuring films from the Papuan Voices collection and Canopy's 'Indonesia di Tepi Batas'.
Following this successful workshop, we look forward to working more with KPK to help Indonesian youth understand and join the fight against corruption.
'The Act of Killing' and 'The Look of Silence' are two award-winning films by Joshua Oppenheimer which highlight the 1965-1966 anti-communist massacre that took an estimated half a million innocent lives.
In Indonesia, ' has been screened in 457 locations from Aceh in the West to Papua in the far East. 160 of them were public screenings in cities including Banda Aceh, Padang, Pekanbaru, Medan, Palembang, Lampung, Jakarta, Bekasi, Bandung, Cianjur, Yogyakarta, Purwokerto, Solo, Semarang, Kediri, Malang, Jember, Makassar, Palu, Manado, Pontianak, Balikpapan, Samarinda, Jayapura, and Wamena.
But in some locations and cities, and their civilian paramilitary organization. by military personnel
In Semarang, Central Java, the organizer of the screening, Kolektif Hysteria, was intimidated by military personnel who also provoked local residents to attack the collective's space. The organizer then moved the screening to another location to avoid further provocation.
In Malang, East Java, students from Brawijaya University who were hosting the screening had to cancel the event when military personnel violently entered the venue and forcefully pushed people out of the location.
Also in Malang, a screening at Warung Kelir turned sour when in the middle of the film, an unidentified person began to terrorize the attendees. Locals and nearby residents then came to stop the event.
To mark Human Rights Day on 10 December, we collaborated with local partners to screen 'Silence' in Yogyakarta. The event went on without any disruption. Community screenings will continue to happen across Indonesia in December, with activists pushing for the new president Joko Widodo to see the film.
(Photo from Warung Kelir, Malang)
We’ve received some awesome proposals so far: from creating transparency frameworks for Asian telcos; to developing open data platforms for governments in the region; to teaching the latest in security tools to policy advocates and the vibrant world of Asian startups.
Many of the leading companies and institutions in the space are confirmed: Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, ICANN, ISOC, and Mozilla to name just a few.
Want to run a session at RightsCon? The deadline to submit session proposals has passed. But if you need to edit your proposal, are interested in participating in the Demo Room or have other ideas about how you can participate, contact us at conference [at] accessnow.org
Submitted a proposal and need travel funding? Don't forget to fill out the funding application, and please note that funding is very limited.
And now, for the announcements!
New Speakers Confirmed:
The planning team would like to extend a big RightsCon welcome to the following: Matthew Prince (CEO, CloudFlare), Professor Park Kyung-sin (Korea University, Open Net), David Kaye (Special Rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Council), Rebecca MacKinnon (Ranking Digital Rights), Onno Purbo (IT Leader and Expert), and Khailee Ng (Co-founder of GroupsMore and SAYS.com).
Mark your calendars! RightsCon is running from March 24-25, but we can guarantee that with the Satellite Events our partners are planning, you're gonna want to arrive a few days early:
The Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability (March 22-23)
Hosted by: EFF, Article 19, Centre for Internet and Society - India, KICTANET, ADC, and Derechos Digitales
Philippine Multistakeholder Forum on Internet Rights (March 23)
Hosted by: Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines)
Responsible Data Forum: Human Rights Documentation (Date TBA)
Hosted by: HURIDOCS, Benetech, Amnesty International, Center for Economic and Social Rights, and the engine room
The Demo Room
We’re delighted to be coordinating our “Demo Room” again with Benetech.** We’ll be featuring a bevy of lightning talks, tech demos, and workshops. This year, we’re seeking proposals that focus on the following themes:
Made in the Neighborhood: Based in Southeast Asia, and working on a chat app you want to demo? Want to do a lightning talk on an issue you’re studying at your regional university? This is the space to do it.
Technology for Advancing Human Rights: Want to announce a new iteration of a tool, or take advantage of the experts in the audience to evaluate your code? We’re seeking proposals for lightning talks and interactive demos on liberation technologies from around the world!
The User is Here: RightsCon attendees run the gamut when it comes to ability and technological know-how. From journalists to lawyers, from activists to academics, we want devs to take creative advantage of the diversity at our conference. The demo room can provide for opportunities for past/future users to provide feedback to developers and trainers on the apps and guides that they use in the field.
And to ensure that you can make it to RightsCon, here's 25% off the already-low Early Bird Ticket Prices.
Looking forward to reading your proposals later this week!