EngageMedia Blog

Using Documentaries to fast track Myamar minority & Peace at Mandalay & Sintgu

by Kyalyi November 17, 2016
It has been two month since we introduced Khaw than, https://www.engagemedia.org/Projects/khaw-than/ ,Films on Myanmar minority and peace screenings that allows audience to assess, Human rights and peace dialogue at Yangon, Mandalay & Sintgu .

After we screened our first screening at Yangon on 26 Oct with Phanteeyar , we forwarded moving on our next screenings at Mandalay and Sintgu ( Lat Pan Hla ) on Nov 10, 11 and 12 with Metta Campaign and Rainbow Organization Sintgu.

Over 300 audiences for 3 screenings at Mandalay & Sintgu make more effective discussion times with filmmaker Lei Lei Aye for her women rights film “My Mother is Single’ and her awarded film of  & Proud Film Festival ‘Soul Mate’. We also screened our top documentary film “Sound of Silence ‘’ which won in Spain Gerona Film festival and ‘’I wanna go to school’’, awarded film of Human Rights & Human Dignity Film Festival.

“This screenings has revolutionized our thoughts about minorities,” said Transgender woman, Ma Phyo  from Rainbow Organization Sintgu. “Through these video interviews, we get a deeper understanding our right and can know peace building more effectively with current Myanmar situation.”

With the New Year season quickly approaching, we have a plan to move on for our two final screenings at Yangon on Dec 14 and 15 and so that you can visit and discuss with our filmmakers & our engagemedia team.


Ready to watch Minority and peace film?

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by EM News October 31, 2018
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Call for Submissions: Minority Rights & Interfaith Films

by Kyalyi October 13, 2016

Myanmar Community Screening

EngageMedia is seeking short film submissions to include in a video-based interfaith and minority rights outreach and engagement project across Myanmar via online and mobile platforms, and through screenings in Mandalay Division and Yangon.

The initiative will work with local and national partners to deepen understanding of minority rights and interfaith issues, provide minority communities and activists with video engagement tools, and directly support campaigners seeking to draw attention to these critical issues. The outreach and engagement program will take place from October to December of 2016.

Rules & Regulations

  • The film addresses issues relating to minority rights, religious tolerance, land grabbing, war and violence, including sexual violence in Myanmar or Southeast Asia
  • Duration of the film should be 5-10 mins
  • Copyright to the film should belong to the filmmakers themselves (The films will be published as a DVD collection, will be screened in Myanmar, as well as used for other outreach in Southeast Asia)
  • Must include English subtitles if the film is not in English
  • HD quality

Deadline for submissions is 5 November 2016.

Please send a short synopsis and a link to your film to kyalyi@engagemedia.org.

Bringing Migrant Films to Rural Myanmar

by EM News April 11, 2016
In March, partnering with the MCMAHT (Myanmar Catholic Migration and Anti-Human Trafficking) Network, we organized a screening of films on migrant workers attended by 40 residents in the village of Kwin Sann, Bago, Myanmar.

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Based on MCMAHT’s reports, the area is home to many who become migrant workers in neighborhood countries like Thailand and Malaysia. We found it fitting then, to screen films from Crossroads, our collection of advocacy videos on migrant workers, refugees, and stateless people in Malaysia.

Beginning our Journey

At 10am on a Monday morning, I, Kyalyi from EngageMedia, and MCMAHT volunteers departed from Yangon by bus and we arrived at the town of Zeekone at about 4pm. Kwin Sann village is located in the vicinity of Zeekone, but we had to travel for two hours on motorcycles to get there. We arrived safely at Kwin Sann at 6pm.

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Most of people in the village are of Catholic faith, Karen ethnicity and speak the Karen language. Thankfully for me, one of the characters from a film of mine is a Karen girl, so I was familiar enough with their language.

On Tuesday, I visited the village leader’s home to get permission to screen our films there. I was delightfully surprised that they chose to screen the films in the area where they congregate to pray, called “a Holy Place for Mary”.

Challenges

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The area faces a sever lack of electricity and the people there can only get power from small solar generators. We faced an issue in making our projector work and finally we had to think of an alternative. Some of the villagers have small TVs with 14-inch screens, but I decided that it would be better to screen the films from my own laptop which has a screen of almost 16 inches.

I’ll never forget how much I worried about the battery life of my laptop for the screening the next day. But by a stroke of luck, using one of the small solar generators somehow worked out.

The Screening Day

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At 5pm on Wednesday, after candlelight prayers, the MCMAHT volunteers and I started began the much-anticipated screening. We opened with the filmed, ‘In Search of Shelter’, a film about Myanmar refugees and migrant workers in Malaysia. In this video, a Karen man talks about the issues facing migrant workers in hopes that villagers who often “export” such workers would better understand them. We also showed the films, ‘Here to Help’, ‘Polis Pao’, ‘Siti Got Cheated’, ‘Trap’ and ‘Forsaken’.

The audience, which consisted of men and women aged 10–74, engaged in a lively post-screening discussion and answered a questionnaire on the issues raised in the films. A resource person from MCMAHT spoke in further detail with the villagers about official documents and how individuals looking to become migrant workers can better protect themselves.

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One of the villagers who came back from Malaysia said that he is really afraid to ever go to Malaysia again because of the police there. He shared that was always staying and hiding in the darkest corners of the factory in which he worked for only three months before returning to Myanmar.

His account served as a stark reminder of the realities faced by migrant workers throughout the region, and we were glad that the screening of films from Crossroads helped to spark such dialogues in remote locations where even watching television is considered a luxury.

How To Protect Journalists, A Dialogue on the Future of Journalism

by Yerry Nikholas Borang June 06, 2016

The shock effect after Snowden’s revelation has stopped. And it just stopped there. Except for a few journalists who are now using encrypted emails not much has changed. Security experts are juggling with words and acronyms like Securedrop, TOR, PGP and many others, but how many journalist are actually paying attention to these matters? Let alone who is really digging into these security measures and has started using them.

Even worse, many say all is back to basics. We just use the pre-existing threat models.

Around the globe, more and more journalists are being harassed, censored and monitored, all with the aim of stopping them from being able to continue their work. In the field we see that most threats are local threats. Not threats from higher level surveillance, although linkages between the two most likely exist, journalist state that they deal with these threats on a local level.

Local thugs, local mayors or politicians, local dictators, these are the common enemies of journalists.

Also there’s a new phenomena where journalist can't protect their sources. It has become easy for anyone to find out who the journalist's sources are, to discover who is providing him/her with data and information. Journalists need to be aware about the digital footprint and information they are releasing from their stories. Also they need to be aware to protect their research and data, including their work spaces. For example by paying attention to the security situation of their own desk and office. Also there is a need to protect recordings, tapes, smartphones, laptops and other personal things journalists carry with them while working.

In the meantime, journalists should also protect their own personal information as much as they can. Where they live, in which part of city they are working and so on. Another important issue is protecting their identity on social media. Actually most of these steps are included in journalist manuals on journalist ethics and guidance, in reality a lot of data surrounding journalists are easily available online.

For example, regarding the digital protection in an office, questions that need to be answered are

 

What are the considerations for using encrypted emails?

Who will we contact if there is a security problem?

Is there a security expert or reliable person around who can help?

Does our country denounce email encryption?

Does the State regard users of encrypted emails as illegal activists?

 

We need to know, what kind of threats journalists face in their home towns. Again this is related to the threat model discussed earlier. Below a list of question regarding local threats

Are you using PGP or Signal or other chatting apps? Why?

What are your considerations in choosing between Whatsapp versus Signal as a chatting app?

Is the password you are using safe?

Do you know how to create better passwords? Or should you opt for an app that offers more security?

The most basic and important fact related to all these issues is, that journalists need to change their behavior. But we all know that it is hard to change a person’s behavior. Let alone a journalists’ behavior, as they are always chasing deadlines and in need for quick bits of information. Usually the hardest question to ask oneself as a journalist is that one: am I willing to change my behavior?


This Blog is based on a dialog at Secure the News: A Dialogue on How to Protect the Future of Journalism.

Screening Papuan Films in Yogyakarta

by EM News July 26, 2016
On 21 April, 6 short films by Papuan filmmakers and activists opened Jagongan Media Rakyat 2016 (The People’s Media Festival 2016) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The films from EngageMedia's Papuan Voices collection included Save The Karon, Papuan School, Pearl In The Noken, Mama Mariode and Master of Our Land. The film Perempuan dan Miras (Women and Alcohol) by the Papua Pride community was also screened. The motive of the screening was to inform to people outside Papua about what exactly was happening inside it. Richard Suwae, one of the founders of Papua Pride, commented that film is the best medium to transfer knowledge and information, and that it’s much easier to distribute. They hope that through film, they can increase solidarity among Papuans. Both organizations aim to foster a positive perception about the Papuan people, as we've observed that in recent times, the media tends to report news that portrays them in a more negative light. In the same week, Papuan Voices was also screened during a monthly discussion as part of Festival Film Pelajar Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Student Film Festival). The organizer of the event wanted to show films made by Papuans, as most films about the province are made by people from outside it.

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by Rezwan November 20, 2018

Video4Change Indonesia Gathering: Evaluation

by Yerry Nikholas Borang April 10, 2014

v4c Indonesia

Since our recent Video4Change gathering (V4C) was the first of its kind in Indonesia, we made some observations and received feedback on design of the gathering.

We gathered video makers from different backgrounds with varying level of expertise. This became a plus point for us because there provided diverse perspective to the discussions. But it also posed a challenge, however, as they had different level of understanding and awareness about video its use in advocacy. So, instead of going deep into discussion about impact, we had to start with an open forum to ensure everyone understood basic concepts. Our recommendation for other such gatherings would be to start with basic discussions about video, advocacy and impact at the very beginning so everyone is familiar with the concepts and terminology.

Gathering participants in a single location helped a lot with keeping up with the workshop schedule and the participants' needs. Some participants were also interested in learning some technical skills from each other. Organising pre and post events on skills-share would also prove useful.

Other difficulties we faced included not having well-accepted definitions of terminologies like impact, indicators and evaluation. Providing participants reading materials on such issues before the event could help with this, as well as more materials in local languages.