The event aimed to encourage efforts by religious groups to promote peace in Papua and dialogue among all religions, said Elga Sarapung, Coordinator of the Indonesian Interfaith Network (JAII) . The conference was organised in collaboration with Forum Konsultasi Para Pemimpin Agama in Papua (Consultation Forum of Leaders of Religions) and the Institute for Interfaith Dialog in Indonesia.
Major topics discussed included the building, nurturing, and strengthening of civilizations through transformative dialogue, and the challenges faced while striving for justice, truth, equality, peace for all of ethnic groups and peoples of Indonesia.
The Papuan Voices videos screened during the event were Papua Calling, Mama Kasmira, and Harapan Anak Cenderawasih. The screening was meant to introduce Papuan issues to the participants of this conference who came from all over Indonesia. The participants were amazed by what they saw in the films, and especially by Papua Calling, a film about Muslims in West Papua.
Indramayu was the third city visited by the Traveling Projector. Here, we were helped by an ex-migrant worker who lent us his house for the screening, where young people came and watched videos that were created by Indonesian migrant workers themselves.
It was a relaxing atmosphere and they seemed to love the videos, especially since some of them were made people from the audience themselves some years ago.
They were used to only watching TV programs or videos being presented by outsiders, but at this event they were amused at seeing their own faces on-screen. It was an exciting moment for the migrants who were often neglected by the state and society.
The next day, we left Indramayu and went to Cirebon, where we were hosted by Sanggar Rakyat. The screening was conducted in the Village Center with audiences from all the nearby neighborhoods and villages. More than 60 people attended this event.
Along with videos from EngageMedia, we screened some of Sanggar Rakyat's video collections as its activities focus on education and youth recreational activities. The night was closed with a discussion and emphasizing on how useful the videos can be as tools for disseminating information and educating members of society.
Indramayu adalah tempat ketiga yang dikunjungi Travelling Proyektor. Bertempat di rumah seorang mantan buruh migran, pemutaran film ini dihadiri sekitar 20 orang. Hampir sebagian besar yang datang adalah para buruh migran yang terlibat dalam pembuatan video tersebut.
Suasana sangat cair karena mereka begitu senang melihat karyanya ditonton bersama. Jika sebelumnya mereka menonton film, maka kini mereka ditonton. Tentunya ini sebuah pengalaman berharga bagi para buruh migran yang seringkali diabaikan oleh negara dan tidak dipedulikan oleh masyarakat.
Lepas dari Indramayu, tujuan selanjutnya adalah Cirebon. Di kota ini, Sanggar Rakyat menjadi “host” dalam pemutaran film ini. Bertempat di Balai Pertemuan Desa, maka pemutaran film ini banyak dihadiri oleh warga kampung. Sekitar 60 warga memadati balai pertemuan yang relatif sempit ini. Bapak RW membuka pemutaran film yang sebelumnya telah diseleksi oleh pihak Sanggar Rakyat.
Dalam pemutaran kali ini, Sanggar Rakyat juga memutarkan beberapa film yang dibuat oleh para remaja di kawasan dampingannya. Oleh karena warga tidak bisa duduk hingga larut, akhirnya diskusi ditiadakan. Namun beberapa remaja yang masih tertinggal berdiskusi dalam lingkaran kecil dengan EngageMedia.
Diskusinya lebih banyak pada proses pembuatan film, menentukan cerita, dan lain-lain. Antusiasme masyarakat yang begitu besar pada pemutaran film menunjukkan bahwa media audio visual sangat efektif untuk menyampaikan pesan-pesan tertentu. Dan keterlibatan warga dalam pembuatan film sangat penting untuk membentuk kepercayaan diri serta membangun arena refleksi bagi sebuah kampung.
After visiting 10 cities throughout Java island and conducting 13 screenings in 17 days, the Traveling Projector finally arrived back in Jakarta for its finale. Colleagues from EngageMedia were always with me at the other screenings, but this time I was organizing the screening with the help of EngageMedia’s friends in Jakarta.
The screening was held in the art studio of Dolorosa Sinaga in Pondok Gede, East Jakarta and the videos shown were mostly from the Bhinneka Tinggal Duka compilation which focuses on the issues of diversity and pluralism. These videos were picked because they are best suited for the situation in Jakarta, being a big urban city that is very diverse, but on the other hand experiencing an escalation of (violent) intolerance against anything that is considered "different".
Besides the Bhinneka Tinggal Duka videos, also screened at the event was Payung Hitam (Black Umbrella), a film by Chairun Nissa which highlights the "Thursday protest" by presenting 2 women survivors of human rights violations who have stood in protest in front of the presidential palace every Thursday for the past 7 years.
The last film was r.i., a film by Kotak Hitam that told the story of the tragedy of 1965 from the perspective of an Indonesian restaurant founded by Indonesian political exiles in Paris.
One of the notable comments from the discussion was from an audience member who stated, “These videos should be watched by as many young people as possible because they are the hope of this nation. They should be given information and facts about this country so that they can be more sensitive and critical.”
The statement was echoed by some others present who also asked for permission to bring the videos to their communities.
Martin Aleida, a writer who was jailed for several years because of his activities in Lekra (an artists organization said to be affiliated with the Indonesian Communist Party), said that many people who were part of history rarely tell their stories through creative work such as writings or films, whereas there were a lot of good stories to tell. He added that if the person who experienced it her/himself wrote about it, the result would be much more powerful and richer than if it was written by others. Martin suggested that everyone should write their own history.
I couldn’t agree more with him. To me, this nation was laid out in one giant narration that was written by the rulers. A narration that is believed to be engineered and full of manipulation. Therefore, this "big narration" should be demolished and replaced with many small narrations that are based on honest facts. And it becomes our duty to make that happen.
The 14th screening in Jakarta served as the closing of a long road show across Java Island to bring to communities videos/films with content that was very different from what they usually watch on television or in cinemas.
For all the hard work, we think we deserve a tumpeng (a cone-shaped yellow rice dish traditionally used for celebration) to end the journey. We hope to hold the Traveling Projector again next year, making it even bigger and better. See you then!