Citizen Empowerment through Video in Indonesia

by Yerry Nikholas Borang March 17, 2014
Some notable examples of how video has empowered Indonesians in the push for rights and good governance.

In recent years in Indonesia, young people, activists, migrant workers, and video enthusiasts have been working with video to promote and achieve change for a more democratic society. There are many examples that can be found, where citizens have used the moving image as an act of citizen empowerment to push for open government.

The best example I can probably give is the Cinema Lovers Community Purbalingga (CLC) . The CLC is a club, a place to hang out for young people in Purbalingga, which is a small city in the south of the Central Java Province. For years now, the CLC has also served as a training center, training students and youths in using video to expose social problems in their neighbourhoods and around the city.

They have also produced this extensive video about local elections in their regency. They wanted to capture what happened during the election and also did a comparison of what elected candidates promised and delivered. This film was one of the winners at the South2South Film Festival 2012, and can also be viewed on the EngageMedia site here. The CLC have also set up and established this local film festival in Purbalingga.

Another example I'd like to share is the Moviemento project, which we conducted with Inspirasi Muda (IM), an independent youth organization in East Kalimantan, to produce videos to raise awareness among young people about corruption in Balikpapan as part of their vision for a clean government in the city.

One NGO, Pusat Sumberdaya Buruh Migran, which focuses on migrant workers issues, uses minute-long videos to promote dialogues between Indonesian migrant workers and Members of Parliament. This initiative has taken place in some sessions during an open debate related to the Migrants Protection Bill.

There are various other examples online which show how video can empower citizens push for a more effective democracy in Indonesia. With legislative and presidential elections happening in April and July this year, we hope to document another set of such videos.