EngageMedia Blog

The Journey Continues: Crossroads Screening on International Migrants Day 2014

by EM News December 22, 2014

Crossroads IMD 2014

By Anna Har, KOMAS

To commemorate International Migrants Day 2015 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.

The Journey Continues: Crossroads Screening on International Migrants Day 2014Along 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 films Polis Pao and Perangkap inspired one young lady by the name of Umi, to pen a poem down right after the screening, which she later read to the rest of the community.

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.

Human Rights Day 2014: Screening Silence in Yogyakarta

by EM News December 17, 2014
To mark Human Rights Day 2014, we collaborated with local partners to screen Oppenheimer's 'The Look of Silence' in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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.

The award-winning 'Silence', along with 'The Act of Killing' by Joshua Oppenheimer highlight the 1965-1966 anti-communist massacre that took an estimated half a million innocent lives.

Video Distribution Workshop with Indonesian Youth against Corruption

by EM News December 12, 2014

Video Distribution Workshop with Indonesian Youth against Corruption

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.

Video Distribution Workshop with Indonesian Youth against Corruption

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 Silencing of Silence

by EM News December 15, 2014

'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, 'Silence' 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, screenings were reportedly disrupted and even stopped by military personnel and their civilian paramilitary organization.

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)

Final Days to Propose a RightsCon Session

by Becky Hurwitz December 17, 2014
The deadline to submit session proposals to RightsCon has passed. But if you're still keen on participating, contact us today!

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).

Satellite Events*
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!

Announcing Southeast Asia Video Camp

by EM News December 12, 2014

SEA Video Camp

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.

Participatory Video Workshop in Beautiful Flores

by yerry December 08, 2014
Engagemedia recently traveled to Flores, an island in eastern Indonesia, to document participatory video workshops conducted by Kelola Foundation.

EM Flores

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 that the island's rich and attractive nature.

And 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.

EM Flores 2

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!

Announcing our Myanmar Program

by EM News November 20, 2014


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!

Deadline Extension: RightsCon Southeast Asia Proposals Due 1 December

by Becky Hurwitz December 04, 2014
RightsCon proposal deadline extended until 1 December. Be a part of the program and submit your proposal.


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.

Speakers Confirmed

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!

Listening to Papua

by Dhyta Caturani December 12, 2014

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.

Listening to Papua

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!