EngageMedia Blog

EngageMedia Fundraising Activity with Myanmar Filmmakers

by Kyalyi September 11, 2015

EngageMedia Fundraising Activity with Myanmar Filmmakers

In August, Myanmar faced one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, with four of its states being declared natural disaster zones by the United Nations. At least 27 people have died and over 156,000 people are displaced, many losing their homes and an entire season of crops.

Many dams and reservoirs were left overflowing, and communities around the country have been cut off from trade, affecting the lives and livelihoods of a reported one million people. Citizens started the #SaveMyanmar campaign to help victims of the flooding in various ways.

EngageMedia Fundraising Activity with Myanmar Filmmakers

We collaborated with the Myanmar Youth Filmmaker Network at a fundraising event on International Youth Day in Yangon, where youth from across the country sold food, arts and crafts, and holding lift-a-tons to raise money. Our team sold documentary DVDs, helped take promotional pictures for people who wanted to join the campaign and shared some video editing software and apps.

I brought DVDs of our Crossroads and Papuan Voices collections and Camp Chindwin participants, filmmakers Thet Oo Maung, Lei Lei Aye and Soe Arkar Tun sold their own films. A novelist and filmmaker Mal Khaing and Myanmar film celebrity Su Aw Chel visited and joined in our event.

Save Myanmar 3

By the end of the event, we sold almost 60 DVDs and donated the proceeds to the Youth Day organizers. As water levels started significantly receding this month, work has begun to aid in rebuilding homes and restarting lives.

Video4Change Network Meets in Mexico

by Andrew September 18, 2015

Video4Change Network, Mexico MeetingIn July 2015 more than thirty leaders in the Video for Change field gathered in Tepoztlán, Mexico, for the second global meeting of the Video4Change Network. The Video4Change Network is a global consortium of non-profits advancing the use of video and technology for social change. The event convened organisations from India, Argentina, Kenya, Malaysia, the US, Guatemala and more for a week of strategic conversations, knowledge sharing and network building. The network is made up of more than a dozen organisations, primarily with a focus on short-form, citizen video from the 'global south'.

Hosted by SocialTIC, EngageMedia and WITNESS, the week began with a stock take of the activities and objectives of each organisation, many of whom hadn't seen each other since the previous convening in Indonesia in 2012. Discussions ensued regarding emerging technologies such as live streaming, the state of the Video for Change movement in different regions, mapping training pedagogies, and much more.

We examined existing projects within the network, such as the impact initiative, and explored future strategy and activities of the network, coming up with dozens of project ideas to grow the Video for Change field.

v4c Mexico stickiesGiven the event's location in Latin America there was a particular emphasis on developing relationships with regional groups. Approximately a third of the organisations present were from Latin America, including Ojo al Sancocho from Colombia, Cine en Movimiento from Argentina, and Red Tz'ikin from Guatemala. They brought a wealth of community cinema knowledge, as well as a series of concepts including 'decolonizing the frame' and 'audiovisual sovereignty', which we explored through the week. A two day Latin America Video4Change meeting followed the global convening.

The network was also pleased to welcome new members including Videre, InformAction TV and STEPS.

We wrapped the global convening with a fantastic public day in Mexico City that included dozens of workshops, and a public forum at the Centro de Cultura Digital.

We are excited about the next stages of the network and the contribution such a body can make to the broader field. Having the opportunity to share challenges and knowledge, and to collectively develop ideas with our peers has been a hugely valuable experience.

If you are interested to find out more you can join the discussion at #video4change, as well as explore the v4c.org site.

The Mexico Video4Change Network convening was made possible by support from the Bertha Foundation, Hivos and the Ford Foundation.

v4c Public Day

Screening Papuan Voices at our Yogyakarta Office

by Yerry Nikholas Borang September 04, 2015

It was a lovely Friday evening and people started to gather at the EngageMedia office in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for a screening of five films from West Papua. One of the films (featured below) was produced by Martha Langowuyo, who has been with us for one month as a participant of our new residency programme.

Over 40 people of different backgrounds and nationalities came out to the screening, including many young Papuans who are currently studying in Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is fast becoming a hub for students from the Eastern part of Indonesia as the city has a combination of high education standards and a rather low cost of living. It's a good mix, I would say.

After screening Martha's film, we also played some videos from both volumes of Papuan Voices. The short but intense showing of Papuan content almost immediately started a heated discussion on the political and social affairs of the beautiful land. Aside from the larger political situation, one issue that got attention was the rising case of violence against women in Papua.

After many requests from our guests, we played the selection of videos for a second time that night. We were really glad that so many people came to our event, packed out office and participated actively. We hope they would share and continue these discussions everywhere they go.

Crossroads: Screening and Sharing Community Video in Thailand

by EM News August 19, 2015

CR Thailand 1

On 13 August, we screened Crossroads, our video collection on migration, and other relevant videos from Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, to discuss the methodology and impact of community video and advocacy in the region.

A diverse group of individuals attended the event, which was held at the Ma:D Hub for Social Entrepreneurs, one of the most popular spaces where members of Thai civil society gather to work, share, and collaborate.

CR Thailand 2

This event was organised following an invitation to learn from EngageMedia's experiences in working with community media by the Thai participants at the Mekong ICT Camp, where we ran a series of workshops on the use of social media for social change.

Screenings of the short videos were part of an interactive presentation, where the socio-political background of each video was explained first, followed by a sharing of its process of production and the kinds of impact it made, and an open discussion.

We focused on the work on the Crossroads project, which the attendees found intriguing and inspiring, as they feel that community/participatory video has yet to happen in Thailand. A request was made for EngageMedia to hold a "training of trainers" and possibly collaborate on a video project in the country, which we're enthusiastically looking into.

ခ်င္းတြင္းကန္႔(သို႔မဟုတ္) အေရွ႔ေတာင္အာရွ အေတြ႔အၾကံဳမ်ားကို အျပန္အလွန္ သင္ယူျခင္း

by Kyalyi August 14, 2015

ဒီသင္တန္းကို တက္ျဖစ္ခဲ့တာ ယံုေတာင္မယံုႏိုင္ဘူး။ ဒါက ပန္းျမတ္အတြက္ ဖန္တီးမႈပိုင္းဆိုင္ရာမွာ အရမ္းအေတြ႔အၾကံဳရေစတဲ့ ပထမဆံုး camp ပါ လို႔ Mizzima Media က ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္တစ္ဦးျဖစ္သူ မပန္းျမတ္က ဆိုပါတယ္။အေရွ႔ေတာင္အာရွVideo Camp(ေခၚ)ခ်င္းတြင္းCampကို EngageMediaက ပဲခူးျမိဳ႔ရွိ Bago Centre မွာ လုပ္ခဲ့တာပါ။ ဒီကန္႔ကို ျမန္မာႏိုင္င့ရွိ Video Activist မ်ားနဲ႔ အေရွ႔ေတာင္အာရွမွ ရုပ္၇ွင္ဖန္တီးသူမ်ား အေတြ႔အၾကံဳမ်ားအခ်င္းခ်င္းေတြ႔ဆံုဖလွယ္ႏိုင္္ရန္ရည္ရြယ္ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့တာပါ။ သင္တန္းသား (၄၀) နီးပါးရွိခဲ့တဲ့ ဒီcamp ကို ပဲခူးမွာ(၃)ရက္တာ ျပဳလုပ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ တက္ေရာက္သူမ်ားဟာ အခက္အခဲ အခြင့္အေရးဆိုင္ရာမ်ားကိုအခ်င္းခ်င္းနားလည္ရန္အတြက္ တျခားသူထံမွ သင္ၾကား၇ံုမွ်မကဘဲ မိမိတတ္သမွ်ကို အခ်င္းခ်င္းျပန္လည္မွ်ေ၀သင္ၾကားေပးခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ခ်င္းတြင္းCamp ဟာေအာင္ျမင္စြာျပီးဆံုးခဲျဲ့ပီး ေခါင္းစဥ္ေပါင္း(၁၀၀)ေက်ာ္ကို ေဆြးေႏြးမွ်ေ၀ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

ကြ်န္မညႊန္းဆိုလိုတဲ့ ေဆြးေႏြးခ်ိန္ကေတာ့ အမ်ိဳးသမီးမ်ားအၾကမ္းဖက္မႈဆိုတဲ့ ေခါင္းစဥ္ႏွင့္ သက္ဆိုင္ေသာ ေဆြးေႏြးမွ်ေ၀ခ်ိန္ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဒီေဆြးေႏြးခ်ိန္မွာ EngageMedia က ကြ်န္မနဲ႔ Dhyta ..ျမန္မာမွ ဒါရိုက္တာ ေႏြးဇာျခည္စိုး၊ ဖိလစ္ပိုင္မွ ဒါရိုက္တာ အီလန္အီလန္ တို႔ ပါ၀င္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြကို အၾကမ္းဖက္ခံရျခင္းဟာ ျမန္မာမွာ အဓိက ျပသနာတစ္ရပ္ျဖစ္လာတာကိုကြ်န္မတို႔ေဆြးေႏြးပါတယ္။ ေဆြးေႏြးပြဲထဲက အသံတစ္ခုၾကားသိခဲ့ရတာေတာ့ ကြ်န္မတို႔ဟာ အမ်ိဳးသမီးအခြင့္အေရးေတြကို ျမွင့္တင္ဖို႔ၾကိဳးစားေနေပမယ့္ အမ်ိဳူသမီးေတြကိုယ္တိုင္က အမ်ိဳးသမီးအခြင့္အေရးဘာလဲ ဆိုတာကို မသိေသးဘူးဆိုတာပါ။ ဒီအဆိုကို ကြ်န္မတို႕႔ေထာက္ခံခဲ့ၾကျပီး အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြနဲ႔ ပတ္သတ္တဲ့လႈပ္ရွားမႈေတြကို ေနာင္ အနာဂတ္မွာ ပိုမိုလုပ္ေဆာင္ဖို႔လိုတယ္လို႔ ကြ်န္မတို႔ အားလံုးအေျဖရွာခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

တက္ေရာက္သူသင္တန္းသားမ်ားဟာ ျပသနာမ်ားႏွင့္အတူ ျဖစ္ႏိုင္ေသာ အေျဖမ်ားကိုပါ တပါတည္း ေဖြရွာေပးခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံမွာ ဒါရိုက္တာတစ္ဦးျဖစ္သူ ကိုသက္ဦးေမာင္က ဒီcamp က မိတ္ေဆြမ်ားဖို႔ ခ်ိတ္ဆက္ေပးပါတယ္။ မွ်ေ၀ျခင္းအားျဖင့္ ကြ်န္ေတာ္တို႔ ဗဟုသုတပိုတိုးတယ္။ ကြ်န္ေတာ္တို႔ ႏိုင္ငံမွာလည္းတျခားႏိုင္ငံေတြနဲ႔ဆင္တူေသာျပသနာေတြရွိတယ္ေလ။ ဒါ့ေၾကာင့္ ျမန္မာ သင္တန္းသားေတြအေနနဲ႔လည္း အေရွ႔ေတာင္အာရွသင္တန္းသားေတြဆီက အေတြ႔အၾကံဳ ဗဟုသုတေတြ ရခဲ့ပါတယ္ လို႔ ဆိုပါတယ္။ camp ျပီးတဲ့ေနာက္ တျခားအသစ္လုပ္စရာေတြအမ်ားၾကီးေပၚလာပါတယ္ လို႔ သူက ထပ္မံေျပာပါေသးတယ္။

သင္တန္းသားေတြအတြက္ ေပ်ာ္စရာအေကာင္းဆံုးအခ်ိန္ကေတာ့ Witness မွ Prakkash ရဲ့ Banana Dance (ငွက္ေပ်ာ္သီးေလးလို ကျခင္း) ပါပဲ။ သူ႔ရဲ့ ဒီသင္ၾကားမွ်ေ၀မႈေၾကာင့္ အဖြဲ႔တစ္ဖြဲ႔က ေက်းဇူး ငွက္ေပ်ာ္သိီးေလး ( Thank You Banana) အမည္ရ ဇာတ္ကားတိုေလးကို ရိုက္ကူးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီcamp တက္ေရာက္သူတိုင္းေမွ်ာ္လင့္တာကေတာ့ ဒါဟာ အားလံုးအတြက္ ခုလို အတူတကြတြဲဖက္လုပ္ကိုင္ရတဲ့ ေနာက္ဆံုးအခြင့္အေရး မျဖစ္ဖို႔ပါ။ ဒီcamp ကေမြးဖြားလာတဲ့ အိုင္ဒီယာေတြကို ျပန္လည္ အေကာင္အထည္ေဖာ္ဖို႔ လိုပါေသးတယ္ မဟုတ္ပါလား။




Sys-Admin Required to join EngageMedia Tech Team

by EM News September 15, 2015
We are looking for a sys-admin who is located within the Asia region and able to work one scheduled day per week, with emergency contact available outside of these hours.

EngageMedia is a non-profit media, technology and culture organisation. EngageMedia uses the power of video, the Internet and open technologies to create social and environmental change. We harness old and new media to assist movements challenge social injustice and environmental damage, as well as to present solutions.

Our new sys-admin is required to look after EngageMedia's servers and technical systems, including backups, administration of accounts, web server configuration, security patches, minor upgrades, monitoring and uptime maintenance. Commitment to ongoing updating and improving of technical documentation on our internal wiki is a must.

Our new sys-admin should work closely with our part-time technical manager and one other existing casual sys-admin, and also offer assistance to staff in administering email accounts and lists, project management software and other web services including maintenance, security patches and upgrades of Wordpress, Drupal and MediaWiki installations. Other technical consultants who work with EngageMedia will also need assistance from our sys-admin at times.

We are looking for somebody competent, experienced and friendly, with good communication skills, who works well in teams, and is fluent in English. We also want to work with somebody who shares our long-term goals towards social and environmental justice, and who has a strong connection to FOSS projects.


  • Ongoing maintenance and technical support for two main production servers and one backup server
  • 24 hour monitoring and emergency up time support of servers and major user-facing web services
  • Ensure backup systems between servers are functioning effectively at all times
  • Ensure technical documentation on our internal wiki is always up to date
  • Weekly review and installation of security patches and updates to OS, web apps and plugins where required
  • Weekly review of tickets in the technical issues management system, and response to all pending tickets
  • Weekly response to requests to install new software or apply extensions or changes to existing services including cron jobs, email accounts, mailing lists and small fixes
  • Weekly online meetings with technical team and engagement in planning and feedback
  • Take a lead role in coordinating systems administration tasks

Application and updated CV should be emailed to jobs@engagemedia.org with the title "Sys-Admin". Please include 2 referees in your CV. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and we seek to fill the position as soon as possible.

Call Indonesian Migrant Workers Cultural Representatives, Not Remittance Heroes

by Kartika Pratiwi August 11, 2015

According to the Global Slavery Index in 2014, the number of victims of modern slavery worldwide went up 300% from the previous year. Research by the Walk Free Foundation (WFF, Australia) in 2013 has stated Indonesia as being one of 114 countries around the world that practices modern slavery and that there were an estimated 210,000 Indonesians who were working in conditions equating to slavery in foreign countries.

Indonesian NGO Migrant Care reported that in 2013 alone, there were 398,270 cases of violations against migrant workers from the 6.5 million Indonesians who were working abroad, 84% of which are women workers.


To further highlight these cases of abuse and exploitation, we collaborated with the Alam Tara Institute to organise a screening of Crossroads, our advocacy video collection which includes several videos telling the stories of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.

The event was held on 29 July at Kedai Kalikuma in Mataram, and invited to participate in the post-screening discussion were Endang Susilowati, who has been an activist for migrant workers in Lombok since 2004, Paox Iben Mudhaffar, a cultural activist, novelist and researcher who focuses on issues pertaining to Lombok, and Rangga Babuju, who was moderating.

Reflecting on the many testimonies that were in the films, Endang Susilowati said that those were all factual representations of what migrant workers went through. Working abroad with a paspor melancong (tourist passport) was among the most common reasons for the issues they faced. “As tourists, they can’t stay there for a long time but it is the easiest way they can get there”, Endang added.

"The government has to start using the term 'cultural representatives' instead of 'remittance hero', as what they do is associated with the dignity of the country. They have to be more appreciated and treated righteously”, said Paox Iben.

Crossroads is a video advocacy initiative aimed at developing and strengthening the advocacy and documentation capacity of migrant workers, refugees and stateless persons and their support organisations. Watch the entire collection here.

‘DUTA KEBUDAYAAN’ Dipaksa Menjadi ‘PAHLAWAN DEVISA’ oleh Rangga Babuju

by EM News August 06, 2015

Migrant adalah orang yang berpindah dari wilayah lahir ke wilayah lain dengan maksud untuk bekerja. sehingga dikenal dengan Migran Internal yang merantau dari daerah ke daerah lain dalam Negara Indonesia dengan maksud bekerja dan adapula Migran Internasional yang keluar negeri dengan maksud bekerja. Migran Internasional inilah yang disebut sebagai Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (TKI) atau ada pula disebut Tenaga Kerja Wanita (TKW). Belakangan disebut sebagai Buruh Migran Indonesia (BMI).

Berdasarkan hasil penelitian Walk Free Foundation (WFF) – Australia pada tahun 2013, bahwa Indonesia adalah salah satu dari 114 negara di dunia yang menggunakan praktek perburuan modern. Dalam penelitian tersebut, di releas juga bahwa terdapat 210.000 warga Negara Indonesia bekerja sebagai Budak di Luar Negeri. Hal ini singkron dengan penelitian Global Slavery Index yang di releas tahun 2014 yang menyebutkan bahwa Korban perbudakan modern pada tahun 2014 meningkat 300 % dari tahun sebelumnya (2013). Setidaknya terdapat 210.970 orang pada tahun 2013, meningkat menjadi 714.300 pada tahun 2014.

Catatan Migrant Care tahun 2013 menyatakan bahwa ada 398.270 kasus yang menimpa BMI di luar negeri selama setahun terakhir. Jumlah tersebut dari 6,5 juta WNI yang bekerja sebagai BMI di luar negeri. Dan 84 % dari jumlah tersebut adalah kaum Perempuan atau TKW.

Dari hal tersebut, Alam Ntara Institute bekerjasama dengan EngageMedia menginisiasi untuk mengadakan Bedah Film ‘Crossroads’ sekaligus Diskusi tentang Isu dan Fenomena Buruh Migran di Asia Tenggara khususnya Indonesia. Bedah Film dan Diskusi yang diadakan di Kedai Kalikuma – Mataram, pada hari Rabu, 29 Juli 2015 tersebut menghadirkan Pembicara, Endang Susilowati, SH, Aktifis Lembaga Pancakarsa yang intens melakukan kajian dan advokasi BMI di NTB sejak tahun 2004. Juga sebagai pembicara pembanding, Paox Iben Mudhaffar, Budayawan NTB, Novelis, sekaligus Penggiat dan Peneliti masalah-masalah Konflik di NTB melalui ‘Rumah Arus’ nya. Diskusi ini dipandu oleh saya sendiri sebagai Moderator.

Film ‘Crossroad’ (Persimpangan jalan) adalah sebuah Film Dokumenter Testimoni tentang hiruk pikuk BMI dibeberapa Negara Asean. Film ini diproduksi sendiri oleh BMI, termasuk dalam penggalian Ide, proses Syuting, Editing hingga promosi. Pembuatan Film ini cukup lama, 1 tahun untuk sebuah Film Dokumenter Testimoni.

Dari beberapa testimoni yang ditayangkan dalam film tersebut, menurut Ibu Endang, kerap dirasakan oleh BMI dengan Paspor Melancong. Istilah Paspor Melancong ini biasa didengar dari para BMI Malaysia, yaitu Paspor wisata. “Karena sebagai wisatawan, tentu tidak lama, namun para BMI lebih mudah mendapatkan Paspor Melancong ini yang kemudian digunakan untuk bekerja” jelas Endang yang sudah melalang buana bolak balik Lombok – Malaysia ini.

Dilain sisi, berdasarkan fakta-fakta pengakuan dalam Film tersebut, bahwa dugaan Trafficking itu cukup tinggi dengan Modus Potong Gaji. Hal itu didasarkan dari testimoni sebagian besar BMI yang diusir dari Malaysia. PJTKI dengan mudahnya melakukan kongsi dengan Agency yang ada. “Potong Gaji sekian bulan, setelah itu dipindahkan lagi dari majikan yang satu ke majikan yang lain. Sehingga selama itu BMI tidak terima gaji sekalipun” Tegasnya.

Menurut Paox Iben, apa yang dijelaskan oleh Ibu Endang itu diakui benar adanya akibat rendahnya martabat bangsa Indonesia melalui para BMI. Meskipun tidak semua BMI mengalami perlakukan yang sama dan mendapatkan kasus-kasus yang disebutkan, namun tentang Perbudakan Modern tersebut, Paox berkeyakinan atas adanya By Design.

Apalagi jika kita membaca UU Nomor 39 tahun 2004 tentang penempatan dan Perlindungan Buruh Migran. Dalam UU tersebut, hanya satu pasal yang berbicara tentang Perlindungan Buruh Migran. Selebihnya adalah Pasal Usaha dan ratifikasi. “Itu pun karena Konvensi Buruh Migran baru di Ratifikasi setelah 13 tahun diperjuangkan. Ini konyol, sebab, Kebijakan Migran Indonesia merupakan warisan Orde Baru yang sifatnya mengerahkan dan Penguasaan bukan perlindungan” Tegasnya.

Menurut Catatan Migran Care menyebutkan bahwa Indonesia menduduki Rangking ke 8 sebagai Negara yang warganya diperbudak (2014). Hal ini disingkronkan dengan Testimoni beberapa BMI dalam Film ‘Crossrods’ tersebut yang menyatakan bahwa mereka bekerja siang dan malam dengan upah yang tidak sebanding dengan apa yang mereka lakukan.

Diskusi hangat tersebut berlangsung selama 4 jam lebih. Menjadi alot ketika Paox Iben menuturkan tentang kajian Folosofis, Sosiologis, Antropologis serta Geografis atas BMI. Menurut Paox Iben, Simbolitas atau 'gelar' BMI harus diubah yang akan diikuti oleh perubahan mindset dan paradigma berpikir masyarakat tentang para BMI ini. “mereka tidak boleh lagi dianggap sebagai Pahlawan Devisa, sebab, tanpa dinyatakan demikian pun mereka dan kita semua pun adalah pahlawan pada masing-masing bidang. Pemerintah harus mendorong Istilah ‘Duta Kebudayaan’ kepada para BMI agar selaras dengan target peningkatan Martabat Indonesia di luar negeri. agar BMI kita dihargai dan diperlakukan sebagaimana layaknya seorang Duta Wisata” Tegas Paox.

Hal ini menanggapi beberapa pertanyaan Audience serta data Lembaga Panckarsa yang menyatakan bahwa Transaksi dari BMI yang masuk ke NTB dalam setiap hari adalah lebih kurang Rp 3 Miliar atau lebih kurang Rp 1,5 Triliun dalam setahun. Hal tersebut baru melalui transaksi per-Bank-an, belum lagi uang yang dibawa tangan oleh para BMI yang pulang cuti atau pulang tidak lagi menjadi BMI.

Dari Diskusi tersebut menghasilkan beberapa Point penting sebagai rekomendasi atau semacam Kesepakatan bersama bahwa:

1) Migran adalah sesuatu yang perlu diadvokasi lebih jauh dan luas, karena hal ini penting untuk menjadi perhatian bersama seluruh pihak. Sebab, NTB adalah salah satu daerah penyuplai Migran Internasional di berbagai Negara.

2) Tentang strategi Kebudayaan dalam mengubah Mindset dari ‘Pahlawan Devisa’ menjadi ‘Duta Kebudayaan’ sekiranya harus dilakukan berbagai upaya membangun Opini sosial agar Pemerintah baik pusat maupun daerah tergerak hatinya untuk menyiapkan warga masyarakat yang akan bekerja ke Luar Negeri agar memiliki Kreatifitas Seni dan kebudayaan yang Inovatif.

3) Dari diskusi yang dilakukan, besar harapan terbentuknya atau menyebarnya lembaga atau Wadah yang consent terhadap advokasi dan Konsultasi serta jalinan kemitraan terkait pengembangan potensi dengan para ‘Alumni’ BMI maupun calon BMI. Sehingga para BMI yang akan segera selesai masa kontrak dan kembali ke Indonesia telah memiliki rencana untuk membangun apa. Berdasarkan hasil komunikasi dan konsultasi potensi dengan lembaga atau wadah yang dimaksud.

Diskusi yang membicarakan tentang banyak hal mengenai kendala, hambatan, serta peluang sebagai seorang BMI yang diselenggarakan tersebut menyadarkan kita semua, bahwa penting untuk terus melakukan upaya sosialisasi dan interaksi yang lebih berkesenambungan dengan berbagai pihak dalam menyikapi setiap persoalan tentang BMI ini. Para ‘Pahlawan Devisa’ tanpa perlindungan Negara yang berarti. Dan akan menjadi sangat berarti bila pemerintah menyiapkan mereka sebagai ‘Duta Kebudayaan’. Martabat dan Harga diri bangsa Indonesia pun dihormati dan di hargai.

Kedai Kalikuma – Mataram, 29 Juli 2015.

Will Myanmar Refugees be Sheltered or Stranded in Malaysia?

by EM News August 07, 2015

Crossroads Shelter

Fleeing from prolonged conflict and persecution in Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities find themselves living as refugees in neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia alone, there are an estimated 150,000 refugees from Myanmar, with possibly a third of them being not being registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

In 2013, to highlight their stories and those of other migrant communities, EngageMedia began collaborating with Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) on Crossroads, an advocacy video project to teach migrant rights activists video production and distribution skills. 'In Search of Shelter' is part of the collection of 12 videos that were produced, and highlights the plight of the Myanmar refugee community in Malaysia.

In the video, asylum seekers share how they've united and combined resources to establish access to basic services like health clinics and primary schools for their children. However, they also face many hurdles related to the difficulties in getting registered as refugees with the UNHCR in Malaysia, such as how many of the teachers in the schools they set up are themselves arrested by the police due to their lack of legal status.

Malaysia, which has stated that it will not sign the UN convention on refugees, also does not have any legal framework for national asylum and does not distinguish between refugees and undocumented migrants, leaving refugees at constant risk of detention, deportation and abuse. An undercover investigation by Al-Jazeera in 2014 revealed that some refugees pay up to $1,000 for official refugee status in Malaysia, as part of an illegal trade allegedly involving the UN Refugee Agency itself.

At one of the community screenings of Crossroads we held in Malaysia, we found that 80 to 90% of those present have had personal experiences being harassed by the police or faced problems with permits and employers. One member of the audience pointed out that there have been incidences where even if they produce their registered refugee card or supporting letter, the document was simply torn up by the authorities that had approached them.

With continued reports on acts injustice and exploitation committed against refugees in Malaysia, it remains to be seen how its government and the UNCHR will effectively address this grave and growing situation.

Camp Chindwin: Short Film Lab, Short Film Fun

by cheekay cinco August 05, 2015
Camp Chindwin participants showcase their talent and creativity during the Short Film Lab activity. The resulting videos are a mix of hilarious and serious videos that give a glimpse of the environment and feel of the camp.

One of the most fun activities we did in Camp Chindwin was to have a Short Film Lab in the morning of the third day. The participants were grouped into eight teams and were tasked to plan, shoot, edit and submit short films in two and a half hours. The teams were given carte blanche as far as the topics were concerned. The resulting films was a testament to the talent, skill-level and creativity that abounded in the camp. More than that, the short films gave a snapshot of what life and times in Camp Chindwin was like. Team 6 did a film about the participant's impressions on the camp, capturing footage as the other teams worked on their short films. One of the teams did a short feature interview with Ju Ju, the woman who cooked all the meals for the camp venue. The interview, which was conducted in Burmese, tackled how Ju Ju found herself working at the Bago Centre. The team even managed to subtitle the edited video into English within the time frame! Another team did interviews with the staff that the centre, focusing on the ecological values of the venue. Yet another team captured the "wild life" in Camp Chindwin with a short film about the insects at the venue. One team did a short silent action film about one of the camp "rules": if you're late for the sessions, you either sing or dance (or both). The use of stop motion animation, one of the expertise of one of the participants, was a clever way to get "dialogue" in. Using finger puppets, one of the teams paid homage to the the "unofficial" Camp Chindwin song -- The Banana Song. Group 2, shot and edited an instructional video on coffee-making entirely on an Android phone.

The last short film was about the "myth" (that the team invented and propagated themselves) about what it means to see a snake in Bago.

All of the short films were screened during the closing of the camp.

The Short Film Lab was such a fun exercise, and I'm really glad that we did it. It was much-needed break from the discussions and technical skill sharing sessions, and provided the participants another way to work together.