AIYA Links: 26 August

In the news

At the AIYA Blog

Events & opportunity

  • TONIGHT, Darwin: catch the final screening of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2‘s Australian tour.
  • Sydney, 6 September: come see the Jogja Hip Hop Foundation deliver a show-stopping performance of contemporary music and traditional dance.

ModCon 2016: Q&A with Alison Purnell, Australian Embassy Jakarta

modcon

ModCon (short for Modern Conference) is a competition in which students and emerging artists from Australia and Indonesia submit their original digital artworks. The ten shortlisted artworks will be featured on the Australian Embassy’s Instagram account (@KedubesAustralia) for public voting. Winners will win a trip to Indonesia or Australia to meet professional digital artists, participate in workshops and have their artwork exhibited in galleries.

ModCon is a collaborative project between Jakarta 32ÂșC (a forum and biannual student arts festival initiated by arts collective ruangrupa in 2004) and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. AIYA previously heard from Jakarta 32° Coordinator Andang Kelana, and today shares an interview with Alison Purnell, Counsellor (Advocacy and Outreach) at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

What role does the Australian Embassy play in organising ModCon?

The Australian Embassy is committed to forging closer ties and understanding between Indonesians and Australians through arts, culture and technology. There is a range of public engagement and creative collaboration already underway between our two countries, and we want to build on that. Therefore, together with ruangrupa and Jakarta 32ÂșC, the Australian Embassy established the ModCon digital arts competition, which encourages participation from young Australians and Indonesians. We will also work together to facilitate exhibitions, art work collaboration, networking and capacity building opportunities for young people in both countries.

What are the main benefits of collaboration between the Australian Embassy and ruangrupa?

The Embassy partnered with ruangrupa due to our similar interests in helping build the creative sectors in both countries. Certainly, ruangrupa has established an extensive network and built a strong reputation in Indonesia.

In Australia, ruangrupa has been involved in many projects including the Ilmu Festival Performance 2010, the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale 2012, Artlab collaboration with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney in 2013, the Darwin Festival in 2014 and the WANITA program.

How does ModCon benefit the creative economy of Australia and Indonesia?

According to Central Bureau of Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia’s creative economy represents 7% of Gross Domestic Product. It’s a similar figure in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – at around 6.9% of Australia’s GDP.

ModCon provides a platform for students and emerging artists to showcase their talents and gain valuable experience. The winners’ program will include professional development sessions that will help these young artists understand how they can commercialise their art, and therefore contribute to the broader creative economies of both countries.

What are some ways Australian and Indonesian youth can engage with and benefit from the creative economy?

As a starting point, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta runs a number of programs, including ModCon, Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program (ACDGP), Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships (AAS) which offer professional development opportunities. For example, we’ve recently announced new short courses in International Business Readiness (Jewellery Design, Fashion and Textile, etc), Museum Management, and Taking Business to the Next Level for entrepreneurs and innovators of technology-enabled start-ups.

ACICIS has also established a Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum (CADPP), which exposes Australian students to contemporary Indonesian arts and cultural production. Students and emerging artist may also be interested in participating in the New Colombo Plan (NCP).

Is the Australian Embassy involved in any other cultural/creative endeavours?

The Australian Embassy is involved in a number of cultural and creative endeavours in film, fashion, food, performing arts, jewellery and much more.

Recently, we supported a co-production between Ballet.Id and Western Australia Ballet (WAB) called Once. The tour incorporated a number of professional development programs which involved Australians sharing their expertise with Indonesian theatre technicians.

In the past few months we also launched an e-learning game, Next Door Land, which is a fun way to learn about Australian and Indonesian history, music, sports, architecture, culture and mythology. AIYA was involved in this project, which allows players to take a virtual adventure in either Australia or Indonesia. The game has been a big success and was made possible by the Embassy’s partnerships with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Asia Education Foundation and AIYA.

For a full rundown of ModCon, head over to the website. The ModCon submission deadline is 30 August. Voting is from 15 September to 15 October.

Pengalaman AIYEP Yang Merupakan ‘Program Sick’: Renza Tahalele

“Kami memiliki tugas untuk memperkenalkan budaya Indonesia ke sekolah-sekolah yang ada di Australia…”. Renza Tahalele mengisahkan perjalanan menarik mengetahui bahasa Inggris serta pengalaman mengesankan selama AIYEP.

Dulu, waktu saya masih kecil, saya tidak pernah menyangka bahwa belajar Bahasa Inggris akan sangat berguna bagi saya di kemudian hari. Sebagai seorang anak kecil saya selalu bingung bagaimana bahasa orang lain, dapat membantu kehidupan seorang anak kecil yang tinggal di salah satu kota di timur Indonesia? Saya tidak mungkin bermain layang-layang dengan teman-teman sambil berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris; penjual ikan di pasar juga pasti bingung kalau saya menawar dengan Bahasa Inggris. Manfaat Bahasa Inggris barulah terasa seiring bertambahnya usia. Itupun hanya sebatas untuk mendengarkan lagu-lagu bahasa Inggris yang sedang populer pada waktu itu. Bisa mengerti apa maksud dari lagu-lagu dengan Bahasa Inggris terasa benar-benar keren waktu itu.

Dari lagu-lagu itu jugalah saya banyak menemukan kosa kata baru yang kemudian saya cari artinya dan saya dengar cara melafalkannya. Tapi baru sebatas itu saja. Pada masa-masa berkuliahlah, Bahasa Inggris kemudian sangat membantu. Begitu banyak literature bahasa Inggris yang harus dibaca dan dimengerti untuk keperluan perkuliahan. Membaca langsung dari buku Bahasa Inggris dan bukan dari terjemahannya memberi nilai tambah dalam tiap tugas kuliah yang diberikan. Dan lagipula masih banyak buku-buku berbahasa Inggris yang belum diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

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Renza bersama peserta-peserta AIYEP yang lainnya saat pertunjukan budaya atau cultural performance di Australia. Foto: Renza Tahalele

Kemudian beberapa teman-teman saya yang memiliki kemampuan Bahasa Inggris yang baik berangkat ke berbagai Negara asing. Dari situ saya kemudian berangan-angan untuk juga dapat pergi keluar negeri. Bukankah akan sangat menarik jika kita bisa melihat dan mengalami langsung kehidupan di tempat lain dengan budaya yang berbeda? Kira-kira begitulah pikiran saya waktu itu. Hingga akhirnya saya kemudian menemukan kesempatan tersebut lewat Pertukaran Pemuda Indonesia Australia (PPIA) atau Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP). Program ini diikuti oleh pemuda dan pemudi yang sudah melewati seleksi yang ketat dari berbagai provinsi di Indonesia. Karena itu, terpilih menjadi salah satu wakil Indonesia dari Provinsi Maluku, terasa sangat membanggakan.

Untuk memantapkan semua peserta yang telah terpilih, berbagai materi diberikan oleh para senior yang sudah pernah mengikuti program. Salah satu istilah yang paling sering saya dengar pada saat itu adalah ‘program sick’ salah satu senior bahkan pernah nyelutuk kalau, program sick tidak akan pernah sembuh selamanya. Saya harus bilang bahwa pada saat itu, saya merasa bahwa mereka hanya melebih-lebihkan. Program ini hanya berjalan kira-kira 4,5 bulan, jadi tidak mungkin ada yang namanya program sick yang seakut itu.

Sampai kemudian fase Australia kami lalui. Belajar kebudayaan orang lain dengan cara mengalami langsung dan hidup bersama-sama merupakan hal yang sangat menyenangkan. Kami berkesempatan untuk bekerja dan tinggal dengan keluarga di Australia. Australia membuat saya terkejut dengan keramahan orang-orangnya. Rekan kerja dan keluarga yang menampung saya sangat bersahaja dan selalu memaklumi kebiasaan saya yang mungkin tidak biasa bagi mereka. Selain itu kami berdelapanbelas delegasi dari Indonesia memiliki tugas untuk memperkenalkan budaya Indonesia ke sekolah-sekolah yang ada di Australia. Salah satu bentuk pengenalan Budaya yang kami lakukan adalah dengan melakukan cultural performance, di mana kami menampilan baju-baju daerah, musik dan juga tarian dari Indonesia. Melihat betapa antusiasnya siswa-siswi Australia saat menyaksikan kami tampil, selalu membuat kami semangat untuk menampilkan yang lebih baik lagi. Mereka ternyata sangat bersemangat mempelajari kebudayaan Indonesia.

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Renza bersama teman-teman AIYEP lainnya. Foto: Renza Tahalele

Australia juga membuat saya terkejut dengan keragamannya. Saya menemukan bahwa orang-orang dengan latar belakang budaya yang berbeda datang ke Australia dan tidak melupakan asal-usul mereka sama sekali. Ada beragam kelompok etnis di Australia yang juga masih merayakan kebudayaan mereka walaupun tinggal jauh dari negara asal mereka. Hal yang sama berlaku juga dengan orang-orang Indonesia, saat di Sydney, saya sempat mengikuti perayaan Kuningan, yang diadakan oleh komunitas Bali di sana. Saya belum pernah ke Bali, namun saya yakin, jika saya merayakan Kuningan di Bali, suasananya akan persis sama dengan yang ada di Sydney. Postingan foto saya saat ikut perayaan Kuningan di Instagram pun mendapat komentar dari teman saya yang ada di Bali, “Lagi di Bali ya?”. Saya lalu sadar, betapa Australia merupakan tempat yang ramah bagi tumbuhnya keragaman. Justru keragaman inilah yang membuat Australia begitu menarik.

Pengalaman saya mengikuti AIYEP merupakan pengalaman yang tidak akan pernah terlupakan. Belajar bahasa Inggris selama ini, ternyata membantu sangat banyak. Saya jadi berkesempatan bertemu orang-orang dari berbagai negara dengan kebudayaan berbeda di Australia. Mengalami sendiri kehidupan yang berbeda dengan kehidupan dari mana saya berasal membuat saya bersemangat untuk mengalami yang lebih banyak lagi, bertemu lebih banyak orang, mendengarkan lebih banyak cerita. Saya lalu teringat kembali cerita senior-senior program tentang program sick mereka. Ah, ternyata memang benar! Sakit ini tidak akan sembuh-sembuh. Walaupun program ini telah berakhir, namun semua peserta program baik dari Indonesia maupun Australia masih terus berhubungan baik. Dan ternyata banyak yang jalan hidupnya bersimpangan satu sama lain.

Refleksi ini adalah bagian berikutnya dari serangkaian refleksi dari para peserta Program Pertukaran Pelajar Australia-Indonesia (AIYEP). Bacalah lebih banyak tentang pengalaman para peserta AIYEP di sini. AIYA ingin mengucapkan terima kasih banyak kepada Samantha Howard atas bantuan yang cukup besarnya dengan menyunting artikel-artikel dalam seri ini. Dia dapat ditemukan online di sini dan di sini.

AIYA Links: 19 August

In the news

At the AIYA Blog

Events & opportunities

ReelOzInd!: Q&A with Dery Prananda, Winner of Best Fiction & Best Film

The winners of the inaugural ReelOzInd! Australia Indonesia Short Film Competition and Festival have been selected. The ReelOzInd! team caught up with director, producer and screenwriter Dery Prananda, winner of Best Fiction and Best Film for Amelis.

Amelis. Photo: ReelOzInd!
Amelis. Photo: ReelOzInd!

What was your inspiration behind this story?

At first, I made this film because of the duty coming from my professor at my university (art institute). While I was finding the ideas for that, it reminded me of a conversation with Aleta Baun, an environmental warrior from Timor Island.  She joked about the journey of a motorcycle taxi driver (ojek) who brought a corpse back to his hometown. Beside the truth behind that story, I think it is an interesting story to tell. So I did some research about that, and the facts show that there are many cases in Indonesia, especially for people living in rural areas, where they don’t have access to good health facilities. That is why they often bring their own corpse from their family with public transportation. So this is actually the basis of the Amelis story.

Where was the film made? How many people made up the cast and crew? How long did it take to shoot and how long was post-production?

This film was created in Yogyakarta with a crew of less than ten and a few extras that we found on location, and of course some of the crew were also extras. The shoot took two days working from morning until the afternoon. Post-production, editing and so on, took less than a month to complete.

The film is both sad and funny. What was the mood like on the set?

We had an enjoyable time on set. Even when there were a few problems, these could be solved easily. The crew included a theatre actor who gave lots of advice to the other actors in this film. I just gave some opinions from my point of view for the pictures. The rest, all the actors and the crew finished by themselves.

How did you cast the film? Was it difficult to find an actor for the part of the father?

While the scenario development was still in process, I immediately thought of my friend Paulo Da Silva, as perfect to play the role as the son. Paulo is a filmmaker and already made some short films, so I thought it wouldn’t be hard for him to act in front of the camera. Meanwhile for the role of the father, he is a neighbour of one of our crew members. When I saw the picture of Mbah Harto (that’s the name we usually call him) I immediately wanted to ask him to play the role of the father. From the beginning process of the film, we did it very simply, and we wanted to maintain that.

Have your films been screened outside of Indonesia before? How do you think Australian audiences will respond to the film?

This film has never been on screen before. Even in our city, Yogyakarta. ReelOzlnd! is our first screening. I did not expect such a good response from the judges and I hope this film can impress audiences in Australia.

The ReelOzInd! Australian premiere festival screening will be hosted by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square, Melbourne on Sunday 21 August at 6.30pm, including the announcement of the jury selection of award winners. Entry is free, but reserve tickets here. On Monday 22 August, the Indonesian premiere festival screening will be hosted by Petra Little Theatre, Universitas Kristen Petra in Surabaya. After the premieres, ReelOzInd! hits the road. For all the info head here. To read a Q&A we did with the organiser of this groundbreaking initiative, head here.

ReelOzInd!: Q&A with Josephine Lie, winner of Best Collaboration

The winners of the inaugural ReelOzInd! Australia Indonesia Short Film Competition and Festival have been selected. The ReelOzInd! team caught up with Josephine Lie, winner of the Best Collaboration section to hear about her film Miner’s Walk: Supeno.

Miners Walk_Supeno
Miner’s Walk: Supeno. Photo: ReelOzInd!

Tell us a little about the project this documentary is a part of. How did you choose Supeno as a subject for the documentary?

Miner’s Walk is an interactive documentary exploring the stories and livelihoods of the sulphur miners working in the Ijen Crater, East Java, Indonesia. It will be available to experience on www.minerswalk.com in a few weeks. The documentary will allow audiences to literally follow a miner’s journey from the top of the crater’s rim down into the depths of the crater where the sulphur is collected and carried. Along the way, audiences will also be able to view 12 short videos which explore different aspects of the Kawah Ijen story – such as portrait documentaries like Supeno, and themes like the effect of tourism in the region. We are seeking to share the multifaceted and complicated environment that is entailed within the sulphur miner’s story.

Where was the film location? How many people made up the cast and crew? How long did it take to shoot and how long was post-production?

Supeno was filmed in part at the Kawah Ijen location, as well as Plampang village where Supeno lives with his family. It was important to me to speak with the miners away from the crater itself, because it was here where they could relax and be with their family. You see the miners in a completely different light by doing that.

We filmed over six days, and in that time did interviews with miners and others. We also attached GoPros to the backs of some of the miners themselves. Hence why audiences of Miner’s Walk will literally have the opportunity to follow the miner’s journey down into the crater.

The people involved in Miner’s Walk were basically any people who were willing to share their stories in the short six we were filming. So that ended up being five miners, and a mixture of people involved with the Kawah Ijen site, or connected sulphur factory.  Collectively about eight people were interviewed.

The crew was minimal, about two people. It was me shooting, with Niken helping with the video shooting and scouting for interview opportunities. We also had tremendous help from a local ranger and environmentalist Mas Kisma, who helped connect us with some of the miners. Day to day the crew expanded and shrunk to one to three people. Niken was the main other crew member. I am still in production for the ‘interactive’ side of Miner’s Walk, with my developer Martyn, here in London, building the website, as I design it. (I’m a User Experience Designer by trade.) The whole project has been in production for about nine months now, and hopefully it will be done soon.

What took you to Indonesia? Was this your first experience making films in Indonesia/with Indonesians?

I’ve been so fascinated by Indonesia since spending a year living there as a student. My family background is also Indonesian, and that’s always been a part of me. But what I love about the place is that it is so vibrant and unique culturally and geographically. Capturing its surreal beauty and human stories is a pleasure. This was not my first experience filming in Indonesia. In 2011 I filmed and designed a different interactive documentary Merapi: Stories from the Volcano, a piece that explores the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi, and its impact on 21 different individuals.

What is your impression of the film/creative industry in Indonesia at the moment? Can you see yourself taking further opportunities for collaborations in Indonesia and with Indonesians?

My impression is that Indonesia has an incredibly rich tradition with the creative arts which permeates through the country. How that translates exactly to a commercial film/creative industry, I can’t really speak to. What I can say, is that the DIY spirit and genuine enthusiasm to create everything from exhibitions, arts, film and music is something Indonesians seem to have in bucket loads. That’s why I’m always so excited to see content made by Indonesians no matter what medium. Yes, I would definitely be interested in further opportunities to collaborate with Indonesians again.

How would you describe the collaborative process overall?  Would you encourage other Australians to do the same?

Suffice to say, if Niken, and the other local Indonesian people were not there, this project couldn’t have been made. There was too much cultural nuance, too much possibility to offend, to possibly attempt on my own. Niken had never filmed before (her background is fashion photography), but I was more than confident that she would be able to pick it up quickly. And in exchange I saw how effortlessly Niken smoothed over situations, ensured interviews were well executed, and in general made the whole filming process a team effort. She was an absolute sport, because some of the shooting environments were really challenging amongst the sulphur gas, and the trek there etc. Absolutely I would encourage other Australians to collaborate with Indonesians.

The ReelOzInd! Australian premiere festival screening will be hosted by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square, Melbourne on Sunday 21 August at 6.30pm, including the announcement of the jury selection of award winners. Entry is free, but reserve tickets here. On Monday 22 August, the Indonesian premiere festival screening will be hosted by Petra Little Theatre, Universitas Kristen Petra in Surabaya. After the premieres, ReelOzInd! hits the road. For all the info head here. To read a Q&A we did with the organiser of this groundbreaking initiative, head here.

Celebrating Indonesian Independence Day 2016 in Australia

aiya hut ri

With the commemoration of 71 years of Indonesian independence on 17 August, we decided to take a look at where Australians and Indonesians in Australia are able to join in the celebrations. There is a plethora of events across Indonesia from Palembang to Makassar to Jayapura, but where might someone in Brisbane or Adelaide take part in commemorating Indonesian Independence Day 2016?

VICTORIA

The Consulate-General of Indonesia (KJRI) in Melbourne is holding a two-part celebration including a flag-raising ceremony in the morning of 17 August at KJRI and a public celebration at Federation Square in the afternoon, featuring a cultural display of music and regional dance. Find out more information on the Facebook event or the main KJRI Melbourne page.

The Indonesian Students Association of Indonesia (PPIA) Victoria presents the musical drama Temu Lawak on 20 August at Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. By helping to coordinate this event, PPIA Victoria aims to foster notions of nationalism and a sense of belonging as an Indonesian.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Eastlakes Shopping Centre will be the venue for one of this year’s free Independence Day celebrations in Sydney from 19-20 August. Co-organised by PPIA UNSW, this event will feature traditional food, gamelan and cultural performance.

The Indonesian Hillsong Community will come together at Hillsong Church in Waterloo and Alexandria in Sydney for Indopendence 2016, a series of multiple services across two days, 20-21 August.

It isn’t quite an Independence Day celebration, but you won’t want to miss AIYA NSW’s screening of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 and live Q&A session with members of the cast at Ritz Cinema in Randwick on 22 August. Find out more information and grab tickets here, and join in experiencing the hype for the event on the AIYA NSW Facebook page.

QUEENSLAND

PPIA QLD will host its annual Pesta Rakyat (Pesra), a “one day Indonesian culture trip”, at King George Square in Brisbane on 21 August. You can find some lively discussion for the event here, and the Pesra website features great highlights from the previous year’s celebration.

A week later, King George Square finds itself host to the IndOz Festival 2016; not only a showcase of culture and nation but also a prime business networking opportunity. Organised by Synergy Indonesia Australia (SIA), the two-day event from 26-27 August gives a chance to “Experience the Wonderful Indonesia”. Interested?

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Over in Perth, the KJRI will also be holding an official flag-raising ceremony and networking opportunity for invitees on Wednesday at the KJRI complex in East Perth.

Later in October, you can experience the wonders of Gayana 2016, PPIA WA’s Indonesian Culture and Arts Festival held at Curtin Stadium in Perth on 30 October. This promises to be a great celebration of a nation and enable people to come together as a community.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

In South Australia, the Australian Indonesia Association (AIA) SA and PPIA SA have come together to organise a “free family event” for Independence Day at Glenelg North in Adelaide on 27 August.

TASMANIA

Interested in something a little more academic to quench your Indonesian independence thirst? Look no further than the UTAS Asia Institute’s ‘Islam in Indonesia’ public lecture from Associate Professor Pamela Allen, held at the Centenary Building at the University of Tasmania on 25 August. The presentation will focus on the dynamic between Indonesia as having the largest Muslim population in the world while simultaneously being defined as a secular state in the nation’s constitution.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

KJRI Darwin will hold day-long festivities at the Consulate on the big day, which include flag-raising, social networking opportunities, fun Indonesian games (not just for the kids!) and the impressive efforts of Darwin High School Music Ensemble. Read more information here!

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Indonesian Embassy in Canberra actually held its celebration of 71 years of independence last week, but this AustraliaPlus Indonesia article reveals the enthusiasm of participants (and resilience against the cold), and the photos on the Embassy’s official Facebook page show the strength in numbers of Indonesian expats and visitors.

These aren’t the only relevant events happening this week, so be sure to keep an eye out for more! Otherwise, use #HUTRI71 on Twitter for updates from both countries about this year’s celebrations.

AIYA Links: 12 August

In the news

At the AIYA Blog

Events & opportunities

Mitra Wacana WRC: A community-based approach to women’s empowerment

There is a wealth of discussion currently going on about women and children’s rights in Indonesia, and many NGOs work to address these issues. Mitra Wacana Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) is an organisation of passionate activists who aim to empower women and children through information. The organisation aims to be a medium of knowledge, where anyone can learn about women’s and children’s rights, and a bridge between that knowledge (and the ideas it breeds) to actual social change. Sophia Dickinson presents her reflection on the efforts of Mitra Wacana WRC in Yogyakarta and surrounds.

Mitra Wacana WRC started 20 years ago as a place to consolidate information about services provided by existing NGOs. Over time that has evolved into an association of dedicated individuals who are fighting for justice and gender equality. This means educating people about the violations of women’s and children’s rights, and creating conversations about how to address these issues. We are based in Yogyakarta and work with remote communities in Kulon Progo district, about an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta, and Banjarnegara district, a few hours’ drive from Yogyakarta.

A grass-roots approach

Our approach in Kulon Progo and Banjarnegara focuses on establishing women and children’s learning centres (Pusat Pelajaraan Perempuan dan Anak or P3A). These are groups where village women and youth can learn about and discuss their rights. Mitra Wacana WRC provides information and training to empower them with the skills and knowledge to stand up for their rights. P3A works in partnership with other village organisations to advocate for change from the village level upwards. We also help them run activities for economic empowerment, such as making crochet bags to sell. By establishing P3A and through other activities, we are raising awareness of key women and children’s rights issues and encouraging community members to advocate for their governments to take action.

Mitra Wacana team member speaking at a forum about Kartini
A Mitra Wacana team member speaking at a forum about Kartini. Photo: Mitra Wacana WRC

Combatting human trafficking in Kulon Progo

The focus of our program in Kulon Progo is combatting human trafficking. Through P3A groups, we are educating women and children who are susceptible to human trafficking about their rights and how to get help if they have been or become a victim. Many women in Kulon Progo seek work overseas to support their families. A report by Mitra Wacana’s director, Ibu Rindang Farihah, highlighted the misconceptions many women have about working overseas and the problems they face, but do not discuss, when they return home. P3A is providing a safe space where former migrant workers can talk about their experiences and raise awareness among other women who are considering work overseas. We are also giving P3A members skills and training, such as how to understand official government documents, so they can participate in village development planning. This empowers the women to work with the village government to prevent human trafficking and support victims.

P3A groups in Kulon Progo have also been taking action to eliminate violence in their villages. They are part of the Violence Victim’s Protection Forum (Forum Perlindungan Korban Kekerasan or FPKK), which advocates for local governments to do their part to prevent violence and support victims. Data published on Mitra Wacana WRC’s website showed an increase in violence against women and children in Kulon Progo district in the last five years (although there may have also been an increase in reporting). Through P3A, community members are advocating their governments to take action on issues such as domestic violence, which previously may have been considered a private problem.

Mitra Wacana WRC is also developing a project called Omah Perempuan Sinau Desa (Village Women’s Learning House). This will be a formal learning program, run through P3A groups, to educate women, youth and village officials about gender, women’s rights, human rights, village governance, sexual health and how to run media campaigns. We aim to give village people skills and knowledge that they would not have learnt in school. This program will empower women and youth to participate in village development planning, prevent them from becoming victims of human trafficking and find ways to defend their rights. In early May 2016, we held a workshop in Yogyakarta to develop the curriculum, which you can read more about it on our website in English and Indonesian.

 Mitra Wacana community organisers in Banjarnegara meeting with the Head of Women’s Empowerment and Protection (Kepala Bidang Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan or KBPP)
Mitra Wacana community organisers in Banjarnegara meeting with the Head of Women’s Empowerment and Protection. Photo: Mitra Wacana WRC

I personally have had the privilege to attend some of the regular monthly meetings of women’s P3A in Kulon Progo. Meeting these women really inspired me. One woman told me how she had worked overseas for six years because it was the only way she could support her family. My heart broke thinking how hard it would be to live away from your home and family for so long. That was my first experience attending a P3A meeting; you can read more about it on our website. At another meeting, I asked the women how they had benefited so far from joining the P3A. One of the women said before she joined P3A she didn’t know anything about human trafficking, gender issues, or sexual and reproductive health. This drove home for me the importance of Mitra Wacana WRC’s work and made me very proud to work for the organisation (read more here).

Fighting to eliminate sexual violence against children in Banjarnegara

In Banjarnegara district we are currently running a village-level program to eliminate sexual violence against children. We started in December 2013 by conducting baseline research in two villages in Banjarnegara. We found that sexual violence against children is a serious problem in this area. In 2014, we focused on capacity building activities and in 2015, the first P3A groups were established. We have now established P3A groups for women and youth in four villages in Banjarnegara. Our program in Banjarnegara now has two main focus points. The first is to educate women and children about their rights. The second is to work with the P3A to advocate the village government to act to prevent and respond to sexual violence against children.

Many children in Banjarnegara district do not finish high school; they move to big cities to find work to support their families. So Mitra Wacana has decided to focus on children in primary school. Our most recent activity was a children’s rights workshops for 43 children in sixth grade, the final year of primary school. Over two days (4-5 June 2016), the children learnt about the principles of human rights and discussed their hopes for the future. I went to Banjarnegara to observe the workshops. It was my first visit to the district, and I was very proud of the work Mitra Wacana is doing there. You can read the full story on our website.

Mitra Wacana team members speaking on our monthly talkshow segment on SmartFM radio in Jogja.
Mitra Wacana team members speaking during a monthly talkshow segment on SmartFM radio in Yogyakarta. Photo: Mitra Wacana WRC

Activism in Yogyakarta

In Yogyakarta, we speak on radio talk shows four times a month to raise awareness about issues such as underage marriage, sexual and reproductive health and other women and children’s rights topics. We have also worked with other organisations and universities to organise and speak at discussions and workshops about women’s rights. On International Women’s Day, we organised a panel discussion about underage marriage in Indonesia. The discussion took place at Gadjah Mada University’s Centre for Population and Policy Studies (PSKK UGM). Panel members included Ahmad Muhsin Kamaludiningrat from the Indonesian Council of Theologians (MUI), Khotimatul Husna from Fatayat Islamic Women’s Organisation (Fatayat NU), Anita Triaswati from Indonesian Family Planning Association (PKBI) and Professor Muhadjir Darwin from PSKK UGM. We are also a member of the Yogyakarta Women’s Network, JPY (Jaringan Perempuan Yogyakarta), and often collaborate with other members.

Support Mitra Wacana WRC

You can read more about Mitra Wacana WRC on our website. You can also keep up with our latest news and activities on social media: on Facebook and our fanpage, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

We are working hard to update the Indonesian version of our website and build up the English version. If you would like to help us with translations or write a contribution for our website, please email mitrawacanawrc@gmail.com (guidelines available here).

ISRSF Indonesian History Essay Competition

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The Indonesian Scholarship and Research Support Foundation (ISRSF) invites talented Indonesians to participate in the Foundation’s History Essay Competition. The goal of this competition is to recognise the work of Indonesians interested in history and to inspire young Indonesians to become academic historians.

Who can enter the competition? 

  • Any Indonesian citizen with a strong interest in history
  • Anyone with either an S1 or S2 degree as of the end of 2016
  • You have not yet started any Ph.D program
  • Anyone who is 35 years old or younger at the time you submit your essay
  • No one currently affiliated in any way with ISRSF can submit an essay

What can I write about?

  • Any subject or period in Indonesian history from 1800 to 2000
  • The focus can be on a social, economic, political, cultural, religious, or ideological topic
  • You can focus on individuals, groups, movements, trends, ideas, organizations, or any combination of these
  • It must be an original essay written exclusively for this competition and not submitted or published anywhere previously

What are the criteria for winning?

  • Originality, clarity, coherence, use of sources, and the quality of the writing.
  • Essays must be written in English and carefully edited for content, spelling, and grammar.
  • Essays must be non-ficton, based on research, and be 2,500 words or less.
  • Essays must be written and edited by the same individual (no outside help).
  • Each writer can submit only one essay for this competition.
  • Essays must be new, original, and written specifically for this competition.
  • Previously published essays, whether in print or online (in any form), will not be accepted.
  • All sources (primary or secondary) used in the essay must be fully and properly cited. All direct quotes must appear in quotation marks.
  • ISRSF will scan all essays using plagiarism software that can detect any material previously published in books, articles, or available online.
  • Essays should have a title. The author’s name should appear under the title. Avoid using headers and footers.
  • Essays must be submitted in Word .doc or .docx format. Use 12 pt Times New Roman font. PDFs will not be accepted.
  • Margins should be set to 1” on all sides. Pages should be numbered.

All essays will be read and judged by an independent panel of Indonesian and international historians. The panel reserves the right not to award a prize if no essay qualifies. The panel’s decisions regarding prize winners are final.

Based on the decisions of the judges, IRSRF will award first, second, and third prizes. The prizes for these places are:

1st Prize: Rp. 10,000,000

2nd Prize: Rp. 8,000,000

3rd Prize: Rp. 6,000,000

Prize winners will also receive an award certificate from ISRSF and will be featured on the Foundation’s website. Prize winners are also automatically eligible to be interviewed by ISRSF for a prestigious Arryman Fellow award and eligible for an interview for a full scholarship to study for a Ph.D. in history at Northwestern University.

Please send your essay attached with the History Essay Competition Form and a scan of your ID (KTP) for verification to: history@isrsf.org

Essays must be submitted online to ISRSF no later than 15 November 2016 at midnight (WIB).