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Featured Filmmaker: Cyntia Warwe (Papuan Voices)

Cyntia is one of Papuan Voices filmmakers based in Jayapura. While she spends most of her time facilitating indegenous Papuan women traders, she still manages to make some videos to help achieve her goals.

Name: Cyntia Warwe (Papuan Voices)

Occupation: Field Staff of Pt. Hapin Papua

Location: Jayapura, West Papua

Date and Place of birth: Manado, North Sulawesi, 15 July 1986

About: Cyntia is one of Papuan Voices filmmakers based in Jayapura. While she spends most of her time facilitating indigenous Papuan women traders, she still manages to make videos to help achieve her goals.

In your own words

EngageMedia (EM): Can you tell us more about the work Papuan Voices (PV) has done?

Cyntia Warwe (CW): It helps us to be able to tell more people around the world about the present situation and issues that the Papuan people are facing. We primarily use video and encourage other Papuan youth to learn more about video production.

EM: Why did you join Papuan Voices (PV)?

CW: By joining PV, we’ve gained from many new experiences. For example, we’ve learned how to write video scripts, handle cameras, and edit video footages. There are many stories in Papua that need to be told, and with PV we can do so much more media campaigning.

EM: What kind of videos have you made and why do you choose video as a tool for change?

CW: ”Awin Meke” is an example of a video I’ve made. And it depicts the crisis faced by local sellers/dwellers in Jayapura. I choose to use video in this case because I feel that it is an effective tool which can be used to change local government policy, and hopefully, encourage the creation of special markets for Papuan people in every district.

I also made several simple Papuan Voices videos called ‘Suara Pijakan Kaki’ from the series ‘Cerita Dari Kampung Berkerikil’, and a campaign video to save the Cyclops mountain.

EM: What does Awin Meke mean? What is your hope for this video?

CW: ‘Awin Meke’ means ”Moms’ Own”. I hope that with this video, people from other islands can learn more about the economic obstacles that are being faced by the Papuan people, especially the female local vendors and how these women are fighting to claim their own spaces.

EM: Can you share about an inspiring PV moment?

CW: I experienced a special moment when we launched our PV videos on Human Rights Day (December 10, 2011) in Jayapura. The event attracted a lot of people who were inside the traditional market, and a lot of people finally got to know about Maria Goreti by watching the video, ‘Surat Cinta Kepada Sang Prada’.

EM: How can online distribution help PV? Tell us more about how PV uses offline and online distribution.

CW: With online distribution, the main target audiences are the middle and high classes in society because the Internet is very slow in Papua. We constantly explore more methods in offline distribution, so that we can be more focused and reachable. Our videos can then become better tools for increasing capabilities, learning, and reaching goals. Video can also develop solidarity between communities, especially when we play videos in villages, where it helps creates a medium for people to discuss their own issues and concerns.


If you know of any interesting filmmakers around the Asia Pacific you’d like to see featured on, write to us today!