Traveling Projector arrived in Surabaya at midnight on Friday, 23 May 2014. The next morning, we headed to C2O, a library and community space for young people who are concerned about the cultural heritage of the city.
We held our first Surabaya screening later in the evening in the open space of the C2O library courtyard. The event was opened by Erlin Guntoro of C2O and followed by Dhyta Caturani of EngageMedia who briefly explained the ‘Traveling Projector’ theme.
Similar to what we did in Solo, the films we screened were focused more on tolerance and human rights. After only about 10 minutes of watching the videos, rain began to fall. We quickly rolled up the mats and moved the projector inside the library. The room of 4×4 meters felt a little cramped, but at least 20 spectators stayed until the end of the discussion.
On the second night, the weather was bright and we were able to host the show at the C2O library backyard. The theme of the screening this time was West Papua. Four short films about the stories of the everyday lives of the West Papuans were presented. The screening was closed with a longer video titled ‘R.I’, which tells the story of Indonesian political exiles who opened an Indonesian restaurant in Paris.
The spectators who were mostly young people asked us about activism in the Reformation era that was portrayed in one of the films, Black Umbrella. They also asked whether activists, either from EngageMedia or other groups, feel tired of promoting human rights and democracy. One of the participants seemed especially pessimistic about the current political situation, but we did all agree that we have to continue to fight for justice for everyone regardless.