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The Journey Continues: Crossroads Screening on International Migrants Day 2014

To commemorate International Migrants Day 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.

Along 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.