Following a previous screening of Papuan Voices, our collection of advocacy videos on West Papua, to students and academics at the Asia Research Institute, students from the Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore invited us to share at their self-organized screening of the films on campus in February.
The session began with EngageMedia’s Seelan Palay giving a short presentation about the social and political context of the province, the goals and processes in carrying out the project, and the ongoing work for outreach, engagement and impact.
A selection of five films addressing issues ranging from environmental preservation to healthcare to women’s rights were shown, specifically Mama Mariode, Save the Karon, Pearl in the Noken, and School of Papua from the second volume, and the award-winning Love Letter to the Soldier from the first.
During the lively discussion afterwards, most of the students’ questions revolved around the methodologies we used in developing the project and making it participatory. One of the Indonesian students in attendance expressed how upsetting it was that they, as concerned citizens about the situation in West Papua, felt powerless to do anything about it.
There was a lot of appreciation for the work that we’re doing, and we were equally inspired by the enthusiasm of the students. We look forward to presenting more our of projects there.