The past two years have proved challenging for digital rights in the Asia-Pacific. The region saw not only a general increase in state surveillance and the stifling of free expression, but also digital rights violations such as internet shutdowns in Myanmar, disinformation and attacks on online activism in the Philippines, and the doxxing of protesters in Indonesia and Thailand.
These violations continue to occur, especially as people increasingly spend time online and the internet is seen as essential to personal and professional lives. Media, in all forms, should play a critical role in raising awareness on these issues. However, there has not been enough visual media that tackles digital rights and security issues particular to the region’s context, especially ones available in regional languages.
To address this, EngageMedia worked with eight filmmakers across the Asia-Pacific to produce short films on the region’s pressing digital rights issues. Their films comprise the Tech Tales film collection that highlights human rights stories in the digital age. These films employ various storytelling forms and tools, from narrative fiction, documentary format to animation. They will also be used for advocacy and training.
The films cover stories on online surveillance in India, Malaysia and Thailand; data privacy and online gender-based violence in Indonesia; massive disinformation campaigns in Myanmar and the Philippines; online freedom of expression in Cambodia and Malaysia; and digital sovereignty in the whole region.
First launched on October 30, 2021, the full film collection is now permanently available to watch on Cinemata, a platform for social and environmental films about the Asia-Pacific. The collection has also been showcased at various community screenings – both online and at physical events – across the region.
If you would like to host a Tech Tales screening, or include the films in festivals or events, reach out to us via the Tech Tales Partners section below.