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Poverty and land rights highlighted at Papua Film Festival

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Truk Monce, won the first award of Papua Film Festival – Harun Rumbarar

Jakarta, Jubi – Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua hosted its first independent film festival this week, showing documentaries on social issues such as land rights and grinding poverty, but steering clear of the highly sensitive subject of separatism.

The festival, hosted by a local filmmakers’ community, screened 10 amateur documentaries in the town of Merauke on Aug. 7-9. The organiser said the festival attracted 600 people.

The organisers, Papuan Voices, said the festival aimed to show “a new perspective that places Papua as a subject in seeing and determining its own future and contributing to ending the injustice in the land of Papua”.

Papua is one of the poorest regions in Indonesia despite being rich in resources like natural gas, copper and gold.

It has suffered an often violent separatist conflict since it was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticised U.N.-backed referendum in 1969. Dutch colonial rule ended in 1963.

Organiser Urbanus Kiaf said by telephone that all the films were passed by Indonesia’s censorship board without being cut or censored, but plain-clothed police attended some screenings.

“They asked for explanations of what the story was for each of the films and they asked for a list of names of the organising committee, but otherwise they just watched,” he said.

Kiaf said the poverty shown in the films was a symbol of “economic and intellectual oppression” and how Papuans often lacked land rights, after selling to investors cheaply.

One example was the film that won third place.

Director Elisabet Apyaka said her film, “For Novalinda and Andreas”, showed how a single mother had raised her two children by selling taro, banana and betel on a small patch of rented land.

“This shows that Papuan women are the head of families here, they get up early to do house chores, work in their garden and feed their kids,” Apyaka said.

The fact that the festival went ahead was a sign of progress in Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s efforts to open up Papua, said Human Rights Watch’s researcher Andreas Harsono, adding that it would have been banned in the past.

Widodo has given clemency to a number of political prisoners in Papua who were unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned for exercising their rights of freedom of expression, Harsono said.

However, a report by the International Coalition for Papua said there was a significant aggravation of Papua’s human rights in 2015 and 2016.

Rights groups also recently accused police of lethal force on people protesting against a construction company, by shooting dead one person and wounding 16.(*)

Source: Reuters

Editor   : Zely Ariane

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Papua Printing Company to support young Papuan writers

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Komunitas Sastra Papua (Papuan Literature Community) when launching a discussion on literacy education in Jayapura. – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi- Komunitas Sastra Papua (Papuan Literature Community) asked the Papua Provincial Government to reactive the regional company ‘Percetakan Rakyat Papua’ (Papua Regional Printing Company) to response the current demand of publication since many young Papuans are now becoming a writer.

However, the main constraint is in printing,” said the secretary of Komunitas Sastra Papua (Kosapa) Aleks Giyai on Thursday (31/5/2018).

Percetakan Rakyat Papua is considered bringing opportunities for Papuans to get the lower-cost printing. “To print some printed items such as books, magazines, calendars and so on, we have to make an order in Java. Even though the printing cost is quite cheaper, the shipping cost is expensive,” explained Giyai.

Meanwhile, cultural activist Andy Tagihuma thought books play a crucial role in developing a character of a nation. “The gradual progress of literacy development in Papua is a result of the inconsistent book publishing,” said Tagihuma.

He further said Papua should be able to produce and publish books and other writings locally like what has been done by the University of Cenderawasih in the past, which printed most of their writings such as Warta Uncen and other scientific journals independently. “But now they mostly send it to Java for printing,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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What is the most attractive thing to see in FDS 2018?

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Illustration of traditional Papuan dance – Jubi / Engel Wally

Sentani, Jubi – Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw stated traditional food produced from sago and cultural performances would be the two most attractive things to see in Lake Sentani Festival (FDS) 2018.

Furthermore, he said location, where the festival takes place, must be set attractively to avoid an impression of a night fair event or a regular traditional market.

Those who will be directly involved in performances at the FDS, such as dancers, must wear cultural costumes. They are not allowed to wear anything else on stage,” he said.

The Second Vice Chairman of Jayapura House of Representatives Kornels Yanuaring said the FDS, which is an annual government agenda, should have a positive impact on the local community.

Visitors should acquire clear information about this event; what would perform in this festival. So, we could see their interest on the event, and it could be an indicator of the income for the local community,” he said. (*)

 

Reporter: Engel Wally

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papuan Voices promotes indigenous Papuans in film festival

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Papuan Film Festival II Committee when holding a press conference at Jerat Papua office, Jayapura City. – Jubi / Abeth You

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan Voices will promote indigenous Papuans through Papua Film Festival II (FFP II) which is running in Jayapura City on 7 – 9 August 2018.

Papuan Voices established in 2011 and now stations in six regions of Papua, namely Biak, Jayapura, Keerom, Wamena, Merauke, Sorong and Raja Ampat.

“The theme of FFP II is indigenous Papuans struggling facing modernization. We chose this theme to response the current situation occurred in Papua,  said Chairman of the Committee of FFP II Harun Rumbarar in Jayapura on Thursday (7/5/2018).

In this festival, Papuan Voices wants to increase public awareness on the critical issues faced by indigenous Papuans.

“Also, it acts as a forum to strengthen filmmakers networking in Papua. Our works further explain the position of indigenous peoples in facing the waves of development and investment,” he said.

Meanwhile, FFP II Secretary Bernard Koten said his organisation recently focus on producing a short documentary film about human and the land of Papua, which assign to all levels of community in Papua, Indonesia and abroad.

“To see Papua through the eyes of Papuans, in the form of a documentary film,” Koten said. (*)

 

Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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