Pak Udin, a senior fellow, was coming from South Kalimantan by riding his motorbike for 3 hours each morning to reach the venue on time during our two days training. He was showing a photo taken by his cell phone to explain the wide shot. Besides Pak Udin, other trainees also came from villages and districts which were 2-3 hours driving from Tamiang Layang.
Media plays a very important role in shaping public paradigm and is a powerful tool to inspire people to take action. It can be used to inspire social movement, educate people, facilitate change at the collective level and create awareness. But on the other hand, it can be used to spread disinformation and negative propaganda. Media, like any powerful weapon, should be used with great care and responsibility. For this reason, Ranu Welum has been empowering Indigenous youth to use media as a tool for social impact and voice-out social and environmental problems that their community face.
In the last four years, we have been training over 150 Indigenous youth in our community to be able to use media skills for social change; recording stories from Elders, addressing Indigenous rights issues, documenting tradition and ritual practices and telling their own stories. 'Speak Ourselves' is the core strength and value of this community. There are more than 150 Dayak indigenous youth have been trained, over 70 videos/films have been produced, 5 international indigenous film festivals and 37 screenings - big and small, in 7 countries and 3 continents with more than 10,000 attendees in total, have been conducted.
Ranu Welum worked together with Sekolah Adat (an informal school connecting Elders with students; preserving local wisdom and traditions), and local government of Landak and East Barito, organized two media training sessions in two provinces in the heart of Kalimantan. The first workshop was on the 24th of April, on the same day of the Cultural Festival Naik Dango, in West Kalimantan. The workshop with the theme ‘Video and Art Design for Social Impact’ took place in sub-district Ngabang, Landak Regency. Twelve youth leaders from different districts in Landak Regency joined this one day training with Ranu Welum media. The second media training workshop was on the 29th – 30th of April in East Barito, Central Kalimantan. This workshop was also part of the Cultural Festival Jajaka Nansarunai. There were 10 students and activists who attended the training on ‘Media & Digital Literacy’.
Sharp ideas are coming out of our workshops; river pollution, deforestation, connecting children with the teaching of Elders, cultural and traditional preservation, and promoting eco-tourism. We are amazed by the depth of discussion that we have with these young people.These indigenous filmmakers have proved that distance and limitation is nothing when you are passionate to pursue knowledge. Moreover, the discussion that we had during the training has brought us closer as one community that has to fight together against the same enemy.
We are determined to offer more training and reach-out to more young people who are still very connected to the forest and their cultural identity. We would like to thank Landak Regency, East Barito and all supporters of the Ranu Welum Foundation; our impact would not be possible without you and we look forward to continuing our partnership to help empower Indigenous youth.