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Posts Tagged ‘indonesia’

WAFSAC HAS BEEN EXTENDED!

The ‘Watch a film, save a culture' wafsac reached its 30th day last Monday. Whilst we’ve yet to reach our targets in terms of funds raised, we are extremely grateful and moved by the level of support you’ve given over the past month – particularly by how far the voice of Indigenous Mentawai has been carried across Australia and around the →


WAFSAC AND WIN!

Dreaming of escaping the office to a secluded, tropical island and some of the best saltwater barrels in the world? Or perhaps in need of kicking off your shoes and experiencing one of the most biodiverse rich rainforests and cultures the planet has to offer? In support of the Mentawai WAFSAC, our friends at Pitstop Hill Mentawai and the community-run Mentawai →


SUKU MENTAWAI LAUNCH ECOTOURISM

It has been a busy few months for As Worlds Divide, Indigenous Education Foundation (IEF) and the Suku Mentawai team. The implementation of their Cultural & Environmental Education Program (CEEP) is now underway and the Mentawai committee driven to ensuring its success. One important factor and indicator of their program's success is sustainability – how the Mentawai team will operate →


AS WORLDS DIVIDE FILM LAUNCH AND #WAFSAC CAMPAIGN

Thank you to everyone who attended the As Worlds Divide film premiere event last Friday, the 24th of March. The level of support and generosity for Suku Mentawai and the ‘watch a film, save a culture’ #wafsac campaign was truly inspiring. Together, we raised $20,000 for their cultural and environmental-based indigenous education program (CEEP). We’d also like to extend our thanks →


PREPARING OUR FILM’S RELEASE CAMPAIGN

These past few months we have been busy researching and developing a strategy to release our feature documentary film, As Worlds Divide. Our primary objective is to utilise the film’s release to help fund the 10-year implementation of Suku Mentawai’s Cultural and Environmental Education Program (CEEP) – and thus prevent the loss of their precious Indigenous knowledge. Last Tuesday we gathered →


MENTAWAI TEETH SHARPENING RITUAL

It has been quite an extraordinary month here in Mentawai, and one particular reason for this was baring witness to a ritual I’d presumed had long been extinct: the sharpening, or chiseling of human teeth. There are various theories pertaining to the actual purpose for this act and, depending on the region you make your enquiry, perhaps all have some element →


FILM OUTREACH STRATEGY

I have been a little inactive here these past few months, but for good reason. Having finally finalised the film’s production – yes, very happy – it has provided some much-needed time to catch up on the happenings of the Foundation; namely, identifying weaknesses and planning steps to strengthen and move forward. One key component of this planning is the film’s →


FINAL STAGES OF PRODUCTION

Yes, the journey of this film production has been notably slow and, for those following along, seemingly uneventful at times. Almost eight years now and we’re still yet to see a film. C’mon Rob. Contrary to popular perception – and perhaps direct sightings – I will say we’ve continued chipping away at this quite incessantly. And what is →


SUKU MENTAWAI UPDATE

I’m really enjoying being back in Mentawai. In particular, trekking about the forest with my good friend Aman Masit Dere. He hasn’t been this energetic in years. The medicines are working and his health slowly recovering. It’s so pleasing. Sadly this outcome is not common here for people suffering from tuberculosis. Most others that I've met while passing through the remote →


POST-PRODUCING

I’m pleased to report that the film’s post-production is now in full swing. Even more so than when I reported the same progression last year, the year before, and most probably the several years before that too. Ahem. Jane and I have been in lock-down mode the past month working on a final cut (edit) of the film, eating excessive quantities →


IS THERE EVEN A DAMN FILM?

In 2008, before this journey began, I had lost track of where I was headed. I wanted to feel as though I belonged to a purpose but wasn’t sure where to turn. By the end of 2009 I had been living with the native Mentawai people for almost a year. Here I had found inspiration to make a documentary film, →


COMMENCING THE SUKU MENTAWAI PROGRAM

Three Mentawai Sikerei (shaman)

Tomorrow I leave for Indonesia to meet up with Esmat and August, Director and Manager of Suku Mentawai. We're all very excited. For those interested in following the activities of this Mentawai indigenous education program, do visit sukumentawai.org and its facebook page; where we endeavour to post photo, video and story updates detailing the highs, lows, dos and don'ts of →


STORY: HOW TO BUILD A MENTAWAI UMA

Storytelling is a fundamental component of all indigenous cultures and heavily intertwined within their native educational systems. For Mentawai, according to Sikerei, "Our stories teach us about our history and how to survive here. They carry the wealth of Mentawai through the generations. This is our fortune." Over the years I've documented a variety of these cultural tales and edifying conversations →


WIN THIS LIMITED EDITION MENTAWAI PHOTO!

We plan to commence work on the Suku Mentawai program before the end of the year. However, to do so, we need to raise initial funding through IEF. If you’d like to win this certified limited edition (artist proof #1) photo of native Mentawai - framed, be in the running by purchasing a raffle ticket for $2 each or $5 →


BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT THUS FAR!

Young Mentawai children safe and happy swimming alone in the river

What might you wonder if you found a species of plant now struggling to survive in the exact same location it had flourished in for thousands of years – even after being provided a variety of enhancements to help it grow? …‘What is it that has suddenly caused this change?’ perhaps. Over the past six years I’ve been researching and documenting →


HOW EFFECTIVE IS TRADITIONAL MEDICINE?

Medicine wrapped in leaves

Continuing on from recent articles discussing how the indigenous Mentawai community deals with illness and loss of life, I’d like to delve a little deeper into the practices of traditional Mentawai medicine; those who are trained to administer it; and the impacts caused by an increased lack of community access to it. Firstly, it‘s worth mentioning that traditional medicine has been →


SUPPORT AGAINST INDIGENOUS DISPLACEMENT

To reveal a little more of what this project hopes to achieve and to give those interested in supporting its cause a chance to do so, I'm launching a two-week fundraising campaign selling t-shirts to raise money for the not-for-profit indigenous education initiative. To see the entire range of men's and women's t-shirt designs and to learn exactly how you'll be →


FISCAL SPONSOR

As Worlds Divide has been approved by the Documentary Australia Foundation as a project suitable for philanthropic support and is now provided fiscal sponsorship. Meaning any financial support given toward the project's completion will be fully tax deductible here in Australia. Which, given the 'real damn close' stage the project is now at, could prove somewhat beneficial. You'll find the →


LIFE AND DEATH IN MENTAWAI

Each time I return to Mentawai I discover something new about the people and about the way they deal with the often-confronting circumstances that arise during their lives. This recent experience presented all that and more. Arriving in the port town of Siberut, Arla and I were greeted by news that my friend Aman Masit Dere was ill. His condition though →


AT A GENTLE PACE

Funny picture of a Mentawai shaman using a digital camera

Certainly not setting any records for the pace that this project is developing at but I can assure you it is progressing and I am getting closer and closer to announcing a few rather exciting advancements. Meantime, here is a photograph of a Mentawai Sikerei attempting to take a photograph of me.


WHAT IS REALLY BEST FOR THE COMMUNITY?

Portrait of a Mentawai shaman, Sikerei, and his family

Infant mortality is indeed a sensitive subject and, for all things related, difficult to know how best to approach when discussing on a public platform. My dilemma, after having observed an unexpected sense of functionality in a people coping with losing what I’d consider to be an abnormally high number of infants, is that as a result of this I →


MOVING FORWARD

Mentawai shaman proud of the rainforest

The project is at a stage where I’ve begun contacting and presenting to those I hope can help take it that next step toward release. Which is extremely exciting. Interestingly, I’m observing that people are generally really busy. Meaning that for many opportunities I await response. Admittedly I’m not as aggressive in pushing for people’s time as I perhaps →


GETTING TO KNOW THE SHAMAN, SIKEREI

I wanted to share this sequence of images with you and so thought I’d accompany it with a few observations I find interesting about the Mentawai shaman, Sikerei. Firstly, to become Sikerei is to devote ones life to teaching, healing, and protecting the people; this is their role. One important component of this role involves learning from their predecessors the →


PROJECT OVERVIEW

To clarify exactly what this project entails and hopes to achieve I have formulated a vision board; a simple step-by-step infographic identifying the problem, how this was found, the solution, and a pathway to achieving its long-term goal. I have posted a copy of this here for you to examine. As you can see, the film, BUI MAREUREU BAAP As Worlds →


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