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Posts Tagged ‘social justice’

WHAT IS #WAFSAC?

Four months ago we premiered our documentary As Worlds Divide at Federation Square, Melbourne, and in collaboration with the Indigenous Education Foundation (IEF) launched the #wafsac - ‘watch a film, save a culture’ fundraising drive. We’ve since held public screening events in Torquay, Redfern, Bondi, Avalon, Newcastle, Forster, Sawtell, Byron, Casuarina, Burleigh Heads, Northcote and Mallorca – raising more than →


THE MENTAWAI SPIRIT

Although impossible to convey here the depths of what an indigenous people lose when displaced from their land and culture, I’d like to share with you a few observations alongside a series of photographs captured by friend and photographer, Chris Hopkins. The aesthetic contrast between the resettled and non-resettled peoples in Mentawai was what first grabbed my attention - in particular, →


WE’RE PREMIERING THE FILM, SAVE THE DATE!

We’re elated to announce that our feature documentary film, As Worlds Divide, will be premiering at Deakin Edge, Federation Square (Melbourne CBD) on the evening of March 24, this year. Further details about this exciting event will be made available very soon, but for now please SAVE THE DATE! (and prepare travel plans). This film project began over 9 years ago… →


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 →


EXCITING YEAR AHEAD

It has been a rather eventful few months in Mentawai, as is typically the case. Seemingly, there are no fewer surprises now than there were when this journey began nearly seven years ago... perhaps just more meaningful ones. I've posted a few recent photographs and included brief descriptions. You may be particularly interested in the 'chance' encounter we had with the →


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, →


MENTAWAI ELDERS

Mentawai female elder

I’d like to introduce you to my friends, Aman Lappet, and his wife, Bai Lappet. They have played an integral role in my journey here over these past years. Both are profoundly wise, insightful, patient, and often childishly humorous, too. Through being in their presence I’ve learnt an entirely new perspective on what it means to be ‘relaxed’, and the →


FOCUS NOW BACK ON THE FILM!

The trip to Mentawai went really well. For all the details, photos and video documentation about this please check out the article posted on the Suku Mentawai program website by clicking here. Thanks again to everyone involved who've helped us reach this stage in the process. Really happy. We received a great response from our star audience during an opportunistic →


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 →


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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