Indonesian Nature Film Society introduced the “If Not Us Then Who” project at this event by holding a film screening and discussion about the struggle of indigenous communities maintaining their forests. We showed two films, Mama Malin Su Hilang (Our Land Has Gone) and Sesepuh (The Elders).
‘Our Land Has Gone’, is a short documentary created and directed by Nanang Sujana in 2012. It tells the story of the Malind Anim tribe in the Zanegi village, Merauke, Papua, Indonesia. They are tribal hunters who rely on forests for their livelihood. The expansion of Medco Corporation nearby has meant thousands of hectares of forest have been cleared – these forest belonged to the tribe and it has had devastating consequences on the village. There are plans to convert 169,000 hectares of land to be used as industrial tree plantations through the MIFEE project (Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate). The film has been used to aid decision-making in the local area.
‘The Elders’, produced by AMAN, tells the story of several indigenous leaders in Indonesia who are struggling to defend their ancestral lands. It features Opung Nae Sinta Sibarani from Sugapa in Porsea, North Sumatra, Badri from Benakat in South Sumatra, Apai “Janggut” Bandi from Sungai Utik, Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Mama Aleta Baun from Mollo, East Nusa Tenggara and Datuk Ismail Zen from Sarolangun, They tell their story of the struggle against the development aggression that going on around the 80’s when the Suharto regime was still in power. Together they establish the movement of larger indigenous groups throughout the archipelago. With support from various NGOs, they formed the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) on March 17, 1999.