Spirit of Solidarity in Uwong Coffee

October 2, 2017

Languages:

Besides in Gajah Mada University, (UGM), Indonesia Nature Film Society (INFIS), ‘Siapa Lagi Kalau Bukan Kita’ (‘If Not Us, Then Who?’), Mongabay Indonesia and the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara/AMAN) held the movie premiere and discussion in Uwong Coffee, Yogyakarta, on 6-9 September 2017, featuring Sallombengan Seko, O’Hangana Manyana, Penjaga Hutan Bumi Jargaria and Dari Para Leluhur, four of the 16
documentaries screened.

All the documentaries tell the stories of indigenous peoples, whose existence is not recognized and who have been struggling to defend their customary areas, not only from Indonesia but also from some countries in Latin America. Moved by the struggle, the audience grew bigger from day to day. They consisted of not only university students from Institut Seni Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University, the Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta and Atma Jaya University of Yogyakarta, but also a number of
communities such as the Kalesang Artsas (Moluccas), Ghostreets, Perpus Jalanan Purbalingga, and Aliansi Peduli Petani Untuk Hari Tani. Also, present that night was the chief editor of the Bernas, Icay Taher.

In addition to the premiere, the roadshow was enlivened by special performances from Deugalih & Folks, Sisir Tanah and KePAL SPI. With lyrics inspired by Indonesia’s nature, these musicians successfully entertained the audience, earning them the burst of yells, laughter, and applause.

Following the screening, a discussion was held, moderated by Tommy Apriando, a journalist with Mongabay Indonesia. Een Irawan Putra (the Executive Director of Indonesia Nature Film Society) and Laksmi A. Savitri of the Faculty of Culture of Gajah Mada University were also present, each giving a speech. Laksmi A. Savitri noted that indigenous people are basically the same as other communities or anybody whose land is grabbed but could not call themselves

Laksmi A. Savitri noted that indigenous people are basically the same as other communities or anybody whose land is grabbed but could not call themselves indigenous people. The only advantage on indigenous people’s part is that they can use their identity as a means to fight for their rights. The other local communities, on the other hand, often cannot use their indigenous identity to fight for their land rights despite they all being farmers or depending on land. “They still have been waiting for the government to grant them their rights. The biggest promising homework is to strengthen solidarity for these people,” she said.

The premiere was concluded with group photo featuring solidarity hashtags from various regions in Indonesia.