Staff Blog

Yerry’s dispatch from Makassar: Engagemedia Makasar Tour 2010

While we’re in Makassar, or formerly known as Ujung Pandang, EngageMedia will try to share materials about online distribution and discuss  them in the forums. Our training will be held over short and introductory
online distribution materials. Since we plan to hold the workshops for 3 to 4
hours, the material we’ve prepared are quite packed. However, we believe
that this material can be a way to start the long journey to unlock the
knowledge in the world of online video distribution.

Our approach is to find out the video distribution strategies of each groups. We will
meet up and consult in their offices or even in public spaces
with internet, namely the cafes. During this occasion we also want to meet and make friends
with various activist groups, especially individuals and groups related
to video production for social issues and the environment, youth
groups, and artists who use videos as part of their artistic expressions.

Yup, we will start and hope that we succeed … see you there!

See also:


Staff Blog

Makassar Tour Day 1

small on big comp
Anata’s tiny laptop on EM-laptop
day 1 participants
this is our first day participants. consist of young independent film maker, also two faces from camp Sambel. Anata from ForFilm and Eva from Kiri Depan.
losari beach
what we can see from the sea. It’s losari beach.
losari beach street view
as we walk, this’s losari beach street view


Staff Blog

EngageMedia at Open Video

The Open Video Conference brings together a wide array of participants, from business, to academia to art to activism. The foundation of the event is to explore the future of online video, and how to ensure that future is open.

EngageMedia attended the previous Open Video
Conference in 2009. This year we will be presenting in a range of sessions including “Public Spaces/Private Infrastructure”, looking at the nature of large scale commercial media sharing spaces and the challenge of building open source infrastructure, in “Open Archives” we will explore our offline archiving projects in Indonesia and lastly we are coordinating a gathering of participants from the Transmission network.

Prior to the Open Video Conference is the Open Subtitles Design Summit. The key goals of the event are to

  • Connect major stakeholders from projects, organizations, and movements that have open subtitling needs or focus.
  • Identify ways to solve stakeholder
    subtitling needs and be aware of existing technology that can be
    leveraged. Find logical places for collaboration/cooperation.
  • Move towards standardizing solutions and pushing forward the state of the art in open subtiting.

EngageMedia are planning to implement the online, open source subtitling system Universal Subtitles in the coming year.





Murder or Suicide? Merauke Journalists Terror Continues

July and August 2010 have been challenging for the Merauke Police, activists and especially journalists. After journalists began to receive death threats over text messages, many thought it was a time-bomb. The journalist Ardiansyah Qomar Wibisono Matrais was found dead suspiciously. Journalists started to feel more threatened and NGOs (Papuan and even international), started to react.

However, instead of murder, the Merauke police claimed the journalist committed suicide at a river a the Maro, Jembatan Tujuh Wali-Wali, Merauke.
The Voice of Human Rights reported that during the two-day search and rescue operation people the motorbike and sandals belonging to the journalist were found in the Jembatan Maro area.

“The media reports weren’t true about him being murdered,” Iptu Mochamad Rifai of Merauke Police told VHR. “We suspect he committed suicide from all the evidence gathered at the crime scene, so don’t play the guessing game like that.” 

The police denied earlier media reports that the journalist was tied to a block of wood and his ribs were broken due to physical assaults. According to the authority, Matrais  was experiencing severe depression while working for Tabloid JUBI in Jayapura. The police investigation revealed that the journalist was once being cared for in a mental institute.

Various sources reported that while working for JUBI, Matrais wrote about the illegal logging activities in the Sarmi District. He received various life-threats after that. Police though admitted that the journalist’s forensic report has yet to be finalized and that the police was still waiting for it. 

Ardiansyah Qomar Wibisono Matrais was born on April 20, 1981. He was a familiar figure among journalists in Merauke dan Jayapura. Ardi, as he was called, moved around schools in his lifetime. He went to the state’s Elementary School and Junior High School in Merauke. He graduated from High School in Jombang, East Java in 1999, and went to Merdeka University in Malang, majoring on electrical engineering.

While the police insisted that additional deployment of officers would unsure the safety of journalists around the Merauke election, many press workers just are not that convinced.

“At least now we have more eyes looking at Merauke, so whatever happens, we won’t be so lonely down here,” said an EM source.


Staff Blog

T4RA Climate Workshop

By Nova Ruth
Indonesian Training and Project Coordinator

Participants from nine organizations spent a day with EngageMedia on a workshop which was part of the Time For Reel Action project on July 24, 2010 at SEL 49, Jakarta. The participants included activists from Greenpeace, Jatam, Glow Alliance, Javin, Airputih, Profauna, Forum Lenteng, Telapak, and two videomakers from Papua. All of them were concerned about climate change, and wanted to do their part in fighting it.

The workshop went from 9.30am to 6pm, and participants discussed about their video distribution strategies and also brainstormed around online and offline video strategies. Participants found new tools and spaces for their distribution after this workshop. They can now distribute their films more easily and reduce the sizes down by 75% of the original size with almost the same picture quality. That would mean 75% save of their time and hard drive space. It was definitely a more effective and sustainable way to distribute their messages out there.

In addition, we had a really HOT sambel that day and found out that the price of chillies are now crazily expensive in the market.

Video Report

Schedule and contact database are all available here:


Staff Blog

Jagongan Media Rakyat – People’s Media Yogyakarta

Media Rakyat 2010
featured a wide array of workshops from community radio
to Ubuntu to online design to tattooing! EngageMedia was present to
deliver one of it’s many online video distribution workshops. The festival was perhaps the first of it’s kind in Indonesia, and hopefully becomes a permanent fixture and meeting spot for those working in progressive media to come together.

What stood out about the festival was the diversity and the sheer
number of organisations in Java that are building bottom up approaches
to communication, using any media necessary.

Radio perhaps remains the
most popular but the scene is dynamic and growing, but not with out
threats. For example one discussion detailed a radio station, Radio Lintas Merapi in Magelang, that
had been shut down recently by the local government. Most community radio
stations in Indonesia broadcast without licenses making it easy for
local governments to end their tolerance and shut down stations should
they so choose. But whilst some pluralist stations get shut down other
unlicensed Islamic radio stations remain on air in the same town,
causing much dissent.

An “Islamic radio” network, Majlis Tafsiral Qur’an (MTA), or “radio dakwah” – which translates as “Islamic preaching” radio or “Islamic missionary radio” grabbed the 107.9 fm band in the same district. They are reported to not be licensed but the Frequency Monitoring Authority hasn’t done anything about it.

All in all however very informative, positive and with much creativity and potential!

Below are a series of photos from the festival detailing some of the

EntranceThe mobile media vanOld School CinemaEngageMedia Workshop BannerEngageMedia workshop with Somat from Air PutihThe kids get into itTattooing at the festivalTattoos under banners