EngageMedia Blog

Building More Bridges In Malaysia

by Seelan Palay July 05, 2020
Concluding the Lingua project for 2012 with an open workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It wasn't the first time we had online subtitling workshops in Malaysia. Throughout the year, we also organised subtitling workshops as part of Camp Sambel, and for citizen journalists from CJMY.

This open workshop was made possible with our local partners KOMAS, with a good mix of participants who were students, indigenous activists, independent journalists, bar council members, and professional translators.

In my opinion, it was a great final session, as we could see the accumulated worth of community translations we've gotten over the past year. We could see the journey of videos such as the Manila May Day Rap, which was first transcribed in Tagalog, translated to English, and then to Malay at this workshop.

The trip also served as an opportunity for Dr. Tanya Notley from the University of Western Sydney, to directly interview workshop participants, organisations, and myself, for her ongoing research on translation practices in the field of social justice, human rights and activism.

Lingua OVFLastly, on 14 December 2012, I did a live stream presentation on Amara and EngageMedia's utilization of it during the Online Video Forum in Berlin, Germany. I gave an introduction on both organisations, ran through how we use Amara on our website, gave a live demonstration of the 4-step process, and shared about how we build and manage subtitling teams.

Thank you everyone for your ongoing support of the Lingua project. Let's look forward to more expansion and collaboration in the year ahead, ensuring that critical video is never lost in translation!

Seelan Palay
Lingua Desk

More photos from the Kuala Lumpur session are available here.

Expanding Our Subtitling Community In Multilingual Manila

by Seelan Palay July 05, 2020
Spending a week in November taking the Lingua project through Manila, Philippines.

Expanding Our Subtitling Community In Multilingual Manila

November added another milestone to the Lingua project, as my colleague Cheekay Cinco and brought EngageMedia and Amara through Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Over the course of a week, we held workshops and presentations of video distribution, Internet security, and online subtitling with a wide variety of organisations, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The University of the Philippines, KODAO, Southern Tagalog Exposure, the Etniko Bandito Infoshop, and the Computer Professionals Union.

EngageMedia ManilaThe 2 larger workshops we held in cooperation with KODAO were well attended by a mix of film makers, human rights workers, journalists, environmental advocates, and church people.

Introducing Amara in the Philippines was particularly interesting as most of the people there had a reasonably good command of Tagalog and English, which made translations to and from both languages more interactive and spontaneous. Some participants were also proficient in translating to Cebuano, a dialect spoken widely in the Southern parts of the country.

As with all the other trips we've made around Southeast Asia this year with the Lingua project, the general feedback by participants was that Amara seems to be the simplest and fastest way to produce subtitles that they've come across. Many felt encouraged by the fact that could contribute even though they had no experience in video production.

In December, we take Amara to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organising an open workshop with our local partners, KOMAS. Stay tuned for news from that event, and in the meantime, remember to join our subtitling team page, and our Facebook group for more regular updates.

Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? Award Night

by Dhyta Caturani December 06, 2012
It's time to announce the winners of the Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? Online Video Competition. Yes, it's time for the Award Night, folks!

As we enter the month of December, after a long work of many video makers participating in the competition and of course, the EM team, it's time for us to celebrate all the work in an evening of fun in Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? Award night.

As the day rolling into the evening, people started arriving at Warung Bang Hoody, an outdoor cafe with a very relax setting and a warm ambience (luckily, what usually be a month of heavy rain turned out to be nice and dry that day). Everyone mingled and dined before the event started by the MCs. At around 8 pm, Enrico Aditjondro and Diah Sekarwidhi, served as the Masters of Ceremony, welcomed the guests and called the project coordinator, Dhyta Caturani, to talk about the motivation that drove EngageMedia to hold the competition and the whole process of the competition.

"We concern about the intolerance situation and the violence that tag along with it in Indonesia that has been escalating in recent decade. We want to contribute to the movement that promotes tolerance in our capacity, which is to provide a space for video makers who have the same concern with us, thus to provide people who work on the issues with what we hope to be a powerful tool, which is the videos made by the video makers." explained Dhyta.

Right after the brief explanation, the MCs took the audience's attention to the screen where nine videos were played. There were moments of anger and sadness from the audience to see videos that showed violence, but there were also moments of joy and hope when videos that showed dreams of what Indonesia should become were played.

After watching all videos, came the time where we announce the Runner Ups. And the runner ups were Seragam Yang Tak Melindungi Keberagaman by Rikky Muhmmad and Warna-warni Itu Indah by deBlogger. The prizes of 2,5 million rupiahs were handed to the Runner ups by Thowik from Sejuk and Galeshka from Indonesia Tanpa FPI. But to add a bit of suspense we had Sunday Market District to perform before we announce the Winner. After four songs, the MCs announced the winner by playing the winning video on the screen. And the Award goes to: Aku Indonesia, by Hernaedy Sidharta! The prize of 6 million rupiah was handed to the Winner by Lexy Rambadeta.

And all finalists came up to the front and received a placard in the form of Vinyl plate with Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? Finalist written on it.

"We hope that EngageMedia will hold this kind of competition annually. It could be on the same topic or different topic, as long as it is intended for promoting social change," said Hermawan, one of the finalists from Riau.

We ended the evening by congratulating each other, because at the end, as cliche as it may sound, we are all winners. So, congratulation to all of us! Now the real work of promoting peace and tolerance continues, bigger and better!


More photos here

Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? Masterclass

by Dhyta Caturani December 06, 2012
As announced a few weeks ago, the online video competition on (in)tolerance Bhinneka Tinggal Duka? concluded with the judges deciding on 8 (eight) finalists. And as promised, all 8 were invited to a Masterclass in Jakarta.

On November 29 – 30, the masterclass was held and attended by 10 participants as representatives of 8 video finalists. They came from Jakarta, Depok, Cilacap, Yogyakarta dan Riau.

The first day of the masterclass was filled with theories, knowledge and experience sharing and discussion. Lexy Rambadeta, a prominent documentary filmmaker talked about Story Telling in documentary film making. He shared his years of experience in film making and led a rich discussion on the topic.

After Story Telling session, Ucu Agustin, a young and bright documentary filmmaker who has received a lot of attentions recently, talked about offline distribution. She shared a very attractively-made presentation titled 'Falling in Love is Not Easy' about how love and passion are needed the most in making a film/video. Without the two, we could not expect to make a good film/video and let alone make other people love the film/video we make. Ucu also shared her experience in engaging her subjects, her audience and gave tips to access Film Festivals, both national and international.

Still in the same session, EM team led by Rico and Yerry talked about online distribution and security. Although the session was short, but participants felt that it was very useful for them as video makers and they were eager to learn more.

A masterclass will not be a masterclass without talking about how to source fund for video production. Therefore, we had Ucu Agustin sharing her knowledge and experience in how to find money to produce video and gave some organizations/institutions reference that provide such fund. But nowadays, the whole trend of funding is shifting towards a more participatory method, so it's only appropriate for us to also provided different option of fund sourcing by inviting Enrico Halim from patungan.net to talk about crowd funding.

The first day was ended by having the participants discussed about a video to produce together on the second day. Lexy Rambadeta was with us all the way till we had a story to make into a video. Then came the second day, where everyone got together early in the morning. A little bit of discussion on the production that would take place on the day and from there everyone went to their own group and started shooting. Producing a video in one day definitely was not an easy task to do, but the most important thing was that everyone had fun in the process. And we all did! Stay tune for the two videos that the participants made during the masterclass!

Bringing the region together with the brand new Southeast Asia documentary film festival

by nona kukubiru July 05, 2020
The 'Screen Below The Wind Festival', held 16-18 November, 2012, in Ubud, Bali, is one of its kind. A range of workshops, social gatherings, and Focus Group Discussions created a warm and modest atmosphere to explore documentary film.


This festival is a space for the exchange of the culture and history of South East Asia, through documentary works, films and photography. The organizer, lead by Iwan Setiawan, brought together documentary filmmakers and photographers, the public, mainstream media, as well as business owners, in sessions such as 'Workshop Documentary Film and Photography', 'Sharing with Documentarian', 'ASEAN Documentary gathering' and 'ASEAN Documentary Creative Industry Forum.'


EngageMedia was invited to screen a documentary film from Seelan Palay, 'Singapore, One Nation Under Lee', and to lead a discussion around the challenges in South East Asia documentary film.

This documentary film festival was a really great way to encourage and support local documentary filmmakers to be known in regional. As their programs will nurture more local talent with more personal issues. The ASEAN documentary gathering also discussed taking more steps to use videos to take action, using Papuan Voices as an example, which is distributed with study and screening guides.

Viva Documentary Film!


Digital Rights Activists Gather in Auckland, New Zealand

by Alexandra Crosby December 05, 2012
TPP Negotiations on top of the agenda

Last week, I joined other digital rights activists in Auckland for a workshop to share knowledge about the impact of trade agreements on digital rights. The camp was held in the lead up to the 15th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) negotiations, during which dozens of public interest groups will be sounding the alarm over TPP's intellectual property (IP) chapter that could likely prompt countries to enact restrictive copyright enforcement laws that would have huge ramifications for users' access to digital content and information.

The camp was hosted by the Electronic Frontier FoundationInternet NZ, KEI, and the Auckland University Faculty of Law.

It's Our Future NZ has been putting on a series of events around New Zealand,  including a political cartoon exhibition, and rallies and talks leading up to the national day of protest against the TPP on December 8th.

The objective of the camp was to identify and cooperate with key local activists from the Pacific, to empower one another with strategies, resources, and tools, and to set an action plan for moving forward based on knowledge exchange, cooperation, and community building.

EFF has written a range of infosheets on topics that often reappear in the international intellectual property policy arena. They are very helpful in familiarising oneself with the core problems such issues pose.

International Intellectual Property Infosheets

Copyright Term Extensions and the Public Domain (EFF)

Digital Content Locks (EFF)

Internet Service Providers’ Safe Harbors and Liability (EFF)

Temporary Copies (EFF)



Local actions around the world

  • If you’re in New Zealand, InternetNZ has created a platform for Kiwis to digitally write personalized messages on post cards. They will deliver them straight to the Minister of Trade once they reach 5,000 cards.
  • 日本に住んでいる方には、Stop TPP!! ウェブページでご案内できますし、Stop TPPのT−シャツを買う事もできます。日本語でのTPPアップデートはツイッターを利用して下さい。