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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Religion & Diversity Initiative > Voicing Diversity Project

Voicing Diversity Project

In collaboration with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii (CSEAS UHM), the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, has completed one documentary film and is on location shooting another on religious diversity in various locations around Indonesia. These films were supported by a grant from the US Department of Education as part of the Center’s Religion and Diversity Initiative. This project is aimed at creating educational resources on diversity in Southeast Asia for educational institutions in the US and Indonesia. The completed resource materials are hosted on the CRCS and CSEAS websites and along with resources that will assist educators to include these media products in developing lesson plans or public discussions.

The first episode of the film series, Our Land is the Sea, premiered at the US Embassy Jakarta’s @america center in August 2018. This production was filmed in Wakatobi National Park, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Video journalist and creator of the Global Workshop, Matt Colaciello, and CRCS faculty member and UH alum Dr. Kelli Swazey (Anthropology) worked together with the Bajau village of Sampelato document how the community’s Islamic identity and their indigenous religious practices informs their relationship with the ocean environment of their home in the Tukang Besi archipelago. The film is scheduled for its world film festival premiere at the Bali International Film Festival running from September 24-30, 2018. The film will be posted on our website beginning in October.

– Last updated August 29, 2018

Our Land is the Sea

Our Land is the Sea: Official Trailer

Our Land is the Sea is a short documentary about three generations of a seafaring Bajau family in Indonesia facing drastic environmental and cultural change. Who will they become if they can no longer rely on the sea?

Our Land is the Sea/Air Tanahku is a 25-minute documentary about three generations of a Bajau family in Wakatobi National Park, Indonesia, who are navigating drastic cultural and environmental change. In preparation for a ceremony that marks their son’s entrance to adulthood, this Bajau family grapples with how coral reef extinction, economic change, ethnic discrimination, and changing practices of Islam will mean a different life for their children and their people in the future.

This film was written and directed by Dr. Kelli Swazey and Matt Colaciello of the Global Workshop as part of the Voicing Diversity project, a collaboration between CRCS and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa. The film will be hosted on both centers’ webpages as part of a multimedia resource on diversity in Southeast Asia for educational use in the US and Indonesia.

Learn more on the film’s website.

Our Land is the Sea: Film Screening and Discussion

Date: August 8, 2018

Location: @america center, Jakarta, Indonesia

Our Land is the Sea Film Screening August 8, 2018, @america center