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Center for Southeast Asian Studies > Resources for Educators > 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-CSEAS Voicing Diversity project director, 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 in October.

– Last updated October 19, 2018

Adat Maluku (2019)

This is the second film in the two-film series. (Adat Maluku is a working title.) The crew is currently on location filming in Maluku. Via an Instagram post by project director Dr. Kelli Swazey:

Instagram post by Dr. Swazey

Next stop #Maluku! We’ve started preliminary shooting on the second short #documentary for the Voicing Diversity project with @uhcseas. This time we’ll be looking at how adat and religion influence people’s relationship with their environment and cultural forms of resource management in the Lease Islands.

Our Land is the Sea (2018)

This is the first film in the two-film series. Read more about it and watch the full documentary here!


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?