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ISAFIS News 2nd 2011 Edition, July-September

Editor-in-ChiEf Febi Purnamasari

Editors note
After two months rest, ISAFIS News is finally back! What did we (the newsletter team) do before? Well, I admit that I was having hard times passing the toughest semester ever. And I think other newsletter crews experienced same thing too. Lots of college work to be done and bla bla. But anyway, lets forget about academic stuff; please welcome With Mom, before performing holiday and celebrations! for Bahebbik Jakarta (22/6) at Fantastic events have been Gedung Kesenian Jakarta held like our first Jakarta Model United Nations and Indonesia International Week 2011. Not forget to mention ISAFIS members experience either in here or other countries for their great missions and achievements, still on i-Journey and i-Chievement. In August, were going to celebrate Indonesian Independece Day. Thats why some articles in this JulySeptember edition are written in Bahasa Indonesia. The purpose is to appreciate Bahasa Indonesia as our mother tongue and we should be proud of it. This editions theme is Together in Tolerance, reminding us that tolerance is an important issue in our daily life and always a hot issue to discuss about most of the time. Just like this year, we have witnessed some conflicts related to background differences such as ethnicity, religious beliefs, and racial issues in our society. Take a look at the conflict between the Ahmadi and people in Cikeusik, West Java. A while after that incident, ?, a movie directed by Hanung Brahmantyo rised to remind us again about the importance of tolerance and each others respect. The movie has created controversy, though, and thats what were going to discuss about later in ISAFIS News. In the middle of lack of peace situation, our friends from United States would like to share their peace campaign project through video and see how the world responds. I hope we, as Indonesian youth, can learn a lot from these precious knowledges and experience. Only on the current ISAFIS News, Together in Tolerance. Peace,



Editor Najwa Abdullah Sungkar APProAChEr Cherieta Hasea Photo CoordinAtor Aregina Nareswari Pernong nEWSLEttEr tEAM Aregina Nareswari Pernong Cherieta Hasea Febi Purnamasari Najwa Abdullah Sungkar ContriBUtorS Amrullah Rafioeddin Indah Gilang Pusparani Lukman Oesman Maya Susanti Muhammad Arif Riza Aryani Trisiyana Nur Ardiyanti Widi Laras CirCULAtion & ProMotion





04 06 08 iTHEmE Ahmadiyyah & Human Rights Highlighting the Revolutions in Middle Eastern Countries Easy Subsidy Access for Our Film Makers

02 13 13 Editors Note iCHIEVEmENTS Indah in Sebumi 3 2010 International Conference ISAFISian in Sangkala 9/10 iREVIEW ? in Controversy An Intriguing Interview with Freddie Paull: Spreading the World Knowledge with Music Video Flashback IMATION 2010

Newsletter Team
LAyoUt And dESign Yoga Pradipta Ramadhan

On Cover:
Illustrator Keishkara hanadhita Putri

11 14 16 19 21 ISAFIS: Understanding the Relationship between Indonesia and EU through a Dynamic Discussion A Short Wonderful Story from Amsterdam Terdampar di Johannesburg Tiga Setengah Jam Bersama Dubes Palestina Young Muslim Leadership Training Program 2010

23 26


Febi Purnamasari Manager of Newsletter

i T H E M E

no prophet after Muhammad. Following and obeying everything written in the Quran (the holy text of Islam) and making it as the main guideline are the basic principles and the first obligation for every Muslim. The ones who do not accomplish that, therefore, can be in no possible circumstances to be recognized as Moslems. Inspite of this, although the Ahmadis refuse to recognize Muhammad as the last prophet, they still uses the name of Islam in spreading doctrines and building mosques in Indonesia. This is the main reason why the general Moslem society felt offended. They considered Ahmadiyyah as a form of desecration to the Islam and a misleading sect that spread false doctrines about Islam. This is clarified and justified by the Indonesian Ulama Council in 1980, who is in charge of mentoring, fostering, and nurturing the Islamic society in Indonesia. In Indonesia, Ahmadiyyah expand quite rapidly. As it is considered as a threat to Islam, lots of protests has been demonstrated towards Ahmadiyyah by various Islamic parties in Indonesia which sometimes led to anarchic actions like burning the houses of the Ahmadis. These actions, of course, can not be tolerated, but, neither the actions of Ahmadiyyah that offended Islam by spreading false doctrines. Therefore, in this discussion about Ahmadiyyah and human rights, we have brought up some ideas that can probably solve this conflict. Some of us agreed to follow Pakistans decision in making Ahmadiyyah a new religion, as our Constitution clearly states that everyone has a right to have religious freedom. Since it is forbidden for every organization to commit desecration of religion and any acts containing violence, and in accordance with our constitution/law and the Joint Decree of the three ministers, some of us agreed that turning Ahmadiyyah into a new religion will definitely do the trick. Nevertheless, according to some others of us, turning Ahmadiyyah into a new religion will not help at all. By making Ahmadiyyah as a new religion will only motivate the establishment and development of other new religions which can lead to a flood of new religions. This will be too difficult to handle for Indonesian government, which is now already having a hard time in managing six official religions inside our beloved country. Thus, another solution came up inside the discussion, which is to dissolve Ahmadiyyah like it was done in Brunei Darussalam as there are many parties disagreeing the existence of Ahmadiyyah, like the Indonesian Ulama Council (IUC). The government must make the statement of the IUC legitimized, and dissolve Ahmadiyyah as it is still using the elements of Islam and acknowledge itself as Islam. Before we went further with the discussion, some of us pointed out that the Indonesian government is being too Islamic centric, especially the Department of Religions. The corridor to determine a policy in settling issues in Indonesia is mostly taken from the decision of the majority, and since the majority of the Indonesian people are Moslems, almost every conflict is seen and solved from Islamic point of view. The problem here is that Indonesia is not an Islamic-based country, and therefore, must start involving the minorities and other parties in solving such kind of issues. In other words, be truly pluralistic. Therefore, we came out with an idea that in order to solve this issue, the correct way is to hold a widely discussion/dialogue between all parties/religions. Unfortunately, what is easy to be said, is difficult to be done. The fact is that there is no good reciprocal communication between religious parties when it comes to resolve religious issues. That is to say, having a dialogue between religions will only turn bad and bring no solution at all. Therefore we made only two possible solutions: by turning Ahmadiyyah into a new religion and deleting all the Islamic elements in it, or by definitely detach Ahmadiyyah from Indonesia. Obviously Ahmadiyyah is not the only misleading sect that exists in Indonesia, it is one that gives a huge impact and brings many riots to Indonesian society. The fact is that Islam is majority in Indonesia, and all the Islamic parties disagree with the existence of Ahmadiyyah (as it is still carrying the name of Islam, spreading misleading doctrines nationwidely, and desecrates Islam) and will do anything to eliminate it. Hopefully our government can make the right policy as soon as possible and result in a beneficial situation for all communities in Indonesia.

Ahmadiyyah and Human Rights


source: trendr.tv

n a current context, the existence of Ahmadiyyah in Indonesia has brought huge unrest and riots in several regions across the country which is growing larger by the day. In the beginning of February 2011, another attack is executed by some parties/Islamic organizations towards Ahmadiyyah. Obviously, by frequently seeing this radical proceed, we have come to take into account this serious religious issue at national level. Thus, it should be settled as soon as possible in order to keep peace and harmony, and prevent more bloodshed and violation of human rights in our beloved country. In accordance with, our organization, ISAFIS, held a weekly meeting and highlighted Ahmadiyyah and Human Rights as the corpus of our discussion on February 19, 2011. In this intriguing discussion, we exchanged our ideas to one another in order to find the solution for this nagging issue. Firstly, we discussed about the background of the attacks on Ahmadiyyah, which inevitable led us to think about why

this Islamic community organizations and Islamic parties are furious with the existence of Ahmadiyyah and keep on opposing it. First of all, Ahmadiyyah is not a religion, but an Islamic religious movement that is originated from India and later has expanded worldwide. Because it is an Islamic movement, they claimed themselves as Moslems as well. In line with this, in general, they share the same beliefs with Islam like believing in the prophet hood of Muhammad and accepting the Quran as their holy text. However, Ahmadiyyah actually differ a lot to the Islam, and can not be regarded as a part of Islam. Some teachings of Ahmadiyyah are very contradictory to the teachings of Islam. One of the major examples that can proven is that the Ahmadis (adherents of Ahmadiyyah) believe and have to believe in a prophet after Muhammad, namely Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (the founder of the Ahmadiyyah movement) while in the Holy Quran (The Holy text of Islam) it is clearly stated that Muhammad is the last prophet and there is


dictatorial leadership just made it even worse. The existence of a very high disparity or the social gap among the Libyans, Egyptians, and Tunisians has contributed as the propeller for the revolutions. All of these economic issues had resulted in a deep devastation and frustration for every citizen of these three countries. These go well with what had occurred in the Southeast Asia in 1998, where the economic crisis gave its deep impact in the society. The economic crisis in 1998 had put Southeast Asia countries to be trapped in an economic downturn that had created some resistance in these countries. Problems such as poverty, corruption, and financial crisis had choked Southeast Asian peoples life. Dictatorial leadership also took place in the Southeast Asia under the regimes of Soeharto, Lee Kuan Yew, and Mahathir. With all of these similarities, why did the most blood-spattered events of the political regimes overthrown mainly take place in Indonesia and not occurred in the rest of the Southeast Asia countries? On the other hand, the revolution has spread around Middle East successfully except for the victims of the conflicts. Surprisingly, Mr. Evan from CSIS provided a very interesting point about this. He answered it with referring to the effectiveness of social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. It has shown its massive power in spreading the news and even the spirit of revolution that had evoked the revolution in the Middle East. As we know, young people have been the primary users of social networking sites and the young people had shown for so many times their ability to propel a revolution. Thus, it makes it reasonable to associate the social networking site with the current revolution. Its easiness to reach distant places (except sometimes being banned by the governments) has affected the spreading of the revolution. This is because the young people had often succeeded in making their own way to reach the sites eventually. It gave a major difference with what happened in Southeast Asia. There was no kind of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spreading the idea of revolution at that time. The differences in the political system have also played a major obstacle in spreading the revolution within Southeast Asian peoples. On the contrary, countries in the Middle East have

Highlighting the Revolutions in Middle Eastern Countries


ithin the past two months, international societys attention has focused on the recent turmoil occurred in Middle East. News on both electronic media and printed media has covered this turbulence since the revolution initiated. Many were shocked, including leaders around the world when witnessing Kaddafis soldiers killing their fellow Libyans, Hosni Mubarak protecting his dictatorial presidency, and Tunisias soldiers countering the angry demonstrators only to protecting the status quo. Considering how this kind of crisis has begun and what can be learnt from the spirit of the Libyans, Egyptians, Tunisians, and many other countries in the Middle East, it has inspired ISAFIS members to enrich knowledge related to these phenomena. ISAFIS has conducted a discussion about these issues and its implication to the world. It was an amazing discussion since it turned out to be where richness and vibrancy of the views, ideas, and knowledge were transferred. Nevertheless, we are so sure that it was not enough, and we still eager to know more and learn about the crisis and the underlying causes. In order to dig deeper and expand wider in these issues, we conducted a Short International Studies Basic Course (SISBAC), visiting Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a widely known research and studies organization focusing on politics and economy. We had another discussion there with four of the very warm and brilliant staffs of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. We were discussing it with Mrs. Medelina K. Handatyo, Mr. Evan Laksmana, Ms. Lina Alexandra, and Ms. Sandra. This discussion went very smoothly and the flow had just brought the discussion to a deeper looks and perspectives on the Middle Easts turmoil. As the discussion went in a very dynamic atmosphere, the discussion reached a point that has not been paid by so much attention. It was related to the spreading of the revolution in the

source: comicbookguide.wordpress.com

source: andrewjcurran.blogspot.com

Middle East and its differences with what had occurred in the Southeast Asia in 1998. However, before it went further, we were trying to set some basis for this discussion. The first one was what has triggered the revolution in these two regions. Afterwards, we were trying to examine what had been the causes of the revolution in the Middle East. We got to the conclusion that all of the turmoil in the Middle East actually has inexplicably accumulated and has it roots far before the mass movement took place. Thus, it was just a matter of time to have all of those frustrations and veiled deprivations to explode into a huge revolution. So, where did all of the disappointment come from? All of the CSIS scholars agreed that the economic issues need to be considered as the main reason triggering the revolutions in the Middle East and the

similar political system to each other. Autocracy system with dictatorial leadership has been the mutual characteristic of governments in the Middle East. Subsequently, it also had creates some kind of solidarity between the Middle East people. From this discussion we can see how an event that happened in one place could be a lesson for other people across the world. It has motivates the ISAFIS members to discuss about this phenomena with CSIS and we believe that we could get a brand new image and perspective on what is taking place in the Middle East and the differences with what we had experienced in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia. We hope this kind of discussion would lead to a broader understanding about international issues especially with our collaboration with such a prominent and prestigious organization like CSIS.


98 until now, I havent received any subsidy, said this Director of LaskWar Pelangi, a national film with the largest audiences in Indonesia.3 He further explained that since Reformation Era began, the financial support had only been acquired from people who were close to the government and unfortunately, they were not transparent in distributing the money. That is to say, the allocated money from the central government is not delivered to the film practitioners in Indonesia. Supposedly, this irony is strongly related to the issues of corruption, dirty political conspiracy, and collusion which are now become the main bulls eye of international critics towards our beloved nation. As one of corrupted nations in the world, it is generally known that the credibility of our governmental institutions, including Ministry of Tourism and Culture, have been deteriorated by irresponsible, corrupted officials. Thus, too often, there is a lot of money that has been embezzled, and overtime, there is no transparency whether the money goes to proper organization or people who need it. Regrettably, this disappointing condition also happens to the department which manages the development of film industry in Indonesia. As we see, it is a quite ironic condition. Currently, people are disappointed with most of national films themes and popular mainstreams such as oversexualized horrors and cheesy romantic movies. Thus, they desperately need an enlightenment for Indonesias film industry just like what Riri has been trying so far. Unfortunately, the government does not make the subsidy easily accessible to the right people the high-qualified film makers who display excellent sense of art and social values like Laskar Pelangi. Hypothetically speaking, the easily-accessible subsidy in many ways will motivate these people to create more highly qualified films which are largely needed by our society, especially the film lovers. Overtime, I just hope that the government will provide fair and reachable subsidy for our film directors in the future, so that enjoying high-qualified movies and excellent films would not become a problem for us.
1 Further discussion about this topic will be published on our next issue 2 Held in 2011 Gelar Apresiasi Seni (Arts Appreciation) Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Indonesia 3 The number is 4.6 millions watchers in cinemas, based on Laskar Pelangi Film Terbaik Asia Pasifik article (http://bataviase.co.id/ detailberita-10431048.html, accessed on 10 April 2011 at 1:02 PM)

Easy Subsidy Access for Our Film Makers

By: Febi Purnamasari

From 98 until now, I havent got any subsidy. Riri Riza

e might wonder if we can create a new mainstream in film industry called as Indonesian Wave just like the Koreans do to its Korean Wave. This intriguing notion was discussed in one of our weekly meetings; Korea: the Emerging Pop Culture from the East1 at ISAFIS headquarters (9/3). Speaking of this subject, when there is a fore-shadowing sketch that our film industry will be much more developed and world-widely famous in the near future, most of us still reckoned that it was quite impossible to be actualized, or it is just too good to be true. For instance, take a look at our national film-making development, in which the main problem is almost certainly lack of support from government towards Indonesian film making. We can come to this perception contextually from the unfair and inadequate subsidy given to the national film makers. At least, that was what I have learned from a film discussion with Riri Riza, a famous Indonesian film director, on April 7th at the University of Indonesia.2 Firstly, he did not consider that the development of film industry was once deeply concerned by our government 8

Riri Riza, Indonesian film director source: musikallaskarpelangi.com

compared to other arts. For example, in Ministry of Tourism and Culture, there was an exclusive department for research and development of Indonesian film. Moreover, from written convention, the government actually allocates funds for the national films and provides adequate subsidy for the film makers. Nevertheless, there are problems which obstruct some film directors like Riri Riza. According to him, limited accessibility regarding our complicated bureaucracy would be the main problem. From

S I S BAC to C S I S


ISAFIS: Understanding the Relationship between Indonesia and EU through a Dynamic Discussion

s a students association for international studies, ISAFIS not only do a weekly discussion to broaden studentsknowledge regarding international issues, but also provide a SISBAC (Short International Studies Basic Course) conducted by the division of Foreign Affairs and National Communication (FANC). This program is designed for all ISAFISians to dig deeper certain international issues and analytical thinking as well as diplomacy knowledge. Recently, ISAFIS was scheduled to have a SISBAC with European Union Commission for Indonesia in Intiland Tower, Jakarta. This program was held on Friday, April first 2011 and attended by nineteen ISAFISians. This activity started at 10.00 a.m initiated by a short movie about the history of European Union. Afterwards, it continued with a presentation given by Mr. Charles Whitely discussing about an intriguing topic: Indonesia and the EU: bilateral and International aspects of the relationship. After giving this great presentation, Mr. Whitely welcomed us with a warm further opened-discussion. Responded enthusiastically by ISAFISians, the discussion went well and dynamic. More than ten questions were delivered by ISAFISians in less than an hour. Seeing the questions given, Mr. Whitely told us that EU sees Indonesia as a great international partner to achieve a mutual cooperation between European countries and Indonesia. For EU, Indonesia not only has a precisely strategic location, but also the largest market in ASEAN. Thus, the cooperation between EU-Indonesia plays a significant role at international level. Moreover, EU believes Indonesia, as the chairman of ASEAN and a member of G20, will share core values and high commitment for an international cooperation. Recently, EU has also given a lot of supports for Indonesia, especially in the pervasive development, including education, trade and

investment, as well as law enforcement and justice side. In addition, EU fully supports Indonesia in doing reconstructions in the damaged areas of post-earthquake and Tsunami such as Aceh, Nias, Central Java, as well as areas surround Mount Merapi. Philosophically speaking, the cooperation between Indonesia-EU is actually built under circumstances that both are advocates for human rights and democracy. In each respective regions and global context, both are committed to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, building more effective regional integration, and believing in the importance and power of effective multilateral diplomacy and institutions such as WTO and UN. By these facts, Indonesia-EU expect that the cooperation will bring much betterment and enlightenment for both sides. Besides having a great discussion, we also have a short discussion with Lucas, a student from Germany who got the scholarship from Erasmus Mundus to study in Indonesia. At the end, Mr. Whitley encourages all students from Indonesia to join scholarship to study in EU. For further information regarding the scholarship, you can click at: http://ec.europa.eu/ europeaid/what/education/what/education/ education_erasmus_mundus_tempus_en.htm Overall, this SISBAC went very well. All the ISAFISians were seemed so interested and understood the issues discussed properly. The light but meaningful discussion about relationship between Indonesia-EU became more fascinating rather than having a serious and heavy discussion. Hopefully, all the information which was obtained from this SISBAC will be useful and convenient for us. Understanding International issues is quite important for students like us, because we are a part of global society.

source: deplu.go.id



Indah in Sebumi 3 2010 International Conference


ISAfISian in Sangkala 9/10

Besides diplomatic simulations and conferences, ISAFIS members also have good performances achievements in Arts. Griya Ratri Putri, ISAFIS Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development, is one of the talented persons in art performances. This Finalist of 2010 Abang None Jakarta Utara (North Jakarta Tourism Ambassador) took part in a play entitled sangkala 9/10 at Teater Jakarta in May 2011. Such play was firstly proposed by Maudy Koesnaedi, an Indonesian actress who used to be None Jakarta in her era. Previously, the play was only starred by the finalists of Abang None Jakarta Utara. Then the Governor of Jakarta Fauzi Bowo asked her to create similar play which was starred by Abang None finalists from each region of the city. Last year, the play was entitled Si Doel. This years play, Sangkala 9/10, was setting in 1740s, when a genocide or massacre towards Chinese descents happened in Batavia (the old name of Jakarta). The Dutch invaders attacked the Chinese descents because their business was threatened, since Chinese business was more successful. In this play, Griya performed as a Chinese girl named Ni Ni Luh whose mother was a Balinese and father was Chinese. Apart from how the play was constructed, Griya explained what made this play special. To have a play in Teater Jakarta is a great achievement and takes a lot of efforts. It should have a legal approval from Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (the Arts Council of Jakarta), which has always been perfectionist in selecting art performers to perform there, said Griya.

credit: Indah Gilang Pusparani

Indah Gilang Pusparani one of the only four undergraduate students selected to be the presenter in Sebumi 3 2010 International Conference held in National University of Malaysia, 12 13 October 2010. Sebumi 3 2010 International Conference is a biennial multidisciplinary academic international conference to meet scholars and academics from Indonesia and Malaysia. Indah presented her own paper entitled Integrasi Sosial dan Konflik Komunal Ambon 1999 2002 along with other lecturers from Indonesia and Malaysia. As the presenter in conference, she involved in a series of discussion in academic forums, gala dinner, and social events. She used to participate in paper writing competitions and research since high school, yet this is the first academic international conference in which she is honored to be the presenter equal to her lecturers. She is then more dedicated to research-related activities and enjoying paper writing! Coz paper can send you overseas!


source: hellogriya.blogspot.com



A Short Wonderful Story from Amsterdam


ast January I had an opportunity to visit Amsterdam in order to join United Nations International Student Conference of Amsterdam (UNISCA). It was great experience for me to have an academic experience while visiting Amsterdam in the same time. UNISCA is a course in developing diplomatic skill held by University of Amsterdam. I was given a lecture about the international issues, international organizations and negotiations.They also conducted simulations in negotiations, UN meeting, even simulation in handling the crisis. Through this event I made friends with many Dutch students and I found it was a really exciting. Most of them knew Indonesia very well, especially Bali of course. Moreover, they also realized that they colonized Indonesia in the past and thought that I could speak Dutch. They also always asked about what Indonesian thought of the Dutch whether they hate the Dutch or not. Even the taxi driver asked me the same question. My participation to this conference brought me to feel the atmosphere of Amsterdam. Everybody must know that Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands. However, unlike Jakarta, Amsterdam is not a parliamentary city. It is a city of tourists. The Gementee (Mayor) of Amsterdam city really concerned to maintain the tourism object in Amsterdam. He does not allow the exterior buildings in Amsterdam to be 14

credit: Widi Laras

credit: Widi Laras

distorted. The building must reflect the old Europe condition. People were just allowed to decorate the interior. Furthermore, I could find many museums there, for example Heineken Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Madam Tussaud, and Erotic Museum. The Dam Square, the most famous Amsterdam landmark, is always crowded on the weekend. Many tourists all over the world come to take a picture here. Besides that, Amsterdam also have a lot of church that had been transformed to cafe, bar, restaurant, store or even night club. Amsterdam also has a good system

of transportation. Most of the people use bicycle because it is the cheapest transportation. I could find scenery of a mother riding a bike while carrying her children and also a picture of a very old couple cycling together. Though most of people use bicycle as their transportation, they also has other public transportation to accommodate a person like me who is not be able to ride a bike. They have tram and train from the edge of the city to the central. The other wonderful thing from Amsterdam is its canals. I always walked down the canals from my hostel to the conference place in University of Amsterdam. I could feel the very relaxing breeze when I stood on the side of the canal. There were also a group of beautiful ducks and swans in the canals with small boats around them. In contrast to the old style of architecture and the relaxing breeze of Amsterdam, they also have the most

famous nightlife in the Europe. It is the red light district. When the sky turns dark, all the place in that district starts to work so as the music is started to play. It called red light district because it a district with many buildings that offer naked ladies in the glass cube highlighted by the red light. There are also so many clubs for gay and lesbian in the district. Amsterdam also provides many places to enjoy marijuana. They are called coffeeshop. Amsterdam is a heaven for the tourists. They could find easily what they want, from the high classic art to the wild entertainment. It was such a really amazing place that I ever visit.


Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia


Terdampar di Johannesburg
Oleh: RIzA ARYANI Pelajaran dan pengalaman ini penulis peroleh setelah terdampar di bandara Johannesburg kurang lebih dua belas jam. Tulisan berikut tak berusaha melakukan generalisasi atau penggambaran buruk terhadap pihak tertentu, melainkan berupaya untuk berbagi pengalaman berharga semata.

erkadang, berinteraksi dengan orang baru dapat memberi pandangan lebih baik akan diri kita. Hal ini penulis sadari dalam perjalanan menempuh separuh bumi. Beberapa saat yang lalu, penulis berkesempatan mengunjungi benua Afrika, tepatnya ke negara Botswana dan Afrika Selatan. Bersama dengan rombongan dari UI, penulis berkesempatan mengikuti sebuah acara yang diselenggarakan di ibukota Bostwana, Gaborone. Acara yang kami ikuti ini berskala internasional dan lebih dari seribu mahasiswa yang datang dari seluruh dunia bertandang ke sana. Dengan dana pas-pasan pun kami berusaha mencari rute termurah. Alternatifnya adalah kami menumpangi pesawat dari Jakarta sampai Johannesburg, Afrika Selatan, kemudian naik bus untuk menyebrangi perbatasan ke Botswana. Kami melakukan perjalanan tersebut bereenam, salah seorang dari rombongan itu adalah Edi Saputra yang juga merupakan anggota aktif ISAFIS. Sebisa mungkin kami meminimalisasi segala hambatan yang mungkin terjadi dengan perencanaan serinci-rincinya. Soalnya, perjalanan itu lumayan jauh dan Botswana bukanlah tempat tujuan wisata yang tergolong umum. Kami pun telah jauh hari memesan bus penjemput dari panitia, termasuk menginformasikan waktu kedatangan. Setelah dua puluh jam di pesawat dan beberapa belas jam transit, kami akhirnya menginjakkan kaki di Bandara Johannesburg. Kemudian seorang

petugas konsuler dari Kedutaan Besar Republik Indonesia untuk Afrika Selatan menyambut kami. Lalu, kami berusaha mencari meeting point dengan panitia dan berharap muncul tandatanda dari rombongan panitia penjemput di ruang kedatangan bandara. Perhitungan kami salah. Hebatnya, tak satupun dari kami berusaha mencatat nomor dari panitia. Kepanikan pertama dimulai. Kami pun berkeliling mencari orang yang mungkin tampak seperti panitia. Akan tetapi, setelah kurang lebih setengah jam mencari, kami tak kunjung menemukan mereka. Bahkan, setelah seorang teman berinisiatif keluar bandara dan kami menemukan tempat penjemputan di sebuah hotel dekat sana, para panitia belum juga kelihatan. Kami mencari-cari dengan ketiadaan penunjuk jalan. Inilah kekesalan kami yang pertama. Akhirnya, kami tiba di lokasi penjemputan yang sudah dipenuhi peserta dari negara lain. Mereka ternyata telah sampai di sana beberapa jam sebelumnya. Panitia menjanjikan busnya akan tiba beberapa menit lagi. Kami bersabar meski beberapa puluh menit kemudian busnya belum pula datang. Tak lama kemudian, kami baru menyadari bahwa panitia tak memiliki nama-nama rombongan yang telah mendaftar secara online. Alhasil, kami harus mendaftar ulang dan memperoleh urutan sangat bawah. Saking bawahnya, saat rombongan bus pertama datang, kami tak kebagian tempat duduk. Belum lagi, panitia menyatakan, bus berikutnya baru

saja menyebrangi perbatasan yang artinya, kami mempunyai beberapa jam ekstra untuk tidur di bandara. Semua peserta menaiki bus dan berangkat ke Gaborone. Saat itu sudah sekitar pukul 18.00. Dengan kata lain, kami telah menunggu kurang lebih tiga jam di bandara. Kami tetap bersabar walau saat itu kami merupakan satu-satunya rombongan yang belum mendapat bus, di tambah satu orang dari rombongan Australia. Secara diam-diam, ini menjadi kekesalan dan kepanikan kedua. Kesal karena kami seharusnya ada dalam daftar peserta di urutan atas, sesuai registrasi online. Panik karena kami satu-satunya rombongan tersisa. Kami berusaha mengisi kekosongan waktu dengan beragam permainan hingga kami bosan. Kami dijanjikan akan mendapat bus dalam dua hingga tiga jam ke depan atau setelah lima sampai enam kali bermain kartu Capsa. Bus belum juga datang walau kami sudah bermain Capsa dan hampir semua permainan kartu berkali-kali. Pejabat konsuler dari KBRI Afrika Selatan dengan setia menemani kami sambil

berbagi pengalaman Beliau beberapa tahun di Afrika. Ternyata kebiasaan jam karet kita, tak jauh beda dari teman kita di Afrika. Terlambat satu-dua jam merupakan hal biasa di sana. Menurut perhitungan kami, seharusnya kami telah mendapatkan bus jam delapan malam. Namun, sampai jam sepuluh malam, kami belum juga mendapat kabar dari panitia. Kami mulai tak sabar, terlebih udara mulai dingin. Kami ingin mencak-mencak dan marah, tapi tak satupun panitia terlihat: kekesalan ketiga. Kurang lebih pukul 01.00, panitia menghampiri kami dan mengajak pindah karena lokasi penjemputannya dipindahkan. Ternyata, ada satu rombongan lagi yang bernasib sama dengan kami. Begitu pindah, kami melihat sebuah van putih seperti yang digunakan menjemput peserta lainnya tadi sore. Kami masuk ke dalam van dan berusaha menata semua barang kurang lebih setengah jam. Tak sampai kami duduk rapi, panitia masuk dan menyatakan kemungkinan bus tak bisa diberangkatkan. Mereka menjelaskan, resiko menyebrangi perbatasan di malam hari sangat

credit: Riza Ariyani



Bahasa Indonesia
tinggi seperti kemungkinan perampokan dan serangan binatang buas dan menyatakan kami seharusnya tak mengambil resiko tersebut. Kami pun bingung dan kepanikan ketiga muncul. Akhirnya, kami memutuskan berangkat pagi-pagi sekali esok hari. Kami tak tahu harus senang atau marah. Senang karena setidaknya kami terbebas dari kemungkinan dikejar singa di tengah jalan atau marah karena kami harus menghabiskan beberapa jam lagi di luar dengan udara yang makin dingin. Salah seorang dari rombongan kami berusaha mencari tempat yang nyaman di bandara. Namun, sebelum masuk lebih jauh, petugas keamanan memberikan peringatan tentang keamanan bandara. Di jam-jam tersebut bandara sudah sangat sepi dan menjadi rawan: kepanikan keempat. Untungnya, pejabat konsuler KBRI dengan baik hati menawarkan kami menginap di rumah salah satu diplomat di Pretoria. Setelah beristirahat selama beberapa jam, pagi-pagi sekali kami kembali ke Johannesburg. Busnya telah menunggu dan siap untuk berangkat. Kami jauh lebih siap menghadapi perjalanan menempuh perbatasan. Banyak kejadian menarik lainnya yang kami alami dan pengalaman terdampar ini menjadi awal yang memberi pelajaran paling berharga. Awalnya, kami ingin berteriak di muka panitia dengan semua keterlambatan dan konsekuensi kami harus terdampar di bandara tanpa kepastian lebih dari dua belas jam. Namun jika penulis renungkan, perlakuan ini mungkin adalah hal yang pernah dirasakan lawan interaksi kami. Terlambat menjadi salah satu kebiasaan yang dinyatakan sangat Indonesia, setidaknya itulah kebiasaan penulis. Terlebih, sebenarnya hal ini bukan dilakukan dengan kesengajaan, melainkan cenderung pada kebiasaan mereka, tanpa ada niat merugikan orang lain. Hal yang lebih penting lagi, di balik semua permasalahan ini, kami bertemu dengan orangorang yang luar biasa baik. Simply genuine people. Panitia yang bahkan baru kami temui selama beberapa hari menjadi teman sangat baik. Semua kekesalan dan kepanikan yang kami alami menjadi pembelajaran sangat berharga. Kami mungkin berhak marah (kami sepakat saat itu, kami memang BERHAK marah), namun jika dilihat lagi, ada sisi baik dari tiap orang. Orang-orang yang membuat kami marah ini, bahkan tidak memiliki intensi untuk melakukan itu. Beberapa dari mereka merupakan bagian dari orang paling baik yang pernah penulis temui. Mereka membantu dengan tulus walau terkadang bentuk bantuan yang diberikan tak selalu tampak sebagai solusi paling jitu. Terlepas dari perbedaan yang ada, mereka telah memberikan pertolongan serta ketulusan dan hal itu berhasil meninggalkan kesan tersendiri bagi penulis. Namun, pelajaran utamanya: hindari terdampar di bandara terlalu lama, it could bring out the worst of you

Bahasa Indonesia


Tiga Setengah Jam Bersama Dubes Palestina

Oleh: mUHAmmAd ARIf Terima kasih yang tak terhingga untuk Dian Aditya Ning Lestari atas kesempatan yang diberikan. Tulisan ini saya dekasikan untuknya.

anya segelintir orang yang bisa

bertatap muka langsung dengan seorang Dubes Palestina untuk Indonesia, Fariz al Mehdawi. Jumat, 1 Maret 2011 saya berkesempatan berdiskusi dengan beliau di Kedutaan Palestina, kawasan Diponegoro, Jakarta. Saya yang hanya mahasiswa biasa amat bersyukur dapat memperoleh kesempatan tersebut. Kesempatan ini awalnya muncul dalam bentuk ajakan seorang teman. Ia meminta saya menemaninya ke Kedutaan Palestina untuk mencari informasi terkait program summer school sebuah universitas di Palestina. Tak disangka, ketika sampai di lokasi, kami diberi kesempatan untuk audiensi dengan Dubes Palestina Fariz al Mehdawi. Hingga di situ pun saya sudah sangat bersyukur. Saya tak menyangka audiensi akan berlangsung selama tiga setengah jam. Kami membicarakan banyak hal, mulai dari politik Timur Tengah, konflik Arab-Israel, korupsi di Indonesia, hingga soal pernikahan. Menurut Mehdawi, konflik yang terjadi di Palestina sudah lama menjadi isu internasional yang melibatkan berbagai kepentingan. Seperti halnya Indonesia, secara geografis Palestina dekat dengan Eropa, Asia, dan Afrika. Selain itu, secara geopolitik, berbagai kepentingan bersilangan di kawasan sempit ini. Jika dulu Dinasti Usmani lalu Kekaisaran

Ottoman menaruh kepentingan besar di Palestina, kini Barat menjadi pemain utamanya. Pembelajaran soal Palestina pun menjadi suatu agenda yang melibatkan pemahaman komprehensif berbagai macam isu. Tak cukup melihat Palestina dari segi politik kekinian; kita perlu melibatkan pula kajian historis, ekonomi, interdependensi, dan lain-lain. Saya menangkap, tidak hanya Mehdawi, tetapi juga orang Palestina pada umumnya cenderung menghindari pembahasan terbuka tentang konflik Arab-Israel. Selama tiga setengah jam berdiskusi, tak sekalipun Mehdawi memakai kata Jews. Israel pun hanya beberapa kali digunakan. Agaknya, ini berkaitan dengan hal yang Mehdawi ungkapkan bahwa orang-orang Palestina cenderung menolak menyebut dirinya sebagai korban. Harga diri orang-orang Palestina ini tinggi dan merupakan sesuatu yang pantas ditiru. Pembahasan kami kemudian berlanjut ke topik pembangunan di Indonesia. Seperti banyak tokoh internasional, Mehdawi menilai Indonesia memiliki prospek yang sangat baik untuk setidaknya masuk dalam sepuluh negara paling berpengaruh lima hingga sepuluh tahun ke depan. Maka demikian, Mehdawi mengimbau kaum muda Indonesia untuk bersikap patriotik demi memajukan


Change can either challenge or threaten us. Your beliefs pave your way to success or block you.

- Marsha Sinetar The SunFlower Post is a project where young females from different parts of the world write about local news, with a gender perspective. They become empowered by this platform, and believe in the importance of getting their voices heard by you, their global audience. thesunflowerpost.org



Bahasa Indonesia
bangsa dan negara. Di samping itu, Mehdawi berpendapat, korupsi tetap menjadi momok bagi Indonesia jika bangsa ini ingin maju. Ia menilai pemberantasan korupsi harus dimulai dari bawah, bukan top-down seperti yang dilakukan sekarang. Bagian paling menarik dari audiensi ini justru persoalan yang terkesan sepele: cinta dan pernikahan. Mehdawi tidak setuju jika pernikahan disebut hal sepele. Its very important. Dont joke with it, ujarnya. Kami membahas hal ini setidaknya selama dua jam. Awalnya Mehdawi bercerita tentang masa mudanya. Ia yang telah sarjana akhirnya memutuskan untuk terjun ke dunia politik, bergabung dengan Partai Fattah. Bagi Mehdawi, politik merupakan panggilan hati untuk berjuang demi bangsanya. Mehdawi merasa tak masalah jika politik ternyata mustahil memberinya jaminan kesejahteraan hidup. Kedua orangtua Mehdawi pun sempat menentang keputusan tersebut. Hingga akhirnya, Mehdawi tetap teguh pada pilihannya. Di dunia politik pula ia bertemu dengan perempuan yang kini menjadi istrinya. Kata Mehdawi, ketika itu ia menikah lebih karena desakan orangtua, bukan keinginan pribadi. Lalu, ia memilih seorang rekan kerja yang bahkan belum pernah ia ajak bicara, melamarnya, dan dua hari kemudian menikah. Bagi Mehdawi, independensi bagi perempuan adalah hal yang penting. Banyak pria menginginkan perempuan yang bergantung pada mereka. Menurut Mehdawi, ini salah, justru perempuan yang independen, cerdas, dan kuat yang akan menjadi istri yang baik. Dengan muka serius, Mehdawi mengingatkan kami berdua, jangan berpacaran selama kuliah. Selesaikan sarjanamu. Bekerja satu hingga dua tahun, kemudian menikahlah! Dan jangan memiliki anak sebelum dua tahun pernikahan. Semua itu Mehdawi ucapkan, sepertinya, bukan atas pertimbangan etika moral atau semacamnya. Baginya, hal terpenting adalah independensi dan kebebasan yang dibangun dari pengetahuan. The most important thing for humans, more than other things together, is freedom,ujar Mehdawi. Ia pun juga mendorong kami untuk berbuat banyak di usia muda. Usia kami, menurut Mehdawi, adalah saat-saat manusia berada pada puncak kebebasannya. Kami bebas melakukan apapun yang kami mau. Mehdawi berpesan agar jangan pernah takut untuk salah. Ia menambahkan, theres nothing wrong about doing wrong. Diskusi panjang itu pun berakhir dengan gurauan Mehdawi yang mengatakan, ia ingin saya mengajarinya teknik menaklukkan wanita suatu saat nanti. Semoga Tuhan memberkati Mehdawi, dan Palestina.

Bahasa Indonesia


Young Muslim Leadership Training Program 2010


Trisya dan temannya diwawancarai SBS Radio credit: Trisiyana Nur Ardiyanti

Dear Trisiyana, congratulations on being chosen to take part in the Young Muslim Leadership Training Program for 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.

credit: Muhammad Arif

tulah kalimat pertama yang diucapkan sang project managerdari Universitas La Trobe kepada penulis via sambungan langsung jarak jauh Jakarta-Melbourne. Secara pribadi, penulis tak menyangka akan terpilih sebagai perwakilan dari Indonesia. Pihak penyeleksi mengatakan, ada sekitar 80 pelamar untuk program ini. Mereka hanya memilih masing-masing dua orang peserta dari empat negara di Asia Tenggaradan penulis adalah salah satu yang beruntung dari dua orang tersebut. Tahun 2010 merupakan tahun keempat pelaksanaan the Young Muslim Leadership Training Program. Program ini pertama kali diinisiasikan Josseph Camilleri, Direktur Pusat Dialog (Centre for Dialogue) Universitas La Trobe di Melbourne. Namun dalam

pelaksanaannya, institusi yang membantu secara signifikan adalah Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV). Jumlah peserta secara kesuluruhan adalah 28 orang dengan komposisi 14 warga Muslim Melbourne yang sebagian besar dari merekaberasal dari Timur Tengah dan Asia Selatan serta masing-masing 2 orang peserta dari Indonesia, Malaysia, MindanaoFilipina, dan Pattani-Thailand. Sekedar informasi, pada2009, delegasi Indonesia berjumlah empat orang. Pelatihan Kepemimpinan bagi Pemimpin Muda Muslim ini berlangsung dua bulan. Selama itu, program berlangsung di tiga tempat, yakni Melbourne, Sydney, dan Canberra. Pemerintah Australia dan beberapa institusi sponsor membiayai seluruh akomodasi untuk peserta selama program berlangsung. Sebagian besar acara dilaksanakan di Melbourne, hanya tiga hari kunjungan ke Canberra dan



Bahasa Indonesia lima hari ke Sydney. Berbagai kegiatan di ketiga kota tersebut berhasil memberikan pelajaran berharga dan pengalaman tak terlupakan bagi penulis. Kegiatan tersebut, antara lain kunjungan ke lembaga-lembaga pemerintahan di Canberra, salah satunya Parliament House, dialog antaragama bersama komunitas Buddha di Sydney, Prospect for Peace in the Middle East Conference,dan wawancara oleh radio SBS Australia. Setelah dua bulan menjalani program, tinggal di Melbourne dan seperti memiliki keluarga baru dari Malaysia, Pattani, juga Mindanao, akhirnya kelulusan pun tiba. Salah satu bagian dari susunan acara wisuda tersebut adalah pemutaran video dari peserta yang saat itu saya buat sendiri. Video itu diakhiri dengan arti kata leadership yang menurut penulis setelah mengikuti program tersebut adalah L: Listen, E: Empathy, A: Act, D: Dialogue, E: Encourage, R: Respect, S: Speak, H: Humble, I: Initiate, P: Participate. Melbourne, Kota Wisata Dambaan Di Negeri Kangguru Sebagian besar acara yang berlangsung di Melbourne menumbuhkan kecintaan sendiri bagi penulis terhadap kota yang sangat ramah dan terkesan homey tersebut. Apalagi, setelah penulis melakukan kunjungan program di Canberra dan Sydney, perbedaan dan kenyamanan tersendiri terhadap Melbourne begitu terasa. Di lihat dari aspek pariwisatanya, Melbourne menawarkan banyak tempattempat menarik untuk di kunjungi. Walaupun program yang saya ikuti adalah program kepemimpinan, khusus bagi peserta dari Asia Tenggara, ada waktuwaktu tertentu bagi kami untuk bertamasya dan menikmati keindahan kota Melbourne. Keindahan sungai Yarra yang terletak di pusat kota Melbourne, misalnya, menjadi salah satu tempat favorit para turis. Sungai yang membelah Negara Bagian Victoria itu dikemas sedemikian rupa sehingga benarbenar memberikan nuansa pemandangan yang sangat indah. Di kiri-kanan sungai juga dibangun kawasan yang memang diperuntukkan untuk bertamasya seperti jalan setapak, restoran atau kafe, dan taman bermain. Para turis domestik maupun internasional tidak perlu khawatir untuk masalah transportasi di kota Melbourne. Kota yang sudah dua kali mendapatkan predikat The Worlds Most Liveable Cities (kota paling nyaman untuk ditinggali) dari The Economist pada 2002 dan 2004, menyediakan transportasi lengkap mulai dari kereta api, trem, dan bus. Layanan ini sudah terintegrasi dalam jaringan bernama Metlink sehingga satu karcis dapat digunakan untuk ketiga layanan tersebut. Ada pula transportasi unik yang bisa menjadi pilihan untuk mengelilingi pusat kota Melbourne. Transportasi tersebut mirip seperti dokar, namun kita harus mengeluarkan biaya sedikit lebih mahal untuk per jamnya. Bagi penulis, tidak akan pernah ada kata menyesal untuk datang ke kota Melbourne.


? in Controversy

Does it still matter if were different? Such question closes the trailer of ? and the answer could be found implicitly on the movie itself.

Trisya (tengah) dengan kedua temannya. credit: Trisiyana Nur Ardiyanti

uestion Mark shows family and friendship conflict which happens in an area around Pasar Baru, Semarang, where there are mosque, church, and temple live close to each other. Three families with various backgrounds are captured on this movie: Tan Kat Sun family who are Chinese and own a not halal restaurant, a Muslim family, Soleh and her wife who works for Tan Kat Sun, and the family of Rika, a widow who has converted her religion into Christian. Its not only about religion; its also about other pluralism conflict like ethnicity and race which live side by side in daily life, especially in a country like Indonesia. Every family have dilemma about differences and they are trying to handle them with ways which sometimes reap controversy. The differences and the controversy maybe the main things that Hanung tries to reveal to the viewers. As ? press release states on its website, this is the first film brave to reveal daily social conficts due to the various point of views about life. The purpose is to remind again the importance of tolerance among the diversity for a better nation. A Movie about Difference with Various Responses I watched ? with my best friend during the early days of its releases on cinemas. Apart from the controversial

symbols and exposures of this movie, were impressed with the messages behind it, especially the tolerance value which is truly emphasized. And I found my friend really appreciated the movie because he thought he had similar uncommon experience about background diversity. FYI, my friend, a Muslim, went to a Christian school when he was in elementary and he also lives in Chinese neighborhood. However, different opinions were revealed when I asked my university friends, most of them from Communication major, about ?. Some of them appreciated like I and my friend did while another friend thought this movie was too much. They also have their own subjective ratings and review about this movie. Lets hear what they say. 23


Through Question Mark, Hanung tries to test sensitivity and tolerance among religious followers in Indonesia. However, this movie which (maybe) have purpose to create tolerance has lost its substance, instead. This movie is trapped to only be a parade of religious symbols. He tries to teach us about tolerance among religious followers with Hanungs version about the image of an ideal society. On that image, a Muslim can take a role as Jesus in a play for Easter, a Muslim can work at a restaurant which provide food with pork, and other examples related to various religious followers interaction described on this movie. Unfortunately, such ideal image has blurred the real problem about interaction between those religious believers in Indonesia. Its impossible to find in the reality of Indoesian society that a Muslim would like to play as Jesus in a story about crucifixion. As well as Christians, they wont let that situation happens. Hanung doesnt try to describe two beliefs which live side by side; he shows the sacrifices toward each beliefs so that those can live side by side, instead. Religious symbols are very exploitated on this movie. There are some scenes on this movie, which are actually unnecessar such as adding religious symbols. I dont know Hanungs purpose for that, but that parade of religious symbols is quite disturbing and dont strengthen the message at all. Apart from those negativities, this movie is quite refreshing and have quality among sexual-horror movies which dominate Indonesian cinemas nowadays. At least, we still have a bright director who wants to risen social issues in Indonesian society. Mochamad Iqbal rating: If you want to watch ?, you should have an open mind. There are some things might be seen crossing the religious norms. You shouldnt see that; you should see the message from that movie, instead. When you live, especially in Indonesia, there are many backgrounds so that you should appreciate each other. The acting is good. I couldnt determine the main character of the movie because every figure shown has strong and prominent character. The families have conflict and it is the connector among them. For example, when Hendra must continue his fathers Chinese restaurant then he apply a rule considred as not respecting the Muslims like to shorten Islamic celebration, as public holiday, for his workers. This act has triggered the Muslims anger. It seems that every character can take the wisdom of every conflict. Faisal Ramadhan rating: I still see this movie from Pluralism point of view. I think this movie is good. However, people think this movie is controversial. I like it for its Pluralism and ?, at least, can make a good image about Islam. About the things which have crossed the line on the movie... I think its not a problem. For me, it shows that theres no limitations, instead. The example would be the role of Christian figure should be played only by Christians. And my favorite quote is dont act foolish because of being limited by the religion. Puri Handoko rating: The film ? by Hanung Bramantyo reminds me of rainbow, where different colors stand together evenly and not even try to dominate each other. The seven colors appear from one colors refraction. Then, what is different in life?We are heterogeneous who happen to live next to each other (seven colors of rainbow). We worship (one) God that may be refracted into several beliefs (the white color). What is not ideal recently is some of us (the color(s)) have tried to dominate each other. My question would be, why getting bothered when you are not bothered? Is it simply because you are dominant (quantitatively)? This film is an alarm. An alarm to be respectful to what (or who) is different. Yes, respect! And it is probably noteworthy that there is no need for us to be like the different when we express that we respect the different. I still believe in Islam which teaches me to be respectful. To alert the others (which may include the different, in some cases) when they are going wrong way, peacefully; not by conducting such brutally destructive symbolic action(s).


Going back to the rainbow law, I believe that everyone will always be happy to see rainbow (well, at least the children). We (the mature adults), as well, I suppose. Such harmony epitomized by seven colors coming from one spectrum of color (white) amaze us to the max whenever we see it. Unfortunately, rainbow seldom comes on Earth lately. Rain and sun seem to be reluctant to appear the rainbow where the rainbow law does not work. Gilang Reffi



source: wordpress.com


a thousand likes on YouTube. Moreover, his video has been featured in a lot of online magazines, and contacted by the band, MGMT, itself. Having wondered about the process of the video-making, ISAFISnews decided to interview Freddie Paull who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States via social networking site. isaFisnews (I): Now, I will ask you several things about the video. Who is this man in the story? Is he a homeless man? Freddie Paull (F): The homeless man is Jude, a man who makes a mindful decision to buy a whiteboard and a marker and to spread knowledge instead of spending his money on alcohol or drugs. In this way, he is able to do something significant and meaningful in his life, and make a difference in our society instead of trashing around. I: What had inspired you to make mGmT Congratulations Music Video? F: The inspiration for this film came from ignorance and obliviousness of many Americans. Over the course of my class, we watched many documentary films with world-widely different perspectives. In these films, there were many surprising and mindblowing facts that I just couldnt believe and I havent heard before. Regarding this, I wanted to find a way to spread this knowledge to people who didnt watch these films or didnt have access to them. At that time in my life, I also reached a turning point with a lot of the narrow-mindedness and ignorance that took place all around myself. I: What is your role in here? F: I wrote, produced, and directed the film. That is to say, I did almost all the process of filming myself. I: Who helped you in making the video? F: I form a small team comprised of my friend Kyle, who played Jude - the homeless man, and my friends Jon and Sam who helped me pick out locations and acted as bodyguards for me. Americans have very persistent opinions, so telling them that they are wrong can be a dangerous move. On the scene where Jude is walking through some shops with the board that says Believing that every Arab is a terrorist is like believing that every American is a prostitute, you can see a man who tried to come to us, probably to verbally assault us or something. We managed to get out of there in time though. I: Where did the video take place and why did you choose that location? F: The video takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is appropriate for the setting of video since it is one of the places where most of snobbish, ignorant, and selfcentered people of the United States live. In Scottsdale, everyone drives around in their hundred-thousand-dollar sports cars, goes to five star restaurants for their three-hundreddollar meals, and goes home to their cozy five-million-dollar houses on the side of a mountain, but never think about what might be going on in the rest of the world. All they think about is me, myself, and I. You could live your whole life here and be oblivious to the fact that wars, famine, and corruption are taking place all around the world. Its the ultimate haven of ignorance. I: Why did you choose global issues as the theme?

An Intriguing Interview with Freddie Paull: Spreading the World Knowledge with Music Video

This MGMT music video looks different. On this video entitled MGMT Congratulations Music Video, we will not see any specific concepts. There is no monsters, dancing people, even Andrew and Ben, the personneels of that American psychedelic band.

Jude the homeless man credit: Freddie Paull


hat we see at the beginning of the video is a man who wakes up to find a $20 in his begging cup. Later on, he goes to a store and buys a whiteboard which he uses to tell everyone in the city about various points of view or facts. I have some things Id like to say. The guy shows up holding the written whiteboard on the street where cars pass by. On the next scene, he continues holding the whiteboard, with different writings. There is a lot going on in the world that you may not know about.

This man walks and walks day and night still holding on the whiteboard with messages in one theme: global issues. Some of us who searched for MGMT video might be misleaded, because actually, that is not the official MGMTs Congratulations video. It is the video of Freddie Paull, a student of The Film School @ SCC, which is made for his final project in Documentaries for Social Change class. Many audiences appreciate it, though. Not only did he get an A+ on the project, Freddie also got more than


F: I chose global issues as a theme because in the United States, sometimes it seems like everyone is so wrapped in America that they dont even know (or care) of what is going on with the rest of the world. The American media even mostly just covers what is going on within the country, and the fact is Americans only make up a small portion of the worlds population. A lot of Americans also have this mindset that they are the most important people in the world and their country is the best in the world. I wanted to reduce all that down to circumstance. THEY didnt chose where they were going to be born or what circumstances they were going to be born into. I: There are some messages on that video which show facts such as the Japanese are killing dolphins and so on. Where did you get the facts from? F: All the facts in the video are accurate and from evidence presented in the documentary films I watched in my class. I got this information from The Cove which has photographic evidence that shows Japanese trapping hundreds of dolphins in a secluded cove and then mindlessly slaughtering them with spears. Then, I got other information shown on the video about US air-force pilots from Bigger, Stronger, Faster which covers the debate over performance enhancing drugs and Americans constant hunger to be number one at everything. I: You also put some quotes. Whose quotes are on the video? F: I wrote the quotes in the film with the exception in the last quote, which was written by John Lennon, my favorite music legend and my personal hero. John understood that one

of the keys to peace is understanding people. I think the day when we can learn to think outside of our own worlds is the day we will all live for one thing. Love. I: Why do you choose Congratulations by MGMT as the music? Does it have any correlations with your videos concept? F: The song itself is very cynical and sarcastic when it talks about acquiring fame and all the things come along. It was a tongue-in-cheek congratulations to the American people for being so damn ignorant and not searching for knowledge. It was sort of a Congratulations, America. Look at what your country has become. I: Why did you name the video MGMT - Congratulations Music Video instead of giving another title which is more correlated with your video content? F: I had originally named the video $20, but after a week or so, it barely had a hundred hits. I decided to change the name, because I knew that the messages would reach more people around the world. I have been criticized for misleading people into thinking that its the official video, but the fact that it has 1,869 likes and 84 dislikes suggests that I actually did not mislead anyone, but just exposed them to something that they didnt expect but enjoyed nonetheless. I: Do you get any responses from the band itself (MGMT)? Because you know, you kind of used their musics F: I did actually. They emailed me and told me that they liked it. However, their manager wanted to declare a word unofficial in the title. Naturally I ignored it. I: Have you received any

specific responses either positive or negative? What are they? F: I have received many kinds of responses to the video. Some people have emailed me just to thank me for making it. A few people post comments claiming that the facts are false when actually theyre not. Its just their ignorance that keeps them to think that way. The messages that mean the most to me are the ones where people tell me that I have actually made a big impact on their life, the way that they think, and the way they view the world. It always makes me cry a little tear of happiness because it proves the quote at the end of the movie. Anyone can make a difference. I: What is your main message to the audience by publishing this video? F: The message of Equality is a big part of this video. Every single one of us is a human. Whether you are the queen of England, or a beggar on the streets of India, you are equal. Therefore, no one should be judged or discriminated against because of their color, accent, appearance, or beliefs, because it was a pure circumstance that allowed them to be born where and when they were born. But hunger for knowledge is at the heart of this video. It is the main message. Two years ago, I

traveled to India and Bangladesh to work with a humanitarian organization. When I was there, I started learning about their beautiful cultures, and eventually, I found that we arent that different at all. The key to living peacefully is understanding each other. The more we talk to each other about what we believe, and how we feel and think, the greater understanding of humankind we have. The key is wanting to know. You need to WANTING to find out about how others think, act, and live. And when you do that, you finally realize that they are humans. Not an idea or an enemy, a human, just like you and I. I: Is that you at the end of the video? F: Yes ,that is me at the end of the video. I wanted to show that we can spread this world knowledge by sharing it, and I wanted to send a message of hope to those who were watching it who also want to spread the knowledge, that they are not alone. To access this video, you can open the link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26p1RO6vVk or simply search MGMT Congratulations Music Video on YouTube


Freddie Paull credit: Freddie Paull


flashback: IMATION 2010

photos by: Muhamad Charles ringgo firdaus



develop an understanding on international issues amid youth is like we build this Nation...

photo by: Febry Fawzi credits: Tubagus Ari Wibawa Mukti