environmental background
political dimension
socio-cultural dimension
making Sharing Paradise
about us

Challenges: Participation
By Amelia Hapsari

In the beginning, people had many questions on the project. It was mostly related to the economy of the project. Would they get paid to participate in the project? Would the filmmaker reap financial profit from the project? What was the project for? Was it for a TV network? Would the video be screened in the United States? Where did the money to make the video come from?

These were some of the questions that had to be addressed. Amelia Hapsari as the filmmaker had to answer these questions both on several first community meetings as well as in informal occasions. She had to explain that the participants of the project would not get paid. The funding came from Ohio University, so all production cost has been covered. The video would not be sold to any TV network for commercial profit without the permission from the community. The purpose of the project was supposed to be decided by the community.

Reluctance to participate was not immediately gone after those questions were answered. There was another set of questions regarding ethnicity and religion of the filmmaker, important issues in Indonesia.

Along with the questions, there were some logistical challenges. Everybody in Balobaloang had to work. They had to fish in the ocean, operate cargo ships, or take care of their households. When the men landed from fishing or sailing, most of them repaired their boats, nets, or fishing equipment. The women were busy preparing meals or working in their yard. To participate on the video production process meant to leave some of the work behind. When people were busy with their daily errands, participatory video could not become their priority, so the video production process had to adjust to the flow of life in Balobaloang.  

In this chapter :
Getting the fishermen involved
Sharing Paradise: Living in a tangled web of relationships

Also in this section:

The making of Sharing Paradise
The making of Sharing Paradise: An anthropologistís footnote

What is a participatory video?

Ethnic and religious dimensions:
America, the evil empire
Chinese, the emperor of the market

Patron-client relationships and the participatory process

Language dimension

Reflections by the filmmaker




Sharing Paradise
Sharing Paradise Study Guide