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

Challenges: Living in a tangled web of relationships
By Amelia Hapsari

Reluctance to continue participation in the video production process reappeared after the video was screened and commented by the authorities.

Nawir was one of the ship owners who had been involved in the video production process. He often lent his new boat to bring the video team from one island to another. However, when there was a suggestion to gather more evidence of dynamite fishing activities, he decided that the video team should not use his boat to shoot dynamite fishers. He would like to help the production of the video, as long as the dynamite fishers could not see his involvement.

The fishermen in Balobaloang supported the idea that more blast fishing incidents would be recorded on camera to illustrate the intensity of coral reef destruction in the area. Each time they would be asked whether the video team should capture more dynamite incidents, they would answer, "That's what we want. It's better that way." However, after they saw the response from the authorities, nobody volunteered to be a guide for more dynamite video hunting.

The dynamite fishery of Sumanga has threatened the ecosystem and subsistence of Balobaloang people. Most people from Balobaloang did not like Sumanga people, but the two communities had to maintain a good relationship with each other.

Because of the distance with the mainland and the lack of public facilities, good relationships were key survival tools in Balobaloang. If a fisherman from Balobaloang got stuck on the sea without enough drinking water, the person who happened to fish nearby might be someone from Sumanga. The people of Balobaloang and Sumanga were not only related by blood or marriage, they were also related by a tangled web of favors and debts.

It was not in the interest of the people in Balobaloang to go on camera and to point their fingers at the people in Sumanga. They made it clear that their intention was to stop dynamite and cyanide fishing, not to get Sumanga people arrested. "If the police want to arrest them, it's OK. We can help them to identify dynamite fishery. But we don't want to be the cause of the arrest," said one fisherman to the filmmaker.

Although the people in Balobaloang were happy that the video could be a kind of evidence or legitimacy of their concern, they did not wish to create a conflict against the dynamite fishers.

They wanted a stricter law enforcement system in the area so people could not destroy the environment and deplete their source of income. However, they did not want to oppose their neighbors directly. They needed someone with higher authorities, either the Regent of Pangkep or the marine police from the provincial capital, to establish justice and to act against the crime.

This has become their limit of participation in producing the video. Once the people in Balobaloang felt that the video could harm their relationship with the people in Sumanga, they did not wish to continue. Rather than directly confronting their people from Sumanga, they chose to fish further away. Sappesaid without much enthusiasm, "I'm just going to fish further away. Let's hope that other places have not been destroyed yet."  

In this chapter :
Getting the fishermen involved

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