On Collaborative Practice: Of Land and Bread and akumassa

Of Land and Bread (1029) merupakan karya dari sutradara kelahiran Suriah, Ehab Tarabieh. Pujian tersemat untuk footage film yang menunjukkan realitas masyarakat Palestina di bawah kontrol militer Israel. IDFA menyebut bahwa film ini, “Through their images and perspective, the viewer is asked to witness and experience the fear and vulnerability they experience at the hand of mostly young.” Sedangkan Oslo Human Rights Film Festival Jury memuji, “footage is used to document the everyday life of people living under occupation and severe discrimination”. Dalam proses produksi Of Land and Bread, Ehab Tarabieh bertindak sebagai editor sekaligus koordinator kameramen yang bekerja di bawah lembaga B’Tselem. Sejak tahun 2007, B’Tseleem memberikan lokakarya dan kamera untuk volunteer dari Palestina supaya mereka bisa merekam bagaimana kondisi masyarakat sehari-hari, apa yang militer Israel ambil selain tanah mereka, sekaligus apa efek dari teror yang menjadi makanan sehari-hari anak-anak Palestina.

Perdebatan sengit antara petani Palestina dan tentara Israel tentang tanah “warisan” menjadi pembuka film ini. Selanjutnya, penonton diajak untuk memasuki ruang intim para kameramen dan menyaksikan tindakan represif dari tentara yang hingga dini hari masih berjaga-jaga di depan rumah. Kemudian, kamera juga membawa penonton melihat bahwa tiap kubu memiliki “keyakinannya” masing-masing. Sang perekam berada di pihak masyarakat Palestina yang setiap hari dan setiap malam harus berhadapan dengan kesewenang-wenangan tentara dan pengambilan paksa dan pembuatan batas tanah milik orang Palestina. Setiap kali ada kesempatan, anak-anak kecil Palestina akan melemparkan batu ke mobil jeep dan ke arah tentara. Sedangkan yang direkam, meskipun tahu ada kamera, dia tetap bertindak sesuai komando. Tidak perduli itu anak-anak, tidak perduli orang tua renta, semuanya harus sesuai kontrol militer. Bagi yang direkam, sangat penting supaya sang perekam tidak memiliki kebebasan. Semakin kamera mengarah ke arah tentara, semakin represif mereka bertindak. 

Saya tidak akan berpanjang lebar menjelaskan konflik antara Israel dan Palestina. Pembaca bisa merujuk ke tautan berikut, atau berikut, untuk mengetahui lebih banyak tentang konflik tanah dan tindakan represif Israel atas masyarakat Palestina. Yang saya ingin tekankan dalam artikel ini, adalah kerja kolaboratif dalam membangun realitas filemis of Land and Bread. Pertama kali saya menonton film ini, saya teringat dengan praktik kerja kolaboratif dari akumassa, sebuah program pemberdayaan media, dengan film panjangnya yakni Gerimis Sepanjang Tahun (2015). Baik Of Land and Bread dan Gerimis Sepanjang Tahun, mempersilakan “orang lokal” sebagai kameramen, kemudian footage akan diedit oleh pemateri workshop. Bidikan gambar dari kedua film ini memang terkesan amatir namun dekat dengan keseharian para pengambil gambar. Jarak antara subjek pengambil gambar dan objek/ subjek yang diambil gambarnya menjadi dekat sehingga penonton diijinkan untuk mengambil posisi dari sudut si perekam. Bedanya bila B’Tseleem hanya fokus pada wilayah Palestina yang diduduki oleh Israel, akumassa sejak tahun 2008 telah menjadi koordinator dan melaksanakan projek perekaman keseharian masyarakat di beberapa kota di Pulau Jawa, Sumatera, dan Lombok. Keduanya sama-sama memahami bahwa video dan amatir itu ideologis. Ia bisa menjadi senjata untuk merekam sekaligus memberikan narasi kecil si perekam kepada khalayak.

Lihat video dan film akumassa serta Gerimis Sepanjang Tahun pada tautan berikut. 

Other Films from Visions du Reel:

On a Clear Day You Can See the Revolution From Here (Emma Charles, Ben Evans James, 2020)

Plastic House (Allison Chorrn, 2019)

Purple Sea (Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed, 2020)

English

Of Land and Bread is the work of Syrian-born director, Ehab Tarabieh. Praised for film footage that shows the reality of Palestinian society under Israeli military control. IDFA said that this film, “Through their images and perspectives, the viewer is asked to witness and experience the fear and vulnerability they experience at the hand of mostly young.” While the Oslo Human Rights Film Festival Jury praised, “footage is used to document the everyday lives of people living under occupation and severe discrimination”. In the production process of Of Land and Bread, Ehab Tarabieh became as an editor and coordinator of the cameramen working under the B’Tselem institution. Since 2007, B’Tseleem has provided workshops and cameras for volunteers from Palestine so that they can record the daily conditions of society, when the Israeli military is taking their land, as well as what effects the terror has become their main reality. 

A heated debate between Palestinian farmers and Israeli soldiers about “inherited” land opened the film. Next, the audience was invited to enter the intimate space of the cameramen and witness the repressive actions of the army who until early morning were still standing guard in front of the house. Then, the camera also takes the viewer to see that each camp has its own “faith”. The recorder is on the side of the Palestinian people who every day and every night must deal with the arbitrariness of the army and the forced take and making of Palestinian land boundaries. Whenever there was a chance, Palestinian children would throw stones at the jeep and at the army. While those recorded, despite knowing there was a camera, he still acted according to the command. No matter the children, no matter the elderly, everything must be in accordance with military control. For those who are recorded, it is very important that the recorder does not have freedom. The more the camera leads to the army, the more repressive they act.

I will not elaborate on explaining the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The reader can refer to the following link, to find out more about land conflicts and Israeli repressive actions against Palestinians. What I want to emphasize in this article, is the collaborative work in building the reality of the of Land and Bread. The first time I watched this film, I was reminded of the collaborative work practices of akumassa, a media empowerment program, with a feature film entitled Years of Drizzling Land (2015). Both Of Land and Bread and Years of Drizzling Land, invited “local people” as cameramen, then footage will be edited by the workshop presenters. The shots of the pictures from both of these films may seem amateurish, but they are close to the daily lives of the shooters. The distance between the subjects taking pictures and the objects / subjects taken are close so that the viewer is allowed to take a position from the angle of the recorder. The difference is that if B’Tseleem only focuses on the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, Akumassa has since 2008 been coordinating and implementing community daily recording projects in several cities in Java, Sumatra and Lombok. Both understand that video and amateurs are ideological.

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