Over the last year KITLV researcher Ward Berenschot has worked with Watchdoc to produce this 90 min film on the many land conflicts between communities and companies occurring across Indonesia. This documentary builds on, and employs the findings of KITLV’s research project ‘Palm oil conflicts and access to justice in Indonesia’.
Indonesian filmmakers explore why their country has so many land conflicts. As they film the protests of communities against palm oil companies and real estate developers taking their land, they find that the roots of these conflicts go back to Indonesia’s colonial past. When in the 19th century the Dutch colonial rulers claimed ownership over most of Indonesia’s land, they weakened the land rights of ordinary Indonesians. This colonial inheritance continues to generate conflicts. As the land ownership of ordinary Indonesians remains restricted, Indonesia’s government can hand out their land to companies. When companies move in to seize their land for plantations or real estate projects, communities try to resist. Facing considerable police repression, their demonstrations and road blockades tend to fail. Yet after long struggles some communities manage to recover their land. In doing so they show an alternative path to economic development.
The in-house screening of the documentary will take place at KITLV. If you are interested in attending, please register by sending an email to: [email protected].