BIRFEST 2019: Movie Screening and Discussion ‘Capernaum’

As part of the BINUS International Relations Festival (BIRFEST) with this year’s theme ‘Just Humanity,’ the Department of International Relations in collaboration with the BINUS IR Students Association (HIMHI) presents Movie Screening and Discussion for “Capernaum.” BIRFEST 2019 begins with a visit by students of HELP for Refugees to BINUS University, is followed by a 2-day fundraising campaign, and is concluded with this movie screening event. In addition to raising funds that will be donated to HELP for Refugees, this event aims to raise awareness of both students and lecturers of BINUS University about the refugee situation in Indonesia and, in general, the human rights impact of forced displacement.

“Capernaum” is a heart-wrenching movie depicting a story of a Beirut kid who has run away from his abusive and unhappy home. During his runaway, he met and befriended an Ethiopian woman without legal papers and got to stay with her in return for taking care of her son. He encounters various challenges in his journey and learns the meaning of ‘having a name.’ Through this movie, we hope to reflect on and answer the critical questions on how critical the issue of undocumented migrants is at the global level and the fundamental human rights implications of this issue. Throughout the movie screening, some audiences shed some tears and expressed their frustration with the situations that the main character was in. Afterward, the discussion was animated by some crucial questions asked by the audiences, such as how the young generation can contribute to the improvement of refugee situations in Indonesia and how local people should respond to this humanitarian circumstance. In today’s world, humanitarian issues are one of the most discussed topics among others. And if we look at it at the domestic level, there are severe issues regarding the human rights of the refugees in Indonesia. And yet we as individuals showed so little efforts to handle and resolve this issue. Correspond to this critical problem, with the concept of ‘Just Humanity’ in mind, this year, BINUS International Relations Festival (BIRFEST) brought about the discussion on how we – fellow humans – can make a small yet impactful contribution to restore the humanity in the world. The said concept can be interpreted as to its literal meaning of ‘Only Humanity’ as well as an expanded definition, which is Justice for Humanity. This theme was raised to increase millennial generation awareness, especially students related to the issue of human rights and refugees in Indonesia.

This year’s festival consisted of three main events: Empowerment Gathering, Campaign and Fundraising, and Movie Screening & Discussion. For the Empowerment Gathering, we invited students and staff of HELP for Refugees, a non-profit organization and learning center, which is one of the refugee-led initiatives in Jakarta. Alongside our volunteers, male participants from HELP played friendly futsal match, and the females painted some tote bags which will be sold during the fundraising campaign. The fundraising campaign on the second and third day was a great success with more than IDR 6 million raised and donated to HELP. On the last day of the festival, we concluded the event with Movie Screening and Discussion for the Oscar-nominated movie, ‘Capernaum.’ This year’s BINUS IR Festival holds an essential and valuable meaning as it was not only a mere celebration but also a platform for IR students to contribute directly to humanity and the overall society.

Ratu Ayu Asih Kusuma Putri