Grit: Q&A with activist Dian Maharani and directors Sasha Friedlander & Cynthia Wade


Language: Engels

Dr. Ratna Saptari (Leiden University) speaks with young Indonesian activist Dian Maharani about the Lapindo disaster and the power of protesting an campaiging. Directors Sasha Friedlander & Cynthia Wade talk about how this film came about and which obstacles they faced when creating it.

In the last fifteen years, professor Saptari has written extensively on gender and labour relations; workplace politics; domestic workers; collective and individual memories. Her continued focus on industrial workers was inspired by her involvement with Indonesian worker politics during Soeharto's authoritarian regime. Currently she is also involved with the Indonesian Migrant Workers' Union in the Netherlands.

Dian Maharani was just a teenager when she took on one of the most powerful companies in Indonesia. In May 2006, the town of Sidoarjo (East Java) was hit by disaster. A drill of the Lapindo oil and gas company hit an underground pocket of hot mud. This resulted in a mud volcano. For years, Lapindo refused to take responsibility for the disaster. ‘I hope that through the film, the world will learn about what really happened in Sidoarjo,’ Dian says. ‘It’s the story of a powerful company that was not held responsible for the devastating results of its negligence.’ Read more about Dian Maharani and watch a short clip.