Indonesia: a pathway to peace

How can communication and the media become instruments of peace and reconciliation? In Indonesia, a country riddled with violent inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions, the Jesuits of Puskat Audio Visual Studio have found their own creative answer. Building on ten years of experience with rural community radios and regular inter-religious broadcasts on TV directed at audiences of various faiths, they released an inter-religious film called Pathway to Peace in October. Directed by Fr Yoseph Iswarahadi SJ, its main message is that all religions aim at attaining unity and harmony and that gentleness is needed to communicate among people of different creeds. The film, targeting a mainly young audience, is presented in a magazine format, and consists of a musical drama based on an ancient relief of a Borubudur temple, video clips by young local groups and interviews. Fr. Iswarahadi is director of Puskat Audio Visual Studio and vice-President of SIGNIS Asia, the Asian branch of the International Catholic Association for Social Communication, and for many years has been an active organiser of one of the most popular community radios in Yogyakarta, Balai Budaya Minomartani. This radio station offers educational and cultural programmes that lay a strong emphasis on inter-religious dialogue. In 2002 the community network gathered around the station and successfully lobbied for the renewal of the national broadcasting law. [HL41203] Fr Yoseph Ispuroyanto Iswaharadi SJ, iswarahadi@yahoo.com