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July 14, 2014

The Voices of Earthquake

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The Voices of Earthquake is a documentary on disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts in Aceh, Indonesia produced by the National Disaster Management Agency of Indonesia (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana / BNPB) in 2011. 7 years after the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami took more than 200,000 lives in the province, the documentary describes the prominent disaster risks in Aceh, the efforts being made, the challenges, and some ideas to make sure that the communities can live safely despite the risks that they are living with.

As much as it shows the efforts being implemented in Aceh, it also candidly showed how a younger student did not know about earthquake and tsunami. It subtly sent a message that disaster risk reduction education as well as other disaster risk reduction measures should systematically and permanently be in place. Otherwise younger generations that do not have direct memories on disaster occurrence might not know about the potential disaster risks they are living with.

By far, I think this is the most comprehensive documentary on DRR in Aceh, as it captures not only the progress and achievements in DRR but also existing challenges and opportunities through the voices of all stakeholders; community members, government, educational institutions, and donor organization. Interviews with community members who described their feelings towards the major changes in their lives after the tsunami, and reasons why they came back to the areas where their homes were destroyed by the tsunami captured the classic phenomenons which often challenge risk reduction efforts related to spatial planning: belief, livelihood, and emotional attachment.

To complete the whole picture, disaster risk reduction practitioners from BNPB, Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center (TDMRC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s DRR Aceh Project also shared their views on what needs to be done and alternatives/approaches that can be suitable for the communities. Mr. Sugeng Triutomo, the Deputy for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness of BNPB, Mr. Syamsidik, the Research Development Manager of TDMRC, and Hendra Syahputra, my best friend who at that time was the Knowledge Management Manager of the TDMRC, and myself shared our views on DRR in Aceh. I was privileged to be part of this documentary, thanks to Bang Hendra who invited me to be involved in this documentary project.

I have seen at least three national television channels in Indonesia - Metro TV, Kompas TV, and TVOne - have aired this documentary, as part of BNPB's DRR campaigns. The Voices of Earthquake won the award in the UNISDR Asia Disaster Risk Reduction Film Festival 2012, as the best film in the category of Disaster Risk Reduction Story. The award was presented during the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

> Read the news on the award's winners here
> Read the news on the UNISDR DRR Film Festival 2012 here

Shared some thoughts on the 'failed blue print'
The background is my work cubicle. I filled it with my work plans and the designs of public information materials for our DRR education and  public awareness programs

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