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TV Drama Fights Indonesia Extremism

Published: 19/02/2012 05:18:52 PM GMT
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JAKARTA - Fighting extremism and promoting tolerance, a new football-themed television drama hits the screens in Indonesia on Sunday, February 19, to s (more)

JAKARTA - Fighting extremism and promoting tolerance, a new football-themed television drama hits the screens in Indonesia on Sunday, February 19, to seek conflict resolution through peaceful means.

“A drama series set in a prison is interesting, considering prisons are generally considered a melting pot of various undemocratic values,” Executive Producer Garin Nugroho said, Bikya Masr website reported.“This series presents values that are important to viewers, especially those in conflict areas, [and] particularly emotions tied to group identity, how to channel aggression, etc.”

“Tim Bui” or The Prison Team is a 13-episode drama set in a fictional Indonesian prison and encourages viewers to consider new ways of resolving conflict in their daily lives.

The story revolves around two prison guards who have different approaches to dealing with conflicts, including ethnic and religious ones.

These problems emanate from misunderstandings, stereotypes and misinformation between people of different backgrounds.

The drama shows one of the guards adopting football to demonstrate a new model of cooperative behavior.

The show also tackles issues like institutional reform and corruption.

The TV drama is produced by the international conflict transformation organization Search for Common Ground (SFCG), in cooperation with the Indonesian Corrections Department.

It is funded by the British Department for International Development and the Australian government through its aid program AusAID.

It  is not  the first time  SFCG produced dramas on conflict-solving.

The organization has previoulsy roduced “The Team,” a radio and television drama that focused on conflict-ridden zones in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Fighting Extremism

Being the most popular sport in Indonesia, football was selected in the TV drama to bring people together and challenge extremism in Indonesian prisons.

“Football is a medium to achieve a purpose, a common goal and unity,” said director Sugeng Wahyudi, from SFCG's local production partner, SET.

“Football is one-third luck, one-third skill and one-third friendship."Producers hope the drama will reach millions across the archipelago.

The preliminary feedback from prison authorities who were consulted on the drama production was generally positive.

They hope the series would be successful to challenges the sources of radical ideologies among Muslim youth.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim state where Muslims make up 80% percent of the 220 million population.

A 2009 report warned that Indonesia's moderate practice of Islam is being threatened by radical groups seeking to infiltrate mosques and schools to implement their agenda.

It named two groups, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), for infiltrating moderate Muslim groups and institutions such as schools to press their agenda.

Last week, scores of Indonesians took to the streets to denounce practices by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which is accused of using violence to enforce its radical values.

Reproduced with permission from