Why it is more and more important to hire local young talents

(I originally wrote this as a facebook post)


Brace yourself, this is a long rant in my broken English.

It is more and more important for organisations and agencies in so-called developing countries to hire local young talents, including the freelance videographer and photographer due to the cultural and local value that they understand. We have enough of western gaze, we have enough trial and error of western theory bring into practice, and most of the time it is ruining the local wisdom and the local knowledge system.

I'm not trying to bring the conversation of global versus local, eastern versus western. It is more about how the locals should own the narrative about their place, their culture, their development. We are not building the extension of American capitalism, EU development model, or even Arabic government system in Indonesia. None of those will fits perfectly with the locals. Of course, I'm only stating the obvious here.

I have enough heard people complaining about how Indonesian, or Asian in general can't behave. Well, maybe your sets of values of behaviour do not fit the people. The way Dutch, Japanese, Noth American, Arabic, or Indonesian to behave are SHOULD be different. A tiny example, don't expect Indonesian to clean their table in a coffee shop unless you explicitly put the sign to do so because we have so many unskilled labours that actually getting paid to do so, and they need the job. I'm not saying it is good or bad. I don't wanna touch the conversation of access to education etc to help unskilled labours to get a better job. I'm just saying it is different, and you can't just randomly stick sets of value to any country.

It is, of course, important to bring research and knowledge that we lack off, but it is even more critical to merge those knowledge to the system value of the country where you apply those. You will never be able to merge those if the directors and head of agencies and NGOs are always white people from the so-called developed country. It will never work if the narrative is presenting by the eyes of a photographer who doesn't understand, for example, how the local appreciate volcano as part of a balanced life.

I'm not trying to say that you should blindly hire the locals, there are so many talented locals who are uprooted from the value. There are also many local values that we need to get rid off. But there are a lot more amazing values, as well as skillful, brilliant, bright local talents with good attitudes who do excellent jobs even when they don't have access to fancy tools and good education like their counterpart in the west.

I am not anti-foreign workers, some of them are important to be here to share their knowledge and skill. I'm just trying to say that we need to win our narrative and our own direction. That is why it is more and more important to give chances to the young local talent. And, even though they play a big role, this is not just up to the organisations and agencies. The government also have a significant role to avoid those brilliant talents from leaving the country due to the unconducive situation like systemic racism toward minority, systemic sexism, regulation of dual citizenship, etc. Because, I guess, we had enough being colonialised once again, by the American, European, or Arab.

*I know I should have written this in Indonesian, but I have enough hatred from people who can't articulate their argument and just call me a kafir and halal to be killed.*

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