Impact Screening of Karsih: Elder Women and Vulnerability

Impact Screening is a forum hosted by In-Docs in collaboration with community partners which aims to screen and discuss topics that are related to six documentaries from Indonesia Distanced Stories.

We kicked off our Impact Screening of Karsih (2021) in collaboration with Tanoker Ledokombo on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, 2021. This hybrid screening was held in two districts, Kalisat and Ledokombo, Jember.

We were joined by one of the directors of Karsih Helga Theresia, founder of Tanoker Ledokombo Farha Ciciek, and participants from Gerontologi Abiyoso Foundation and Sudut Kalisat.

Family Gap 

The elders is one of the groups that are vulnerable to violence, especially elderly women. Elderly violence does not only refer to physical violence, but also neglect, exclusion, and financial exploitation.

Karsih, directed by Helga Theresia and Fajrian, follows the daily life of Karsih, an elderly street cleaner who looks for peace in the midst of her work to support her family. Helga said that this film tries to portray the reality of an elder life who is often being forgotten by her family. 

“Karsih has to work and take care of all family members. On the other hand, she needs her me time. This is a reminder that even elderly needs have their own needs,” Helga stated.

Cahaya Novalinda from Sudut Kalisat said that Karsih highlights the gap between the elderly and their families due to the lack of understanding of each other. Moreover, Yayuk, another participant added that communication is the key to bridge that gap. She also reflected on her experience taking care of both parents.

“If we talk to our parents, we know their feelings and thoughts. At the end, we can gain our understanding of each other,” she said.

Keeping Elders Active

Imam Soebagio from Gerontologi Abiyoso Foundation highlighted the importance of keeping the elders active.

“Let them participate and engage in community activity. So, they are less likely to be isolated or lonely and reduce the risk of getting abused,” he stated.

In addition, keeping the elders active can reduce their stress among the elderly, improving physical health and reducing dependence. 

“So, we can’t underestimate their needs. Let them keep active and do whatever they like. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t like, it will suppress them,” he said.

Shared Responsibility

Farha Ciciek reminded the importance of fulfilling the rights for elderly, especially elderly women, including the right to voice, move, and have an opinion.

“The elder is ‘the beautiful sunset of life’. There must be fulfillment of elderly rights. This is very important. The right to be happy, to speak out, to move, and to watch. Elderly and children exist but are often excluded,” she said.

Ciciek added, to fulfill the elderly rights, it is necessary to have a shared responsibility between the government and the community. This is related to the topics around the elders such as health, economics, and security, which require the synergy of all parties. She also hopes that the media, the public, and the government can pay more attention to these topics.

“I hope this [screening] can open discussion and reflection. So, the community can learn together in building a more humane perspective towards vulnerable groups, including elderly women,” she said.

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