Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW) Yogyakarta in collaboration with Universitas Dhyana Pura (Undhira) Bali and Universitas Proklamasi 45 (UP 45) Yogyakarta held Online Fall Program 2021 with the theme “Visual Ethnography” from November 1 to November 29, 2021. Joining this program were 51 students from six countries, including Indonesia, India, Thailand, Jermany, Timor Leste, and the Philippines.

According to the Director of the Office of Partnerships and Public Relations UKDW, Dr. Phil. Lucia Dwi Krisnawati, this program aimed to provide an opportunity for students to work together in an international environment, to stimulate student creativity on depicting their customs and ways of life, to provide students a chance to be involved in an intercultural environment of learning, to harness student skill in solving the problem of remote collaboration and communication, as well as to improve student’s English proficiency.

“Visual ethnography will be an interesting topic to discuss in this Online Fall Program. The students from six countries who participate in this program can observe different customs and ways of life. They can also learn about the implementation of visual ethnography in different fields from the lectures,” she pointed out.

The Opening Ceremony of Fall Program 2021 was conducted on Monday, November 1, 2021,

streamed from UKDW Yogyakarta with a special performance of Tari Topeng Walangkekek from Indonesia’s dance maestro, Didik Nini Thowok. Meanwhile, the participants joined the Opening Ceremony online through the Zoom platform.

In his opening remark, the Rector of UKDW Dr. Henry Feriady extended his welcome to all participants and hope that even though the program was conducted online, the participants could enjoy the program.

“This program is specially designed for students, not only to learn about ethnography and cultures but also to experience and make new friends. I wish you great success and I hope that you enjoy the program from the beginning until the end,” he said.

The 2021 Online Fall Program that spanned throughout November 2021 consisted of lectures, focus group discussion, and project presentation. The participants from different universities and countries were grouped and given a project assignment related to visual ethnography. There were eleven groups in this program, namely Emic, Holistic, Inclusive, Emphatic, Immersive, Charismatic, Objective, Professional, Kaya, Impartial, and Exotic.

With guidance from the group supervisor, those groups were free to choose the sub-topic for their group project. Upon completion, students would also be able to earn 2-3 credits, depending on their home university’s regulations.

The 2021 Online Fall Program: “Visual Ethnography” combined synchronous and asynchronous sessions. The asynchronous sessions consist of seven lectures that can be accessed on Youtube Channel UKDW Yogyakarta, including Introduction to Visual Ethnography, Visual Ethnography Applications in Product Design, Doing Visual Ethnography: Methods and Techniques, Visual Ethnography in Journalism and Social Media, Visual Ethnography Application in Designing Games and Apps, Tutorial on the Use of Video Editing Tools, and Pecha Kucha Presentation.

The participants were then brought together in the focus group discussion (FGD) which was conducted in an asynchronous method. There FGDs were held throughout this program, once a week on Friday. In the FGD sessions, participants had discussions in groups and were supervised by the supervisors. After the discussion, each group would share the result of their group discussion. The first FGD focused on lecture recap, choosing sub-topic for the group project, and observation plan. The second FGD aimed to see the progress on the group project, and the third FGD talked more about finalizing the project and how to present their project. During the one-month program, participants also had intense discussions in their communication media, such as the WhatsApp group.

In addition, participants were also invited to join the Culinary Talkshow and Short Class about Indonesian Healthy Food with Certified Plant-Based Chef of ViaVia Yogyakarta,  Janti Wignjopranoto. 

Finally, a Project Presentation was conducted on November 26, 2021, to showcase the groups’ project in the form of video and photo collages. The themes ranged from festivity, traditional market, superstitious belief, and the most popular, which was street food. Based on project quality, correlation to the theme, and originality, one project was chosen as the best project. The best project went to the Immersive group with the project title “Coffee Cultures Across the World: Making Morning, Creating Experience”.

Concluding the program, the Closing Ceremony was held on November 29, 2021. If the Opening Ceremony was streamed from Yogyakarta, the Closing Ceremony was broadcast from Bali.

The program was challenging but gave valuable experience for students. Some of the participants shared their thoughts about the program.

“For me, programs like this are very helpful for us, especially in therm of honing our leadership and collaboration skills under a culturally diverse environment. So overall, it was a fun, challenging, and enriching experience,” said Kristel Floralde, a participant from the Philippines.

“In this Virtual Ethnography Program, we all have the opportunity to get to know new things and people, and we met people from different countries and were able to experience the differences and similarities between our cultures. In addition, this program strengthened our ability to collaborate and communicate remotely. We learn to combine our different ideas into a common idea. For me, I sought opportunity to learn new skills in video editing, filming, and photography. In the beginning, we got a good introduction to all the important topics. So for me, it was an interesting experience and an exciting program,” said a participant from Germany, Johannes Meyer.

Meanwhile, Sarah Sarah Kaori Rahmadewi from Indonesia shared, “I’m very happy while participating in Visual Ethnography project because here I got a lot of experience while working on the project. Hopefully, in the future, the Virtual Ethnography program can be held again  and we can also collaborate with other universities.”

Winta T. Satwikasanti S., S.Ds., M.Sc., one of the supervisors from UKDW likened this program to a sprint. It was a very quick yet well-spent one month, she said. As she congratulated the participants for completing the program, she pointed out that working in a multicultural and international environment was not easy. However, it’s a very interesting process and a very good discussion, while participants learned to explore various topics. She also hoped that the knowledge and experience will benefit the participants in the future, whether it’s in their education, way of thinking, career, as well as to give impact to their surroundings.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the committee members who have worked hard to make this activity a success, as well as to the participants and also supervisors who have played an active role and also produce work in the form of videos and other projects that are not only beautiful and good but also have a noble value, namely the love of own culture and also the culture of others,” said Dr. Ni Made Diana Erfiani, S.S., M.Hum., the Vice-Rector for Academic, Research, and Innovation of Undhira, as a closing remark.

The 2021 Online Fall Program: “Visual Ethnography” was then officially closed by the Rector of UKDW, the Rector of UP 45, and the Vice-Rector for Academic, Research, and Innovation of Undhira.

Congratulations to the participants on completing the program. See you again in the next program!