Selfless photography in Bali can be a chance to show empathy as well as tell a heartfelt story. Although recently it’s become almost routine to broadcast banal information across social media with moments that validate one’s self-esteem– A record-keeping system for storing mundane events becomes proof of their existence.
Photography helps people to seeBerenice Abbott
self·less photographerˈselfləs/ pho·tog·ra·pher | fə-ˈtä-grə-fər
: one who practices unselfish photography especially: one who makes a business of taking photographs to help others before themselves.
- Photography that captures the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.
Selflessness and photography links us with all humanity
Rudi Waisnawa has been a photographer since 2000 and has a full arsenal of cameras, His favorite is the Canon DMark III & 24-70mm lens or 35mm lens.
History of selfless photography in Bali
In 2014 Rudy met Bali’s leading psychiatrist, Luh Ketut Suryani, founder and director of the Suryani Institute for Mental Health. Ever since they met, he has documented her activities as well as support her efforts in helping people with mental disorders in Bali. Besides photography, Rudi also cleans patients’ rooms, bathing them, feeding them, and giving them much needed human contact. Also, Rudy is a public speaker who loves visiting with communities in Bali with his mentally ill friends. Together they try to educate people on differences between reality, superstition, religious beliefs, and cultural differences. They show people that with the right treatment or medication, their conditions can be controlled. Locking them in chains or Pasung is a thing of the past, a bad decision based on fear, superstition, religion, and cultural beliefs. Most are happy to see that Rudy’s friends are in fact not possessed by evil spirits.
2019 Ubud Readers and Writers Festival
Rudi Waisnawa was one of the speakers who attended the 2019 Ubud Readers and Writers Festival. He had a story to tell and those that listened sat in disbelief as he shared unimaginable acts of inhumanity.
selfless photography in Bali by:
Later, a slideshow was projected onto a small screen and in that instance, his listeners figured out that Rudi’s first choice of communication was through his camera lens. His images came to life as everyone in the room seemed to be in disbelief. No words were needed, just Rudy’s selfless photographs,
Mental health issues are often misunderstood or ignored in Indonesia. Especially when there is a lack of information, misinformation, and superstition. As a result, families continue to chain up their loved ones for years out of desperation, fear, and loss of hope. The mentally ill are then abandoned, chained to the floor, or locked up in cages hidden from public view. With just one mental Hospital on the island and only 30 beds reserved for the poor, families are forced to take action into their own hands. Also without funds, a chain and lock seem like a better option. But today, Rudi Waisnawa, Luh Ketut Suryani, and other volunteers continue to help the mentaly ill. They all continue to traveling from one village to the next using a holistic approach. A combination of modern psychiatry, anti-psychotic drugs, Balinese spiritualism, and lots of love.
The Book “Passung”
“Passung” by: Rudi Waisnawa
Passung is the Indonesian term for restraints or restrained. It’s also a word often used for shackles, amimal cage, a shed, being locked in shackles, locked in a room , confined to a shed, or locked in a animal cage. Passung was banned in 1977 but still used anytime there is a mental disturbance in a community or village. In the villages eyes, they are protecting their loved ones and the individual. And without money to properly diagnose or treat the mentally disorderly, Indonesians will continue to use Passung, Shamans and traditional healers as their popular choice of healthcare .
Rudy Waisnawa created “Pasung” a book made with love and empathy. He hopes to one day completely eliminate this inhumane practice. Rudi’s dream is that this book can help with the funding for this cause since he doesn’t have enough money to publish it himself. Rudi is offering all rights to anyone who publishes this book. You can use your own logo, name, choose a different layout, sell it or donate it. As long as he can continue to help this cause in any way, he will be happy. If you would like to publish this book or donate to this cause, please email Rudy directly at [email protected]