I got to know Lensational in December 2014 through my friend Sina Hermanto. At first I didn’t really understand what Lensational did; all I knew from Sina is that they teach photography. Then I joined my first gathering with Lensational and Mr. Simon (HK based professional photographer) in December 2014, and I realised that Lensational, additionally to teaching photography, was about empowering women, including migrant workers. I took part in a few gatherings and photography classes with Lensational before I went back to Indonesia. Lensational opened my mind, and I understood that migrant workers can do more than cleaning a toilet.
Lensational meant new friends, so warm and friendly. Workshop leaders teach patiently, and always bring something new to the table. I learnt that I can take good picture, develop into a photographer and even get a job in photography. Now, back in Indonesia I have photographed the wedding of my friends, for example. Lensational is different from other NGO in that it has a more global approach, and it also always pushes women to do more and to open up their minds about what women can do and are worth.
Photography inspired me because it can explain everything without a single word, as it transfers a story through a picture. Thanks to Lensational I now have developed a plan that I would otherwise have never thought of. I want to build a home stay and invite tourists to my beautiful village and show the world my village through the power of photography. I still have a lot to learn to take good photos, and I am keen to keep learning. I also want to build an education center in my village. Now I am again working in Singapore to make my plan come true soon. I already bought land, and the next step is to start working on the building.
I believe that my photos of my village will attract more tourist, and that consequently we can empower the villagers to make more out of their lives.
Read more about Arumy’s story on our Medium blog.