Where the Banteng Roam

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Where the Banteng Roam is a music video of sorts. I set it to the Blue Dot Sessions song, 'Cases to Rest', the calming notes of which provided an excellent framework for the scenes that unfold, starting with the ride into Alas Purwo National Park in East Java. This site was the host of a research project in April 2017, focused on assessing the vegetation of a landscape shaped by a famous inhabitant: the banteng, or Bos javanicus.

In the island of Java, the banteng are found only on its opposing corners, as they prefer a grassland ecosystem that is decidedly untropical and not commonly found here. East Java, notably, contains savannahs that are perfect for this species—and which stand out for how much they differ from the rest of Java. They are open, rolling yellow hills, full of grass and small shrubs, allowing the banteng to roam as they please (hence the title!).

In general, the research comprised setting sampling areas and then photographing them with a drone, and then repeating the process in different locations. It was rather laborious and tedious at times, featuring a lot of planting of poles and tugging of ropes. It was especially difficult when it would rain in the middle of sampling and everyone had to scamper and hide under the large fronds of the palm trees. If you pay attention, you might notice that the time of day and cloud cover is inconsistent for this reason; at some point, it just randomly starts raining, despite the opening shots showing a partly cloudy sky. Obviously, this slight incongruity was a necessity of editing. I can't tell the weather what to do and can only film what is there, so editing is very much a case of piecing together a story from what you can only hope was well-shot footage.

And speaking of the story, I'd love to revisit the footage I collected and flesh this out as a fully fledged documentary, but there are other videos with priority over it. Nevertheless, for now, you can watch and download this short, abridged version.


Joaquim Baeta

Siti Nurleily Marliana
Ratna Susandarini

Rindi Antika
Randi Dian Saputra
Pipit Noviyani

Banda Nurhara
Dudun Supriadi

"Cases to Rest" by Blue Dot Sessions, https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/Bodytonic, CC BY-NC 4.0

License & Attribution

By Joaquim Baeta and Lelly Marliana. This video and the files associated with it are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. You are free to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon them in any medium or format, provided you give appropriate credit to Joaquim Baeta and Lelly Marliana, indicate any changes, and redistribute any derivative work under the same (or equivalent) license.

Example attribution: "Where the Banteng Roam" by Joaquim Baeta and Lelly Marliana, https://scenoptica.com/film/where-the-banteng-roam.html, CC BY-SA.