Tanganku Mengepal: The People's Land, Resist Land Theft

Poem on Hands

By W.S. Rendra

These are the hands of a student,
Undergraduate level.
My hands. Oh my God.

My hand reaches out,
And what I grab is a beautiful hostess’s petticoat.
What an idiot. My hand goes limp.

My hand knocks on the door,
But no one answers.
I kick the door,
And the door swings open.
Behind the door there’s another door.
And always:
There’s a sign with the opening hours,
Which are short.

I shove my hands in my trouser pockets,
And I go out and sojourn.
I’m swallowed by Great Indonesia.

Dozens of hands used in life
Suddenly appear in front of me.
I hold out my hands too.
But they look out of place among the thousands of hands.
I’m worried about my future.

Farmers’ hands are covered in mud,
Fishermen’s hands are covered in salt,
I pull back my hands.
Their hands are full of struggle.
Hands that are productive.
My hands are anxious,
They don’t solve any problems.

But the hands of businessmen,
The hands of bureaucrats,
Are calculating, nibble, and very strong.
My anxious hands are suspected,
Brushed aside.

My hands close into a fist.
And when they open again are transformed into claws.
I reach out in all directions.
At every desk in every office
Sits a soldier or an old person.
In the villages
Farmers are just laborers for landowners.
On the beaches
Fishermen do not own any of the boats.
Trade goes on without supermarkets.
Politics only serves the weather…
My hands close into a fist.
But there’s a brick wall in front of me.
My life has no future.

For now I have my hands in my pockets.
I sojourn from place to place.
I scrawl obscenities
On the chancellor’s desk.

Jakarta Arts Center
23 June 1977


Poem on Hands (Sajak Tangan), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 34.

Image comes from https://www.instagram.com/p/BZYRUiSBrrtd13aM9EKfg8l9E5nrXfm3pJFNys0

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Graffiti

Poem on a Young Woman and the Boss

By W.S. Rendra

What you’re touching me with however you like,
Where this is going, I’ve already got a pretty good idea.
I’m no rocket scientist,
But it’s already fairly clear
What this groping means…

Damn the education I got.
I was taught to count, type, do foreign language,
Office management and administration.
But they forgot to teach:
What if you’re grabbed from behind by your boss,
Then what am I supposed to do!

Now don’t just grab me however you like.
When not even my boyfriend would be as bold as that.
I already know clear enough where you’re going.
When you brush my tits,
I know what that means…

They taught me to hate sin,
But they forgot to teach me
How to look for a job.
They taught me lifestyle,
With accessories that don’t come from the environment,
That are controlled by the bosses,
Make up, air conditioner,
Synthetic vitamins, tonic,
Every kind of soda and a school diploma,
Education tied me
To their markets, to their capital.
And now that I’m grown up,
Where else am I going to run,
If it ain’t to the world of the bosses?

Don’t grab me however you like.
I’m no intellectual,
But I know enough,
All the work on my desk
Is going to head in that direction.
Don’t, mister, don’t!
Don’t grab me however you like!
Ah. Oh.
The money you slip into my bra
Is my education diploma.
Your fat belly
Presses against my stomach.
Your foul smelling mouth
Kisses my mouth,
As if everything you do
Is just perfectly normal.
Every member of the community helps you.
They all kiss your ass.
They spread my legs wide
While you climb over my body.

Yogya
10 July 1975


Poem on a Young Woman and the Boss (Sajak Gadis dan Majikan), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 30.

#DaruratDemokrasi

Poem on Young People

By W.S. Rendra

We are the stammering generation
Who are babied by the haughty generation.
We don’t get official education
About justice,
Because we aren’t taught to be involved in politics
And aren’t taught about the fundamentals of the law.

We only vaguely understand what a person’s character is like,
Because we aren’t taught about the heart or psychology.

We don’t understand clear thinking
Because we aren’t taught philosophy or logic.

Weren’t we supposed
To understand all these things?
Were we only prepared
To just be tools?

This is the average picture
Of young people graduating from school,
Young people entering on their adulthood.

The foundation of our education is obedience,
Not the exchange of ideas.

What’s taught in school is rote learning,
And not practice explaining.

The foundation of justice as relationships,
with understanding of how humans behave
As individuals and in groups,
Isn’t considered a subject worth studying or testing.

We understand the reality of the world only dimly,
Signs that are visible everywhere,
Are dots we can’t join.
We’re angry with ourselves
We’re frustrated about our futures.
Then finally,
We just enjoy life of stupidity and comfort.

As we stammer,
All we can do is buy and consume,
We aren’t capable of creating.
We aren’t capable of leading.
But we are able to use authority –
Exactly like our fathers.

The education in this country is oriented to the West.
Over there children are prepared
To be the tools of industry.
With their industry that rolls on endlessly,
But here we’re prepared to serve as the tools of what?
We just become the tools of bureaucracy!
And a bureaucracy that’s grown bloated,
Totally useless –
A parasite.

Darkness. All I can see is darkness.
Education doesn’t provide enlightenment.
Training doesn’t provide jobs.
Darkness. My agony is darkness.
The people who live in unemployment.

What is this happening all around me?
Because we can’t work it out,
It’s easier for us to lose ourselves in dope poetry.
What is the meaning of these complicated signs?
What does this mean? What does this mean?
Ah, inside spaced out,
Face covered in blood
Looks like the moon.

Why do we have to put up with this life?
A person has the right to a medical degree,
Is regarded as an educated person,
Without any test of their understanding of justice.
And if tyranny runs rampant,
They don’t utter a word,
Their job is just to give people needles.

What the hell? Are we going to continue being silent?
Law students
Are just regarded as show ponies for ceremonies,
While the law is stabbed in the back again and again.
Economics students
Are just considered plastic flowered,
While people go broke and corruption runs wild.

We’re inside a kaleidoscope
That is magic and inscrutable.
We are inside a prison of fog that befuddles.
Our hands reach out searching for something to grab onto.
And if we miss,
We hit and claw –
at thin air.

We are the stammering generation.
Who are babied by the bastard generation.
Life force has been replaced by avarice.
Enlightenment has been replaced by repression.
We are the dangerous generation.

Penjambon, Jakarta
23 June, 1977

 


Ode to Youth (Sajak Anak Muda), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 18.

Image of #DaruratDemokrasi from https://www.instagram.com/p/BZGoo6DFQg4.

Amuk Massa Di Kantor LBH Jakarta

tirtoid.id Sunday evening (17/9), a crowd surrounds the offices of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) following music performances, poetry readings and stand up comedy. https://www.instagram.com/p/BZOKecmhnsm

Demo reformasi di DPR

Not the Representatives of the Corrupt – Kompas Editorial

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – The House of Representatives is certainly not the representatives of the corrupt. “The Honorable” people’s representatives are paid with the people’s money. The plan of the House of Representatives Committee of Inquiry into the Corruption Eradication Commission to go on safari to meet corruption convicts in a number of prisons in Indonesia has deeply unsettled the sense of justice of citizens, the taxpayers. As stated by Deputy Chairman of the House Inquiry Committee Risa Mariska (PDIP-West Java), “the Committee wants to uncover information on how they felt while they were witnesses, suspects and convicts of corruption cases.” Risa is a Representative for the West Java VI constituency covering the Regencies of Bogor and Bekasi and received 25,578 votes in her electoral district. It is very easy to meet corruption convicts in prison. They would be very happy, overjoyed, to tell the House Inquiry Committee about the conduct of the Corruption Eradication Commission while they were questioned, while they were in custody, their beliefs that they are the victims of conspiracies, their feelings of being entrapped and any amount of other inhuman treatment. With that data, the House Inquiry Committee, being driven by a coalition of parties which support the government, will obtain ammunition to dismantle the anti-corruption institution. The aim of the Committee at the very least can be read from the statement of House Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah (PKS-West Nusa Tenggara), from the Welfare Justice Party House faction, is to review state commissions such as the Corruption Eradication Commission.

New Art Movement, Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Exhibition at Jakarta Arts Center 1987

New Art Movement, Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Exhibition at Jakarta Arts Center 1987

Reviewing is the same as disbanding the Corruption Eradication Commission, limiting the Commission’s authority or transforming the Commission into an ad hoc institution. The House Inquiry Committee’s target can actually be read and it is to emasculate the Corruption Eradication Commission. The declaration of some politicians that the Committee is intended to strengthen the Commission has not a shred of empirical evidence. From the beginning, several House of Representatives politicians have been agitated by measures taken by the Commission to erase corruption from this country. There are Representatives on trial, party chairmen and business people have been arrested. The Corruption Eradication Commission is indeed not without fault. However, the way to correct these mistakes is not to exercise the House’s right to establish committees of inquiry the legitimacy of which continue to be a problem. Members of the House Inquiry Committee should realize that they are the representatives of the people, not the representatives of the corrupt. Corrupt behavior by members of the government has resulted in violations of civil and economic rights of the people.

5 July 2017

 


Source: Tajuk Rencana Bukan Perwakilan Koruptor. Images from Detik Ini 17 Tahun yang Lalu Reformasi Dimulai and Masinton Ungkap Proses Konsolidasi Mahasiswa untuk Jatuhkan Soeharto. Members of the House of Representatives http://www.dpr.go.id/anggota.

 

Manuscript

Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok – Brill

Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok by Dick van der Meij

Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok by Dick van der Meij

By Dick van der Meij, independent scholar – Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok discusses aspects of the long and impressive manuscript traditions of these islands, which share many aspects of manuscript production. Many hitherto unaddressed features of palm-leaf manuscripts are discussed here for the first time as well as elements of poetic texts, indications of mistakes, colophons and the calendrical information used in these manuscripts. All features discussed are explained with photographs. The introductory chapters offer insights into these traditions in a wider setting and the way researchers have studied them. This original and pioneering work also points out what topics needs further exploration to understand these manuscript traditions that use a variety of materials, languages, and scripts to a wider public.

Biographical note
Dick van der Meij (Ph.D. Leiden 2002) has published editions and translations of Balinese, Malay, and Javanese texts and articles on Indonesian literature and manuscripts. His latest work is an edition and translation (with N. Lambooij) of the Malay Hikayat Mi’raj Nabi Muḥammad (Brill, 2014).

Readership
All interested in the manuscript traditions of Indonesia, Southeast Asia and manuscripts in the world in general, including students, academics, curators and librarians.
Table of contents
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Notes to the Reader
Abbreviations

General Introduction
The Present Book
Languages
Script
Manuscripts in Arabic
Multiple Languages and Scripts in Manuscripts
The Chapters in the Book
Topics not Discussed in the Book

1 Manuscripts
Manuscripts as Physical Objects
Complete and Incomplete Manuscripts
Intact, Damaged and Repaired Manuscripts
Old and New Manuscripts
Illustrated and Illuminated Manuscripts
Naturalistic Figure Depiction
The Natural World in Javanese Illustrations
Illuminations
Wĕdana
Commissioned Manuscripts
Personal Manuscripts
Large and Small Manuscripts
‘Authentic’ Manuscripts
‘Fake’ Manuscripts
Manuscript Quality, Beautiful and Ugly Manuscripts
Numbers of Manuscripts, Popularity of Texts
Collective Volumes
Fragments of Other Texts in Manuscripts
Titles
Multiple Titles

2 Access to Manuscripts
Public Collections of Indonesian Manuscripts
Semi-Public Collections
Private Collections
Lost Manuscripts
Microfilms and Digital Manuscripts
Blogs, Portals, Social Media and Digital Search Machines
Catalogs

3 Lontar and Gěbang (Nipah) Manuscripts
Lontar Manuscripts
Protective Covers
The Writing Process
Numbering in Lontar Manuscripts
Text in Lontar
Maarti Texts
Gĕbang (Nipah) Manuscripts

4 Verse, Verse Meters and Their Indications
Verse Structures
Page Lay-Out of Texts in Tĕmbang Macapat
Sasmitaning Tĕmbang
Kidung
Kakawin
Javanese Syi’ir

5 Mistakes and Corrections in Manuscripts
Writers’ Own Indications of Mistakes
Levels of Mistakes
Indications of Mistakes and Corrections
Mistakes Indicated and Corrected During Writing or Afterwards
Corrections and Additional Notes and Editions of Texts

6 Dating and Calendars
The Javanese Calendar
7 Colophons
Manuscripts Copied with the Original Colophon
Colophons in Javanese Texts from Java
Colophons in Old and Middle Javanese Texts
Colophons Added to Colophons
Personal and General Information in Balinese Colophons
Changes in Colophons Over Time
Colophons in Balinese Manuscripts in Balinese
Colophons in Sasak and Javanese Manuscripts from Lombok
Colophon as Part of the Text or Not?
Excuses for Mistakes and Poor Workmanship

8 Other Information on Dating and Ownership
Manuscript Gifts to Scholars
Ownership Information on Separate Pages Preceding or after the Text
Personal Information on the Fore-Edge of the Book Block
Library and Ownership Stamps
Labels
Other Indications of Ownership
Signatures
Hidden Names of Authors and the Places where They Live
Name Hidden in Illuminations
Pre-Printed Paper

Appendix 1 Candra Sangkala in Manuscripts
Appendix 2 Alternative Names for Macapat Meters
Appendix 3 Pada Marks in Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese Manuscripts
Appendix 4 Sasmita Salinining Tĕmbang from Java, Lombok, Bali and Sunda
Appendix 5 Sasmita Wiwitaning Tĕmbang in Javanese Texts from Java
Appendix 6 Verse Schemes of the Most Encountered Verse Meters in Bali According to I Gusti Putu Jlantik
Appendix 7 Kakawin Verse MetersAppendix 8 Table to Calibrate the Javanese and Arabic Years to the Gregorian Calendar According to Djidwal 1932
Glossary
Manuscripts Quoted
Bibliography
Index

Source: Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok

Project 1 Supermarket Fantasy World Exhibition 1987

The Art of Liberation & The Liberation of Art

Manifesto of the New Art Movement 1987

Manifesto of the New Art Movement 1987

THE ART OF LIBERATION
THE LIBERATION OF ART

The art of liberation is expression based on an awareness of the need for the liberation of the definition of art. The forms taken by this expression prioritizes declaration and the spirit of exploration based on an aesthetic of liberation.

The Art of Liberation The Liberation of Art

The Art of Liberation The Liberation of Art

The liberation of art is the initiative to change the definition of art. The principle idea of this awareness is that art is an expression of plurality which is based on a variety of frames of references. The definition of art currently recognized and acknowledged is shackled to the definition of art as only painting, sculpture or graphic design is art as bound to the frame of reference of “High Art”.

(I) Observing:

The definition of art as encompassing expression in only three fields, namely painting, sculpture and graphic design, is devoid of a conceptual framework.

(II) Considering:

The definition of the Indonesian term seni rupa is based on a direct translation of the term “fine arts” descending from a Latin definition from the Renaissance which is la belle arti del disegno.

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Sticker Car

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Sticker Car (http://archive.ivaa-online.org/events/detail/14)

(III) Concluding:

It is not fully understood that this definition of art is rooted in the principles of artes liberales (Liberal Arts) from the frame of reference of “High Art” elaborated during the Renaissance in the sixteenth century, an outlook that believes in the existence of only one (high) culture and the one type of art which it has produced.

(IV) Declaring:

That art is an expression of plurality. That culture has a variety of frames of reference.

(V) Declaring:

The current definition of art is the result of adaptation devoid of conceptual thinking, lacking consideration of the acculturation of aesthetics.

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Documentation

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Documentation (http://archive.ivaa-online.org/events/detail/14)

This formulation of the definition of art is trapped. The definition of art with a “High Art” frame of reference has become completely impoverished and specific. This formulation does not see the surrounding reality where a variety of expressions of art based on other frames of reference are found.

Throughout the history of Indonesian art, this groundless and contorted definition has held sway. On the other hand, art grounded in ethnic cultures, popular art from everyday life, crafts and design (art with other frames of reference outside the old definition) stand as phenomena which never gets any attention.

This is an ironic curiosity.

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Supermarket

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987 Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World Supermarket (http://archive.ivaa-online.org/events/detail/14)

(VI) Paying Attention To:

The only expression of art which is in accord with that definition of art is the only one used by Indonesian Modern Art, part of World Modern Art (derived from artes liberales) in its connection to the principle that “art is universal”.

Due to the inaccurate formulation of its definition, Indonesian Modern Art is also trapped in a narrow circle. Once again there has been adaptation without conceptual thought or aesthetic consideration. Artists and critics of Indonesian Modern Art have in truth become blind and regard modern art – painting, sculpture and graphic design – as the one and only expression of art. Outside this, art does not exist. This attitude has become popular and is seen in the expression: “… is not painting”.

This is not fanaticism for a particular idea, rather a strongly held attitude which is baseless. The reality is truly: confusion. The absence of critical attention to this contorted definition is a sign of this confusion. In fact, there is no awareness of any definition at all. The activities of modern art itself proceed in a fragmented way with painting as the most popular of these.

(VII) Declaring:

Modern Indonesian Artists have made an idiomatic error, using the language of Modern Art but without an aesthetic understanding. They base their artistic activity entirely on incomplete fragments of the history of Modern Art, a belief in the history of art and only one understanding of aesthetics.

Modern Indonesian artists have become consumerist. They regard a variety of concepts of style within these fragments of the History of Modern Art as a source which has to be made sacred and embraced unconditionally. A contorted imitation of lifestyle also happens. A romantic lifestyle has turned into epigonic eccentricity. Internally exploratory individualism has been replaced by megalomaniacal egotism.

Project 1 Supermarket Fantasy World Exhibition 1987

Project 1 Supermarket Fantasy World Exhibition 1987

This advanced erroneous adaptation has led critics and modern artists into a preoccupation with matching expressions of modern art with a “dictionary” of art history. Modern artists truly do not practice a tradition of exploration.

(VIII) Declaring:

Thinking about art in Indonesia is headed for bankruptcy.

Indonesian Modern Art, the only art consistent with the definition, is experiencing a deep stagnation. It is fixed on the early styles of Modern Art. It has stopped exploring, is incapable of reflecting inwardly in search of the basis for other developments.

Art based on other frames of reference has been expunged from thinking about art. The contorted definition of art has relegated this to obscurity. Art with a background in ethnic cultures has without exception been framed as belonging to the past. Graphic design as the product of technological and industrial progress is thought of as crude art regarded only for its surface beauty. Popular art which deals with everyday life is regarded as the product of mass culture and as devoid of value.

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987, Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World "No 1 in America"

New Art Movement Exhibition 1987, Project 1: Supermarket Fantasy World “No 1 in America” (http://archive.ivaa-online.org/events/detail/14)

(IX) Proclaiming:

What is needed is the liberation of art. A framework of expression that prioritizes the dismantling of a misguided tradition of art. A framework of expression that is rational and which prioritizes expression based on an aesthetics of liberation.

(X) Proclaiming:

What is needed is a redefinition of art, the liberation of art from the confines of a definition rooted in artes liberales, to search for a new definition capable of embracing every expression of art.

(XI) Proclaiming:

What is needed is the liberation of our thought world from a completely single perspective believing in only one frame of reference which begets one art, only one global community in a cultural form that is complete and integrated.

Jakarta, May 2 1987

 


(*) Translation of the Manifesto of the New Art Movement 1987 is based in part on the work of the Digital Archive of Contemporary Indonesian Art and is also available in the original at Manifesto Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru 1987. It represents the manifesto of the New Art Movement used for the Project 1: Fantasy World Supermarket (Pasaraya Dunia Fantasi: Proyek 1) exhibition in 1987.

Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru at the Digital Archive of Indonesian Contemporary Art.

Muslim Shrines in the Malay World – KITLV

Lecture: Muslim Shrines in the Malay world: Scattered, Contentious, and Illuminating Inscriptions in the Landscape

By Sumit Mandal (University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus)

This lecture explores Muslim shrines in the Malay world. Muslim shrines, or keramat as they are known in Malay, are constituted by the grave sites of exceptional individuals and found across the Malay world, understood here as contemporary Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and South Africa. They commemorate people who in their lifetime demonstrated extraordinary acts, skills, knowledge, or piety. The graves could be of historical figures, frequently of diverse and transregional origin, as well as unknown or fantastical individuals. The narratives that circulate about them tell of their miraculous powers. They are sites of popular veneration tied to Muslim societies but have drawn people of diverse faiths. Although they are ubiquitous, they are highly localized. Given their scattered and varied character, is it fair to consider them as a whole? If so, how might we go about it? Could the study of these shrines help us better locate the significance of non-elite histories and popular veneration? This lecture considers these questions as it delves into the politics of history, space, and faith as it unfolds in these sites.

Sumit Mandal is a historian at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. He obtained his PhD at Columbia University in New York in 1994 and worked at the National University of Malaysia and Humboldt University in Berlin before taking up his current position in 2015. He is interested in the transregional architecture of Asian societies. His research has focused primarily on Muslim societies in the Malay world – in relation to the Indian Ocean – as well as contemporary Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. His publications have appeared in Indonesia and the Malay World, Citizenship Studies, Modern Asian Studies, and other journals. He also co-edited Challenging Authoritarianism in Indonesia and Malaysia (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003) and has written on the author Pramoedya Ananta Toer. His current research focuses on Muslim shrines in the Malay world as inscriptions of history and sacred geography. His book Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

This lecture is the keynote speech of the workshop ‘Unsettling encounters: Scholarly study, religious knowledge, and difficult histories in Asia and the Caribbean‘ (closed session), organized by KITLV in collaboration with AMT/Leiden University.

Date: Monday 11 September 2017

Time: 9.00 h – 10.30 h

Venue: room 2.01, Reuvensplaats 2, Leiden

Please register if you wish to attend: kitlv@kitlv.nl

Banten

Graves of the Sultans of Banten

Banten Minaret

Banten Mosque Minaret

Garuda by Kanva Abas

“This Black December” 1974

One Hundred Thousand for Rubbish Art: A Review of Menanam Padi di Langit [Planting Rice in the Sky] by Puthut EA. Blog post by Wahyudin, January 2017

9

[…] Listen to the description of Bambang Bujono (Tempo, 11 January 1975): “Neither in the invitation to painters to participate in the 1974 Grand Indonesian Painting Exhibition nor in the guidelines for the judging panel for the exhibition can you find a section normally found in judging guidelines, namely that the decision of the judges can not be disputed.

Maybe for this reason, a dispute arose that took the form of the “1974 Black December Declaration” and the delivery of a condolence funeral wreath on behalf of the community to the Jakarta Arts Council for the “Death of Indonesian Painting”. This happened on the last night of 1974, on the closing night of the 1974 Art Festival at the Jakarta Arts Center (Taman Ismail Marzuki or TIM). About the last thing, the condolence wreath, it didn’t come off because the security guards at TIM were the ones who “accepted” the wreath and they then stored and locked it in the TIM Dance Studio.”

Compare this with the description of Miklouho-Maklai (1998: 36-37). “On 31 December 1974 during the Grand Indonesian Painting Exhibition which was held biennially at TIM, an incident occurred which marked the start of the New Art Movement. A protest against the judges which awarded prizes to a number of paintings expressed in the form of sending a condolence funeral wreath emblazoned with the words “With condolences for the death of our painting”.

The condolence wreath was sent on the last day of the exhibition, when the prizes were given to the winners of the competition traditionally accompanying the Biennial. This was intended to publicize their anger at the judges who only valued what the students regarded as “decorative and consumerist” painting. The protesters called themselves the “Black December” movement and it was also supported by the students from the Indonesian Academy of Visual Arts (ASRI).”

Look at this photograph:

Condolence Furneral Wreath

Condolence Funeral Wreath – “With Condolences for the Death of Our Painting” (Tempo, 11 January 1975)

[…] The first paragraph on page 69 says, “Apart from the wreath, there was also a manifesto written by the protesters, many names signed it, especially from Bandung, Jakarta and of course the five people from Yogya.”

The question is, who were the “five people from Yogya”? It’s very surprising that even with his overactive imagination, the writer of this book is unable to answer this question.

A short explanation on page 67 of the book makes it possible to speculate about the “five people from Yogya”. But the page only mentions four people, Bonyong, Harsono, Hardi, and Nanik Mirna. So who’s the person not mentioned? Because the answer is not provided in the book, we have to recall the historical facts about the Group of Five Young Yogya Painters.

As I mentioned earlier, according to Harsono (2013), the Group of Five Young Yogya Painters which formed in Yogyakarta in 1973 under the “guidance” of Fadjar Sidik (painter, STSRI “ASRI” lecturer, and member of the judging panel for the “Good Paintings” exhibition) was composed of five students from STSRI “ASRI” Yogyakarta, that is Bonyong Munni Ardhi, FX Harsono, Hardi, Nanik Mirna, and Siti Adiyati. (Also see Hendro Wiyanto, “FX Harsono dan Perkembangan Karyanya [1972-2009]” in Re: Petesi/Posisi FX Harsono, (2010: 41-187); Dermawan T (2013) and Miklouho-Maklai (1998: 33-34)).

At the 1974 Grand Indonesian Painting Exhibition or Jakarta Biennial I, they were invited to participate. Apart from them, listed in the catalog were five other STSRI “ASRI” students who were also invited, namely Nyoman Gunarsa, Ris Purwana, Suatmaji, Sudarisman and Subroto SM.

Given these historical facts, I hope no reader is tempted to speculate and answer that what was meant by the writer of this book by the “five people from Yogya” is Bonyong, Harsono, Hardi, Nanik Mirna, and Siti Adiyati, because such speculation would take one  down the road of historical liars and the anti-“Jasmerah” brigade.

How could it be otherwise as you need to know that although invited to participate in the 1974 Grand Indonesian Painting Exhibition, there were only four members of the Group of Five Young Yogya Painters who signed the “Black December” manifesto, namely Bonyong, Hardi, Harsono, and Adiyati. (See Harsono (2013); Dermawan T. (2013); Wiyanto (2010: 70) and Miklouho-Maklai (1998: 36-38).) The one person who did not sign the Declaration, of course you can guess, was Nanik Mirna. This is why Nanik did not receive the academic sanction of being “suspended without time limit” from STSRI “ASRI” as was the case with Bonyong, Hardi, Harsono, Adiyati, and Ris Purwana. (See “Skors di ASRI”, Tempo, 15 February 1975; Dermawan T. (tt.: 135); Dermawan T. (2013); Miklouho-Maklai (1998: 38) and Dermawan T. (1979: 2).)

Black December Statement Signatories 31 December 1974

Black December Declaration Signatories 31 December 1974

Black December Declaration 1974

Black December Declaration 1974

Black December 1974 Declaration

Recalling that over the past few years, artistic and cultural activities have been carried on without a clear cultural strategy, we have come to the conclusion that art and culture entrepreneurs do not display a shred of evidence of the slightest understanding of the most fundamental problems of our culture. This is an indication that for some time the development of art and culture has been destroyed by a spiritual erosion.

For this reason, we feel the need in this black December of 1974 to declare our opinion regarding the symptoms visible in the works of Indonesian painting today.

1. That while the diversity of Indonesian painting constitutes an undeniable fact, even so this diversity does not in itself display positive development.

2. That for development that ensures the continuation of our culture, painters have a high calling to provide spiritual direction which is based on humanitarian values and which is oriented around the reality of social life, and which is oriented towards the realities of social, cultural, political and economic life.

3. That creativity is the essential nature of painters who employ whatever means to achieve new perspectives for Indonesian painting.

4. That therefore the identity of Indonesian painting has of itself a clear existence.

5. That what has hindered the development of Indonesian painting to date is worn out concepts which are still professed by the establishment, art and culture entrepreneurs and established artists.

In the interest of saving our painting, now is the right time for us to bestow an honor on that establishment, that is the honor of being a retired culture fighter.

Indonesia, 31 December 1974

Signed by:
Muryotohartoyo, Juzwar, Harsono, B. Munni Ardhi, M. Sulebar, Ris Purwana, Daryono, Adiyati, D. A. Peransi, Baharudin Marasutan, Ikranegara, Adri Darmadji, Hardi, Abdul Hadi W


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Source: Seratus Ribu untuk Sampah Seni Rupa.

Images of the Declaration come from Desember Hitam, GSRB Dan Kontemporer.

Image of Garuda by Kanva Abas from Fase Perkembangan Sejarah Senirupa Indonesia Bagian 2.

The Grand Indonesian Painting Exhibition 1974 at the Digital Archive of Indonesian Contemporary Art.   The exhibition catalog.

Gerakan Seni Rupa Baru Exhibition 1987 at the Digital Archive of Indonesian Contemporary Art .

The Najwa Gaze

A Note from Ahok

 

A Note from Ahok
For Metro TV Show Mata Najwa and host Nana.

Indonesian Police Mobile Brigade
Headquarters [Prison], 16 August 2017

I’m one of those who was often invited onto [Metro TV’s talk] show Mata Najwa. (Showing off a little here 🙂 ) What’s for sure is there were a lot of supporters both for and against me appearing on the show. Why? Because Najwa would ask the hard questions and would fish and box me in when the viewers suspected me of, thought I was giving the impression I was guilty or lying. For me, [the host of the show] Nana is a professional person, and doesn’t try to win the argument all the time or give the impression of cornering you. Nana only wants her viewers to get the truth from insightful questions, of course with that classic Najwa gaze. I’m grateful, the Mata Najwa show allowed me to appear just as I am, and definitely to say it as it is. Facing questions, and the Mata Najwa gaze, there was only one key. I had to answer according to what was in my heart and conscience. My mouth and brain had to connect. By doing that, Nana and the viewers would accept all my answers. I pray that Nana is successful and full of joy wherever she serves. The Lord bless you, Nana.

Signed BTP

Nana

Nana

Nervous waiting to interview Ahok

Nervous waiting to interview Ahok

Notes from Ahok on Twitter

A note from Ahok on Twitter

 


1977 General Election

Poem on a Cigar

By W.S. Rendra

Taking a drag on a fat cigar
Gazing over Great Indonesia
Listening to 130 million people,
And in the sky
Two or three businessmen squat down
And shit on their heads.

The sun comes up
And the sun goes down
And all I can see are eight million children
With no education.

I question,
But my questions
Slam into the desks of bureaucrats like a traffic jam,
And the blackboards of educators
Who are cut off from life’s problems.

Eight million children
Cram down one long road,
With no options
With no trees
With no shady places to rest,
With no idea of where they’re going.

***

Suck in the air
Full of deodorant spray,
I see unemployed graduates
Covered in sweat along the highway;
I see pregnant women
Queuing for pension money.
And in the sky:
The technocrats sprout:
That the country is lazy
That the country must be developed,
Must be “upgraded”,
Made to fit technology that’s imported.

Mountains tower skyward.
The sky a festival of colors at sunset.
And I see
Protests that are pent up
Squeezed under mattresses.

I question,
But my questions
Bang into the foreheads of armchair poets,
Who write about grapes and the moon,
While injustices happen all around them,
And eight million children with no education
Gape at the feet of the goddess of art.

The future hopes of the nation
Stars swirling in front of their faces
Below neon advertisements.
The hopes of millions of mothers and fathers
Meld into a gaggle of clamoring voices
Become a reef under the surface of the ocean.

***

We have to stop buying foreign formulas.
Textbooks can only give methods,
But we ourselves have to formulate our situation.
We have to come onto the streets
Go into the villages
See for ourselves every indicator
And experience the real problems.

This is my poem,
A pamphlet for a time of emergency.
What is the point of art,
If it’s cut off from the suffering around it
What is the point of thinking
If it’s cut off from life’s problems.

ITB Bandung
19 August 1977


Sajak Sebatang Lisong was published in State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 12.

Three parties in the 1977 election

The three parties in Indonesia’s 1977 legislative general election

Cars at Tjililitan Airfield at Batavia (circa) 1930

The Ambition

By Muhammad Yamin

Night has fallen, cool and still
The breeze is so gentle and soft;
The ocean heaves, murmuring quietly
The smooth surface glistening and glinting.

Out stretched hands reach into the night air
Unsteadily withdrawn, by a heart without joy
Because of the “wish”, remembered so often
So brilliantly, beyond words.

Every star shines brightly
Finally aware is this body of mine
The desired is reaching through nobility.

Who can doubt, can not believe
That we are always guided
By God, the Lord who is so rich?

On the Indian Ocean, June 1921

Gezicht over Tandjong Priok, de haven van Batavia

Gezicht over Tandjong Priok, de haven van Batavia  Deze foto is genomen vanaf het spoorwegstation van de Staatsspoorwegen (SS) in de haven Tandjong Priok bij Batavia (Jakarta). Rechts is de “Eerste Binnenhaven” te zien.

The Ambition (Tjita-Tjita) was first published in Indonesian in the Dutch-language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, June 1921. It was republished in Pane, Armijn (ed), Sandjak-Sandjak Muda Mr. Muhammad Yamin [The Young Poems of Mr. Muhammad Yamin], Firma Rada, Djakarta, 1954, p. 6.