Early August 2018 I (Louise, BOM’s Head of Programme) travelled to Jakarta as part of the British Council’s DICE Fund. The grant programme aims to develop creative/social entrepreneurialism between the UK and Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, South Africa and Egypt.
I have been lucky enough to travel to Indonesia previously with BOM. In 2016, Karen (our Director) and BOM Fellow Diane travelled over for 10 days to explore their thriving creative landscape. This time I was travelling alone and spending most of the time in Jakarta. Jakarta is a very busy city! The traffic is intense and hard to navigate so I was very relieved that I was not in charge of a vehicle!
I was hosted by Ellen from Ke:Kini, they were founded in 2016. Derived from an NGO, ‘Indonesia for Humanity’ they are a co-working space, event venue and “a space for the common good”. Ellen visited Birmingham amongst other UK cities earlier this year and said Birmingham reminded her of Jakarta, mainly because of its greyness! *Enter facepalm emoji*
I spent the week meeting incredible organisations including: Girls in Tech, Selatan and Pamflet. I also flew to Jogjakarta to meet with House Of Natural Fibers, Dina from Kunci and some independent, practicing artists.
It was very inspiring and interesting to see how these organisations work. Many of the groups I met are using creativity and social activity to tackle real issues and problems in their community, for example, sexual harassment on public transport, growing abuse and segregation of the transgender community, domestic violence etc. It felt slightly decadent to be talking about a creative innovation project when people are fighting daily for their rights. The more I thought about it though, the more important I realised this was. If communities can support themselves then it can empower them and create a more sustainable livelihood. The less that groups need to rely on funding, the more creative and self directed they can be…..responding to the need of their client/community rather than the funder. I’ll be writing more about this as the ideas and collaborations progress so stayed tuned!
A young choir dressed in traditional dress and singing Indonesian songs
Cafe and creative space, Selatan
(L-R) Ellen from Ke:kini, myself and Irma from British Council
H O N F
Some exciting transport in Jogjakarta!
Ellen and I in Ke:kini
Some of the fantastic people running artistic, social and activism focused organisations in Jakarta (and me!)