"Forum"_, RHIZOMATIC ARCHIPELAGO, Rhizomatic Archipelago Activities

Conversation about Periphery Narration

English | Indonesia

Partnership project between: Cemeti – the Institut for Arts and Society & Biennale Equator

Location: PI Home Co-Working Space
Date: 29 – 31 January 2019
Time: 09:30 – 17:00

In the process of preparing Biennale Equator #5, 2019 and Rimpang Nusantara / Rhizomatic Archipelago 2019 – 2021, the latest program of Cemeti- the Institut for Arts and Society, we met at one point of ideas to talk about “periphery” narration. We agreed to design a series of joint projects that contained a series of discussions (closed & open), research, publications, and presentations in various formats throughout 2019.

The initial framework that we elaborated together was to place “periphery” and “remote” as two different things, although often used interchangeably. Remote area, linguistically, refer to locations far from the center (city, government) or rural areas and geographically often difficult to access. As for the periphery, it is more interpreted as “an area that is on the side, edge or border”. The periphery does not always mean that it is geographically located in a rural area or a satellite area for the center. The periphery, territorially, may be in urban areas and antagonistically become antinomies for “the center”. This interpretation at least will help us not only to see the periphery as a geographical location, but also to see what kind of narrative is being offered by something marked or marking itself as “periphery”. In the specific Indonesian context, we also have a long history of Java and Non-Java related to central-periphery ideas. What comes from the center is often blamed as an effort to ‘Javanization’ so that it always holds an arena for debate about problematic identities.

The terminology of the periphery is indeed rather difficult to separate from certain locations, which are socially, economically-politically and geographically outside the hegemonic power structure. It’s just that we need to place it precisely, avoiding general impression of a particular region from the perspective of the center that is seeing or reading other. The periphery emerged, but it gave rise to global hegemonic power. In this case, the periphery are simply positioned as objects. Such point of view, male-gaze perspective, often fails to place conditions or practices in the periphery of life. We believe, there are other layers taking place there. Then, how to get the other layers present? What forms of periphery practice have we been aiming for?

Exploring “peripheral narration”, we feel it is important to open a dialogue with individuals / communities / organizations who have or are working to build relationships and cooperation in the “peripheral” area or discourses. Therefore, we designed a closed discussion forum, inviting friends to share their experiences and practices. Furthermore, together we will elaborate on views and ideas about the relationship between art and society in the context of work practices in “periphery” areas.

Participants: Aquino Hayunta (activist – Jakarta), A.M. Ichdar (Al Farabi-Bulukumba Cultural Community, South Sulawesi), Mahardika Yudha (Forum Lenteng – Jakarta), Moh. Syafari Firdaus (SKP HAM – Palu), Gunawan Maryanto & Venti Wijayanti (Teater Garasi – Yogyakarta), Muh. Fadhol (The Volcanic Wind Project – Yogyakarta), Faiz Ahsoul (Literacy activist – Yogyakarta), Tamara Pertamina (Artists – Yogyakarta), Moelyono (Artists / activists – Tulungagung).