CITA MERDEKAA project by soydivision collective

52°28'42.3"N 13°24'24.6"E

 Festival 2020 Documentation 

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Cita Merdeka

When we celebrate the Indonesian independence day, it is common that we are also to be reminded about the yet-to-be-fulfilled ideal of independence (cita-cita kemerdekaan). But what is this ideal of the independence that is so often spoken yet vague and becoming a cliche at the same time? Some problems came to our mind, as Indonesian living abroad: the concern for discrimination (be it race, gender, or religion), social stigmas (due to political association or sexual orientation), and the (after) effect of colonialism (and its many possible responses to it, in many fronts of life). Even in independent Indonesia, it is apparent that those aspects exist too, taking different forms. How can we respond to those problems and challenges? How should we view freedom and thinking about freedom in the face of these realities?

This event starts with the traditional way of the celebration: by games and foods which we share with friends and family. But there are collective bitter contemplations that often arose in our inner heart: is there more to this celebration? Hence, we invite everyone not only to enjoy and share the festivities of games and foods but also to accompany us in confronting some of our bitter contemplations. We believe that there are some aspects of the human experience that transgress ethnicity, geography, sexuality, and even believes. Sharing these experiences, we hope that it offers perspectives so that others may confront their bitter contemplations as well.

And again there are foods, and there are games: a reminder that there are more flavors than just bitterness in life.

Dirgahayu Ibu Pertiwi!


Bilawa Ade Respati... plays the guitar with Ariel William Orah in their electronic duet project OKNUM, and performs Javanese Gamelan with the group Lindhu Raras (Haus der Indonesischen Kulturen Berlin), Arum Sih (Überseemuseum Bremen), and Sekar Kenanga (Elbphilharmonie Hamburg).