Indonesian Artists Respond to Kampung Melayu Bombings With Street Art

Murals that form part of the 'Reclaim Jakarta' project are seen on Jalan Pemuda in Rawamangun, East Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of Jin Panji and Micro Galleries)

By : Lisa Siregar | on 2:23 PM June 13, 2017
Category : Life & Style, Arts & Culture, Featured

Jakarta. A group of Indonesian artists are conveying a message of peace, hope and resilience with eight large-scale artworks in the streets of Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, in response to the recent twin suicide bombings that claimed the lives of three police officers.

Murals by Isrol Triono (also known as Media Legal), Nur Nus, Robowobo, Wacky and Aryo Dewa Bharata are located along the Pejompongan and Dukuh Atas underpasses in South Jakarta and along the Gembrong Market bypass and Jalan Pemuda in East Jakarta. The artworks have been in place since June 8, a mere two weeks after the deadly attacks.

The "Reclaim Jakarta" project is a collaboration between artist collective Media Legal and global arts initiative Micro Galleries.

Kat Roma Greer, Micro Galleries founder and global artistic director, said in a statement that funding for the "Reclaim Jakarta" project was raised in a matter of 12 hours from several international sponsors and a global crowdfunding drive.

"We were overwhelmed by the financial support we received so quickly, but we knew our international community would pull together to help our Indonesian artist friends show the world that Jakarta and its people will not be ruled by fear or extremism," he said.

According to Dara Hanafi from Micro Galleries, no artworks are placed in the Kampung Melayu area due to security and logistical reasons. The creative concept of these artworks began right after the twin bombings, so the area was not yet considered safe. There is also no wall tall enough to contain the artworks.

Micro Galleries aims to make art accessible to everyone and encourages communities around the world to be involved in the creative process. It will host an art festival in Jakarta on Oct. 6-29. Isrol and Aryo will act as curators for the festival.

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