Resilient Cities

Jakarta: Art Defying Moral Conservatism

Indonesia, where the national motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “Unity in Diversity,” is home to both the world’s largest Muslim majority as well as six additional religions. The country has had a difficult history under the 32-­year dictatorship of General Suharto whose repressive and corrupt militarized rule led to the deaths of hundred thousand.

Despite the repression, his government prioritized religious tolerance. His resignation in 1998 ushered in a new era with a more liberal socio-­political environment, opening up spaces for different groups to organize. Conservative groups took advantage of this change and in recent years, a growing Islamist movement and a new wave of conservative populism are  threatening the identity of Jakarta’s religious and ethnic diversity. The impact has been particularly grave on LGBTQ communities, secular groups, women, and other marginalized people.

This episode features: Ari Bayuaji, an Indonesian-­Canadian visual artist whose sculptures address the problem of censorship; Kartika Jahja, a singer whose music contains strong messages for gender equality; Sakdiya Ma'ruf, a Muslim stand-­up comedian whose controversial performances urge people to engage in dialogue about taboos in Indonesia; and Tamara Pertamina, a transgender performance artist whose practice questions notions around religion and sexual identity and orientation. Each is daring to push the boundaries of their own craft, widening the space to tackle controversial subjects in a place where artists are becoming increasingly suppressed.
 

Available until
2019-12-31T00:00:00-08:00
Category:

Airdates

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Havana: Art from a Disconnected Island

Cuba is a multi-layered, complex, culturally-rich island, known primarily for the 1953 revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The revolution, America’s subsequent trade embargo and the economic struggles that the island faced has had a notable impact on the kind of art that was created. Much of it was inspired by a sense of cohesion and unity, with Cuban artists promoting the belief that socialism would work. More recently, and in the context of renewed normalization of relations between the U.S.

Manila: Creating In Spite of Fear

Manila, a giant Asian metropolis with traffic-laden roads, towering skyscrapers and sprawling informal settlements, has become a dangerous place. Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in June 2016, vowing to crack down on the drug trade. Since then, extrajudicial killings have led to the deaths of over 3500 people by vigilantes; his approach is reminiscent of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986.

Mexico City: Artists Breaking Apathy

Mexico City, a massive, sprawling metropolis and home to over 21 million inhabitants, is the capital of a country that has become notorious for drug-­‐related violence. The ‘drug war’ as it is widely known, officially launched in 2006, had initially the support of communities who were tired of gun battles, execution-­style murders and police corruption.

Nairobi: Art Disrupting Corruption

Kenya is well known internationally for its sandy beaches and wide‐open savannahs that attract foreign tourists every year. But behind the picture perfect postcard hides a bleak reality.

Jakarta: Art Defying Moral Conservatism

Indonesia, where the national motto is “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “Unity in Diversity,” is home to both the world’s largest Muslim majority as well as six additional religions. The country has had a difficult history under the 32-­year dictatorship of General Suharto whose repressive and corrupt militarized rule led to the deaths of hundred thousand.