It’s been a week since Indonesia IW 2014 ended. All the colours have been revealed as the joy and great stories being shared. This year’s Indonesia IW gathered 20 students from 14 countries, showed them the true colours of Indonesia. They spent two weeks experiencing the traffic of Jakarta, the sun of Yogyakarta, the beaches of Bali, and the people of Nusantara. After it ended, the most awaited part followed. That is, for sure, the part where all the pictures, videos, and any sorts of documentation are finally published. It gives everyone who involved in it some moments of flashback, and shows how they had their every moment captured in pictures.
Two days after we got back to Jakarta, I messaged Dianti Saddono as the project officer, and asked her what she had to say as this event she and her team had worked hard for has finally ended. After all sorts of documentation have been published, how actually does she want them to affect the upcoming Indonesia IWs? “The documentations, somehow, are the most eligible marketing strategies to promote and build awareness. So, through documentations (esp. videos and photographs), I really look forward to IIW to have a broader coverage and good reputations. These, of course, should impact the upcoming IIW in 2015. I really hope the documentations of IIW14 could maintain good relationship between IIW - ISAFIS— and another stakeholders. A good coverage should somehow be impactful in maintaining cooperations, build trusts, and also in gaining another trusts and the chance of broadening network. The point is, I really hope through a solid and deep way of documenting what happened in IIW14, could create a continuous cooperations with stakeholders, and to broaden up network in order to make the upcoming IIW more successful.”
A week has passed and we’ve heard what nearly everyone has to say about this year’s Indonesia IW. But then, there are some people whose stories I’d really love to know. The people whose work got most attention after the event ended. The people whose work can give beneficial impacts to the upcoming Indonesia IWs as Dianti said: the photographers/videographers. We could see them everywhere during the event, we’ve seen their work, but have we heard what they have to say?
Reine Prihandoko, she took 1.216 pictures in total during the Indonesia IW in Yogyakarta and Bali, about 1/5 of them have Reine in it. “As long as people are happy, I’m fine with that. I’m used to it anyway haha, I like it that way.” said Reine when I asked her opinion about the idea of being the one who photographs everyone but hardly herself. Photographs, especially with people in it, don’t always mean to show how those people are doing, but if we look from the other side, they mean to show us how the person behind that camera sees things. By being a photographer, you have this chance of sharing with others what you see and how you see them, without having to be in the pictures. In Indonesia IW, most of Reine’s photos show people’s moments. The satisfaction of jumping to River Oyo, the struggle of descending Mount Batur, and the joy of releasing baby turtles in Sindhu Beach. Including the love that flourished between two, apparently.
© Reine Prihandoko.
The challenge is different for Sabilla Bianca, the girl behind the welcoming and closing videos. She has a different kind of experience from everyone else in Indonesia IW. Sabilla was given the task during the event to capture people’s moments, not in photographs but in videos. Not only to film, she also had to do the editing and create one video that concludes the whole event, and she had to get it done in a very limited time. “Making video montage is always been my favorite. Combining various moments into a single pictorial composition is just exciting. So, when Dianti asked me to join as the videographer here, I gladly accepted it. Also, I never made a video montage quite like this one before. With only limited time and so many activities going on, it was challenging. Plus, doing editing on the beach was pretty cool.” said the girl that is part of Universitas Indonesia Cinematography Community.
The result is excellent. Partnered with Pramestika Larasati, they successfully made a closing video that pictures the excitement and great experiences everyone had during Indonesia IW. The video was published for the first time at the farewell dinner in Jimbaran Beach. I could see everyone’s smile as they watched the video. It gave them the best flashbacks one could ever have. I think that probably even those who weren’t involved can also feel the fun and merriment.
“I knew that this video had to be more than just a recap for what happened in the last two weeks. If the welcoming video has shown how colourful our country is, then from the farewell video I would like to remind you how colourful our feelings toward this country. I hope every time we see the video, we can remember one of the greatest summer experiences we ever had.”
We do, Sabilla. We certainly won’t forget.
© Reine Prihandoko.
My question to Dianti about the documentation I mentioned earlier actually wasn’t the first question I asked her. My first question was the very basic one: how do you want everyone that involved feel about this year’s Indonesia IW?
“We have three core values of IIW 2014, which are nature, culture, and nurture. Regarding to those three values, I expect each of the values could create different reactions and expectations, whereas each of the values have it’s own “the most anticipated activities”. Through the values of nature, I really hope everyone (participants and organizers) feel the need to enjoy the natural prosperity we are showing. The most anticipated activities to the values of nature are Cave Tubing in Jogjakarta, and of course, the sunrise trekking in Mount Batur. The two activities require a teamwork, and also requires to supporting each other. The result I hope to come out is where everyone could have a stronger bonding of friendship from supporting each other and maintaining a good teamwork.
Secondly, through the values of culture, I really hope to promote the best Indonesia’s culture. To be noted, not only the traditional ones, but also the pop and young people’s culture through musics, especially. And the fusion dance — a mixture between modern and traditional dances and musics. Of course, from this value, the most anticipated activities are Ramayana Ballet and a visit to Borobudur temples. Ramayana Ballet to introduce the epic stories of Javanese Legend in a superb stage performance with a contemporary concept. And borobudur, of course, as one of the symbol of Indonesia as a large, multicultural, and a country that lies between varied concepts of religions and cultures.
Thirdly, the values of nurture. Through this value, I hope IIW could deliver a deeper meaning and understanding to the local community. This has to prove that Indonesia’s young generations tend to be a group of people with a high sense of social-awareness. This value is also very new to Indonesia IW, so through this, I hope to see a different reactions and feedbacks from both participants and organizers, and also another stakeholders, such as sponsors. But moreover, Indonesia IW 2014 is not always about building excitement and sharing happiness between participants and organizers, but also to others, such as local community. There are two most anticipated activities that lies under the value of nurture, a community visit to SMPN 1 Bangli (Junior High School), and Baby Turtles Releasing in Sindhu Beach. The community visit tends to show how big impact we could create to others only by visiting a local junior high school, make some sharing sessions in a form of Focus Group Discussions. Through that, I really hope the students could be inspired by the activities—especially about how important it is to study seriously so they can have the chance to go abroad.”
I don’t think the question of whether people really do feel that way about Indonesia IW is that necessary to be asked. Everyone certainly felt what Dianti wished them to felt. At least that’s what I see. But then the other question is, have the people behind the cameras done a good job? Have they successfully described what everyone was feeling through pictures?
To me, the answer is yes. Yes, they have made great documentation and captured everyone’s feeling. And yes, they have excellently delivered the messages of nature, culture, and nurture. Plus, they definitely have made everyone smiled. After all, isn’t making others smile the best job one could ever done?
Watch the video here:
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
The issue of LGBT has become one of the most talked-about issue in the 21st century. Throughout the years, people have become more creative in expressing their feelings and ideas especially when it comes to LGBT issue. People create films, music, stories, even studies that focusing on LGBT, making it not-so-taboo anymore for people to talk about it or even live with it.
Finnish Comics Society has their own way of expressing their ideas of LGBT in Finland. Helsinki Comics Festival or Helsingin Sarjakuvafestivaalit is Finnish Comics Society’s biggest project which was founded in 1971. Welcoming the festival that will be held on the 5th to 7th of September 2014, I was very happy to received positive response from Irene Dimitripoulos, the production assistant of Helsinki Comics Festival, and asked her several questions regarding the festival that brings up Germany and Queer Comics as this year’s themes.
When I first read their website, I thought it’s a really interesting decision for them to chose Queer Comics, highlighting comics related to LGBT issues, as their theme. So why LGBT over many things that can be brought up? People of Finland will celebrate the 40th jubilee year of the national human rights NGO Seta - LGBTI Rights in Finland, which there is going to be a panel “Comics as a pioneer in norm criticism” in the festival, making it a natural decision for them to choose LGBT comics as this year’s Helsinki Comics Festival theme. Other than that, the fact that equal marriage rights are frequently discussed in the Finnish media today, and the Finnish parliament will vote on the matter decisively this autumn make this year the right moment for Finnish people to bring up LGBT as a topic, especially for such a big event like Helsinki Comics Festival.
There will be exhibitions with works of the Finnish artists Touko Laaksonen, a.k.a. Tom of Finland - who is the most famous Finnish artist in the gay community - and the Moomins creator Tove Jansson. Tom has received much public attention this year in Finland and abroad. His works are going be highlighted at the festival. He has had an important influence on other comic artists. His illustrations and comics have affected heavily to whole iconography and interpretations of gay fantasies and fashion. Contemporary LGBT comic artists such as American Howard Cruse and Spanish Sebas Martín are also invited as guests of honour in Helsinki during the festival.
© Tom of Finland
This year’s guests include Anne Elizabeth Moore (USA), Philip Schaufelberger (Switzerland), Olivier Kugler (Germany) and the Finnish comics artists Tiitu Takalo, Kati Kovács, and Emmi Valve. Each year, one Finnish comic artist is also invited to design the look of the festival and this year’s festival artist is Joonas Rinta-Kanto who’s known for his Fok_It! comic strips.
Poster by 2014 festival artist Joonas Rinta-Kanto
The festival is held in the city centre at the Lasipalatsi Square. Additional stages and venues are also located close to the heart of the festival, and the satellite programming and exhibitions are spread out all over Helsinki. The programme of the festival contains for a comics market, Small Press Heaven, artists, exhibitions, discussions, presentations, interviews, live drawing performances, competitions, animation, kids’ events, and clubs. Also, there will be street food, a new café and music stage. This year, the festival is going to be more digital and comics will be readable online during the festival. Plus, there’s a record-amount of exhibitions, guests and programme for the whole family. Apart from the clubs festival entry is free of charge. People of Finland, you definitely have an event to brag about.
From Irene’s answers, I get the image that this festival will give us the opportunity to see LGBT not as a serious issue to argue about, but as something to see the other side of. Other than that, this festival seems to be a great place to relax, enjoy some artworks, and have fun with your family and friends in the late summer of Finland. But then, what is exactly the targets of the festival? Finnish Comics Society wants this year’s festival to highlight minority artists as well as critical and political comics. In general, the festival wants to promote comics’ position in the cultural field of Finland. Furthermore, it also wants to support a better networking between the comic artists and publishers both in Finland and abroad.
© Howard Cruse
With such an interesting concept, I can feel that this year’s Helsinki Comics Festival is the right place to celebrate, understand, and see LGBT in different ways and style. This festival will be able to give whoever comes and experiences the festival different views toward LGBT. The much more interesting ones.
If you happen to be in Helsinki this early September, Helsinki Comics Festival definitely is a must-attend event.
They are here to give you more information about this event:
Helsinki Comics Festival http://www.sarjakuvafestivaalit.fi/in-english
Finnish Comics Society http://sarjakuvaseura.fi/fi/in-english
Comics Center http://sarjakuvakeskus.fi/in-english
Finnish Comics Info http://finnishcomics.info/
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
Why Catherine Isn’t A Fashion Follower…
Ochre Room. It’s hard not to notice that name when I scrolled through the Lost in Music Festival 2014 line-ups. Ochre Room’s going to play in that annual city festival held in downtown Tampere, southern Finland on Saturday, 18th of October 2014. It’s not only their name that makes them stand out. The combination of Americana, folk-rock, with a touch of northern melancholia in their music makes Ochre Room unique. With six members, the Finnish band has been known not only in Finland and Nothern Europe, but their albums are also available in Central Europe and UK.
If I talk about Ochre Room, I think I will have to mention about their music videos as well. Don’t Try and My Summer from their first album, Evening Coming In (2012), also Garbage Trucks Are On The Move and Other Side Of Town from their recently released album, Box, Bar, & Diamond, they all have something in common. Ochre Room’s music videos tend appear like short films. We can see the story and how it relates to the song, making the music has cinematic sound in it.
With their second album just came out, I was very lucky to be able to contact its singer/guitarist/composer, Lauri Myllymäki, to have a bit of talk and get to know more about the Ochre Room. He talked about the band, the music, and their upcoming goals.
Q: First of all, why did you name your band “Ochre Room”? What does it mean?
A: We had a hard time naming the band and we had played around with different ideas and came up with different words and word combinations to the point of frustration. I recall it was our rhythm section - bass player Tomi and drummer Antti - who coined the words ‘ochre’ and ‘room’ and put them together. This name seemed to fit the music well; it had a nice eeriness to it. The ochre room is a mystery, it doesn’t refer to any particular room. It’s a space of imagination and emotion, like a space in a David Lynch film.
Q: How do you describe your music?
A: It’s rooted in North American singer-songwriter-music and folk rock of the 60s and 70s but the fact that we come from Finland lends it a unique vibe, a Scandinavian melancholy if you will. Atmosphere and “mood” are important to me as a songwriter. And the mood is always created as much in the arrangements and the instrumental parts as it is in the lyrics. We make use of the soloist potential of instruments like trumpet, cello and guitar for example. It’s nowhere near pure “roots” or “country” music. I like to think it as musically and lyrically ambitious folk rock.
Q: What are your songs mostly about?
A: They are mostly songs about loss, but not always about losing somebody. It can also be loss in a wider sense, melancholy songs, songs of sorrow. There’s no way around it; our lyrics are quite mournful. But, on the other hand, there’s often a certain comfort in melancholy. It’s a whole other thing than depression. Some people have told that our music and our live shows have a somewhat transforming effect - from sadness to peaceful delight. One person even said that seeing us live is like a church service. That’s about the greatest compliment I can think of!
Q: What makes your band different from other bands?
A: That’s a hard question for me to answer since I can’t view our band from the required objective viewpoint. But now that you asked… Certainly there are not many bands like us in Northern Europe where we hail from. We don’t follow any trends or some fixed idea of a genre. We also seem to take things much more seriously than many other bands out there. We make a painstaking effort in writing the music and the lyrics. Unlike most of the indie folk bands, we don’t consist only of four skinny, long-bearded guys but also have two gorgeous women (the second vocalist Minttu and the trumpet player Tanja) in our ranks. Some of the most recognizable features of our sound are the harmony singing between me and Minttu and the use of trumpet and cello.
Q: You recently released your second album, what’s the concept of this new album and what makes it different from the previous one?
A: The previous album Evening Coming In (2012) was our debut and at that time we had little experience about studio work. We just performed the songs in the studio the way we’d played them live. In the making of Box, Bar & Diamond we wanted to focus more on the art of recording, on different arrangements and instrumentations. I had bought some recording equipment myself and recorded some of the instrument parts at home. The outcome is sonically a bit more versatile and more self-confident. It sounds like a band that’s found it’s sound. Songwise the new album is more twofold than it’s predecessor; on the one hand there are plenty of catchy country/folk rock-songs and on the other hand more epic, cinematic songs.
Q: I see your band has played in many shows, which show is your favorite and why?
A: We have lots of good memories from the road. Three shows at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg last year were awesome and we can’t wait to get back there as soon as possible. There will always be something special in the shows at our home town Tampere and especially at our favorite bar Telakka. One of the most important shows on our journey has been the first one, of course. After we had released a three song EP Blue Ribbon in 2011 we played our first gig at our flat for a handful of friends. It was the first time I ever sang in public. We were all grave and anxious as hell.
Q: Last but not least, what’s your next goal for your career?
A: Our most important goal at the moment is to do as many shows outside of Finland as possible. Germany is the first country we’re striking! But of course the main goal is always the new undiscovered songs, the unrecorded albums, the undiscovered sounds… I have plenty of new song ideas and they are quite unlike the old ones. Much more acoustic and obscure. I don’t know where they are taking us but I’m sure that this is the right direction.
So what comes up in my mind when someone says “Ochre Room”? I’ll think of an atmospheric melancholy music that brings a story with it. A different kind of Finnish music.
Ochre Room’s gonna have a new live session music video coming up online on August 24th, where there will be five songs recorded and shot at an old cabin by filmmaker,Sami Pöyry. It should be a good chance for you to experience the sound and the story of Ochre Room yourself. http://ochreroom.com
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
It’s been hard for you these years, holding back all those tears
You’ve been trying to be so strong, everyday for way too long
I know it’s not your fault that’s true, but what else can you do?
Let that light inside once again burn bright
Come on let your heart dance
That was the opening lyrics of Francis Fahrenheit’s “Let Your Heart Dance”. The title was right, it does make your heart dance. What it doesn’t tell you: It makes your whole body dance as well. Performed by Francis and Moxy Ru, “Let Your Heart Dance” is a perfect song boost your mood. It’s just difficult not to replay the song. I mean it.
I contacted Francis and was happy to be able to talk to this London-based musician himself. He talked about his music, his views, and how his career has been developing. So here are what he had to say about them:
E: Tell me about your music in general.
F: I’ve been writing and playing music for about 16 years now and pretty much self-taught. I was highly influenced by my father, who was a musician during the sixties and seventies, and he introduced me to artists/bands such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles and T.Rex. I’ve always been creative, and as a young child was always painting and drawing. Music, however, moves me like to other art form! The guitar is my main instrument and most of my songs are initially composed on my acoustic guitar.Throughout the years I’ve fronted several bands and played all over London in venues, pubs and at open mic nights. I love playing live and the energy it brings on stage.
E: Where did you get the inspiration of your songs?
F: For me, inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I get inspired by people, places, something I’ve heard someone say… or sometimes even by some dead cigarettes in the gutter!
Inspiration is everywhere; you just need to keep your eyes and ears open.
E: Who is your favourite musician?
F: I don’t have one favourite musician/artist, but I would say I have key artists/musicians that have and still inspire me. David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Ginger Baker (drummer from Cream and Blind Faith) and Frank Black (The Pixies) are on my list. I also love Nick Drake and Tim Buckley. One of my favourite songs of all time is called 2HB by Brain Ferry. The version used in the film Velvet Goldmine is absolutely beautiful!
E: How do you want your music to affect your audiences?
F: When I hear a song I love, it takes me to another place, it stirs the senses and it can set me free. If I hear a song from a particular time in my life, it takes me back to that place or time and the people I was with. Music is incredible that way and people find their own meaning or the message in a song.
I guess I would want the same from people listening to my music.
E: How do you relate yourself to your music?
F: Through music my inner voice can speak, so it’s a close relationship. Whether it’s thoughts, feelings, a dream, experiences or fears, through music I can channel an idea or feeling and put it down in a song. It’s an amazing process, which even surprises me sometimes.
E: And lastly, what’s your upcoming project and your next goal?
F: My focus at the moment is to play as much as I can, all around London. Last Monday I ended up playing in the street in Covent Garden. It was so much fun! I’ve just re-released my 2005 début album, titled ‘Mercury’ and it’s available for sale on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. I’m playing all over London at the moment to promote the album. I play regularly on Monday night at The Spice of Life, in Soho, which is a great place. Facebook and Twitter are the best places to find out where and when I am playing.
My next big goal is to play at some festivals. I’ve played in many very cool places here in London, such as The O2 in Islington, The Dublin Castle in Camden Town and at The Borderline in Soho, but never at a festival.
I also have a second album that will be coming out later this year, which I am excited about releasing. I will announce on my social sites in a couple months the release date. There’s a music video for the title song called ‘Rock ‘n Roll Clown’. It’s pretty theatrical and dramatic!
I love to create and for me the most important thing is to keep creating - and have loads of fun while doing so and meeting so many inspiring people along the way!
With his second album coming out, it should be a bright career he has ahead of him. And before he releases his new album, you might want to check out his work. Visit http://soundcloud.com/francisfahrenheitmusic and experience the beat yourself.
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
It was a short interesting conversation with this young Norwegian. His name is Marius Jones and he was selected as the 2015 ISFiT president one and a half years ago. ISFiT itself stand for International Student Festival in Trondheim, which is obviously held in Trondheim, Norway. ISFiT is basically an international student event that gathers student from all around the world and there they will share and trade their ideas, perspectives, and views about a certain topic. Marius and his team chose “Corruption” as the 2015 theme. Why corruption? Marius said that corruption always comes up as a major roadblock in many cases like war or even peace-building. Which I think he’s got a point on that. It is not hard to realize that even the most effective solution that ever been made will not work if those who actualize it are corrupt. Marius also agreed with the idea that corruption is the biggest challenge of our time and it is not a problem of one country or two, but it has become a global issue. That fact makes corruption an ideal topic for people from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss about and find the solution to the issue together.
The festival is not only about serious workshops and discussions. ISFiT also offers its participants the fun part. Marius referred it as “big cultural program” where the participants will not only share their ideas but also make some new friends and have fun together. Marius even mentioned that there will be a concert. Well that should be great.
But why Trondheim? Why not somewhere else? It’s not like you cannot have similar events in some other places. Well, beside the fact that ISFiT was established in 1990 and the word “Trondheim” has been there since then. “It’s a different place.” said Marius. With its exotic climate, the cold Norway offers something different and unique to people from outside Norway. It offers something new, something to discover, something to experience, and something to remember. Which then makes it a great place to get new insights and have fun at the same time. What makes it even more exciting is that people of Trondheim are very supportive toward this event. The participants will stay with the locals. So they will not only enjoy the festival but also experience the life in Trondheim.
To travel a lot more is one of the effects on the participants Marius is hoping for. He wants ISFiT to be a door-opener for others to do more traveling, as well as to discover new things and make friendships as they travel. Marius himself is a traveler. He spent a few years in the army and he’s also been on several student exchanges, one of them was in Palestine which he admitted was fulfilling for him. He said he got different perspectives with what he saw on TV during his time in Palestine. He even said that he’d like to go back to the middle-east. What a traveler.
So after all this great concept, what is exactly Marius expecting from this event he’s been working on? This positive young man said that he wanted to challenge people’s views. He wanted people to talk about their opinions and trade it with the others, so in the end they can come up with a solution that creates a better future for everyone. Apart from that, of course, he wanted people to travel. Sometimes to listen to a different perspective is not enough to make one understand, one have to experience it himself. So to put in a conclusion, Marius wants ISFiT to be an eye-opener for those who are involved in it. If this guy has said so, why wouldn’t it be?
Marcel Proust might said “The voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ,but to have new eyes, one must know that other choices do exist. The Beatles might said in their song “We all want to change the world.”, but to change the world, you must first see it.
Travel a lot. Not as a tourist, but as a traveler.
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.
Today’s diplomacy is not only done in formal ways. One of the most effective and interesting versions of modern diplomacy is fashion diplomacy. Fashion is considered as an easy way to attract people, which also makes it an alternative way to gain power. These two gentlemen certainly have the power, not only from their positions and titles, but their outfits also have successfully seized public attention.
- Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa
Before he finishes his tenure as the Foreign Minister of Indonesia (2009-2014), I would like to review his style that never failed to impress. Marty Natalegawa certainly has a good sense of fashion. We don’t often see a minister does his/her job elegantly with style, but that’s what we see in Mr. Natalegawa.
His thick-rimmed Moscot Vilda glasses and a bit of grayish hair suit perfectly with his fierce look and formal attires.With this style of his, I can say that Mr. Natalegawa has the whole package of an inteligent, elegant, fierce, and good looking minister. Making Natalegawa himself a world spotlight. He successfully attracts the public, making all eyes not only on his work but also on his outfit.
If anyone ask me if there is any minister or diplomat who does his/her work with style, Natalegawa definitely is the answer.
- George Alexander Louis
It’s been a big year for one-year-old George. Traveling with his mum and dad, being the media spotlight, everyone just seems fall in love with him and his cuteness. It’s not only his chubby cheek and grumpy facial expressions that seek for attention, but also the outfits he’s been wearing through his first year.
For George, it’s been a year of overalls and sweaters.
I would like to compliment Kate Middleton or whoever it is that has been choosing his outfits. She/he definitely knows how to dress a little prince. To look charming is one of the crucial things a prince must have, and for a little prince who can not yet control his behavior, wearing a collar is the answer. Either it’s a polo shirt or collar sweater, collars are the right choice to make one (even a baby) to look clean and charming. And collars clearly suit this new royal baby, making him both a prince and a fashion icon (for babies).
Mr. Natalegawa may has lived longer than George, but both of them certainly have become my favorite gentlemen. They showed up in public with style, made people loving both themselves and their sense of fashion. Fashion has brought them the love and attention, proving that fashion has become a soft power one could have. Time has shown us that soft power tends to work more effectively in diplomacy. Which means fashion is a part of modern diplomacy that people are counting on.
Elsa Hestriana, 2014.