Cultural Fragmentation and Indonesiana as Its Mak Comblang

Cultural Fragmentation and Indonesiana as Its Mak Comblang

Cultural Workshop was included in the series of activities on the Joglitfest 2019’s Cultural Site Visit. It was held on Monday (30/09/2019). The participants left the hotel early in the morning. They were picked up by bus to go to the cultural sites around the Joglitfest 2019’s locations.

Participants were invited to visit the Sonobudoyo Museum, Kauman Grand Mosque, and Yogyakarta Presidential Palace Museum. The series of events took place from 09.00 a.m. until 15.00 p.m.

At Sonobudoyo Museum, a cultural workshop was held to introduce Indonesiana program as a cultural platform. The Chairman of Joglitfest 2019, Suharmono, presented the material with three expert teams from Indonesiana. They are Adi Wicaksono from the curation and production team, Ade Tanesia from the knowledge management team, and Eggy Yoenadi from the communication and collaboration team.

Suharmono said, he had proposed Yogyakarta Cultural Office to hold a large-scale literary performance since 2015. However, the Cultural Office could not accommodate Indonesian literature because they only had Javanese Language and Literature section. Since 2019, the section changed its name into language and literature section and covered a wider scope. So, Indonesian language literature can finally be included in the agenda of the Cultural Office.

And then, Joglitfest 2019 was formed. It involved various cultural elements. The government wasrepresented by the Cultural Office and Indonesiana. There were also literary communities and actors.

“The first coordination meeting has been held since February with a passion to combine Indonesian literature and Javanese literature, with participants from DIY and outside DIY,” he explained.

Adi Wicaksono as the Indonesiana curation and production team said that, in Joglitfest 2019, Indonesiana synergized between the government and literary actors. So far, both of them were running alone and fragmented. The government has funding sources for literary activities, but literary actors do not know and have access to these funds. Adi likened the journey of literature so far, which according to him is a legacy from fragmentation since the Orde Baru era, like a market.

“It took place simultaneously and large, but there was no connection, so there was no progress. It is impossible to develop into a supermarket,” he said.

That’s where the problem is. Fragmentation that lasted for decades cannot be changed in just one or two years. It took decades to synergize. So, in practice, there will be many obstacles. One of them is 2019 Joglitfest.

“The obstacles that you encounter in this festival are the effects of the complexity of bringing together the literary actors and the government,” said Adi.


This was also recognized by Ade Tanesia as a member of the Indonesian knowledge management team. He said, in the days before the Orde Baru, art was a unity in the process of human life. Art grows with crops, for example, in traditional societies.

“In the Orde Baru era, it was fragmented. By the growing of tourism sector, art is uprooted from its context. Art for harvesting is uprooted because the art side is taken, the land is taken away. At that time, festivals uprooted the object of cultural advancement in the context of social promotion,” said Ade.

Indonesiana tried to knit it again and reflect back the object of cultural advancement in each region. Ade said, in Ngada for example, the art festival focused on the traditional rituals. In the society’s daily life, the people there still hold the rituals.

In Yogyakarta, Indonesian and Javanese literature grow at the same time. Therefore, it needs to be an identification of how the two literary models are put back in the society.

“To achieve all of this, a deep mapping of the problem is needed,” Ade explained.

Eggy Yoenadi from the communication and collaboration team explained. The mapping covered how a festival find out the community to be targeted, its relevance and its values to answer the insights that represent the problems around the society.

Joglitfest 2019, for example, is the part of the mapping. Yogyakarta is indeed recognized as a city with quite high literary growth. However, the challenge is precisely on how to map out what kind of literature and whose target it is.

Indeed many problems were found in the Joglitfest 2019. However, it needs to continuously being carried out by a cultural diplomacy. It will need a long time. Not only one or two years, but it takes decades to return culture to its people.  (Translated by Handa Taulan)