Open Call for Pappers 2016


Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation invites young academicians from various backgrounds (be it science, technology, social sciences, art and cultural studies, etc) to submit their paper proposals to the Equator Symposium 2016 (or ES 2016). Selected essay proposals will be given a chance to finalize their essay and prepare it to be presented in ES 2016’s upcoming forum.


ES 2016 tries to unravel alternative ecologies that are initiated by the one and the many from various places along the equator. As a framework for essay proposals coming from as many disciplines as possible, we state the background of our thoughts that generated these thinking along with several keywords of topics.

The term “third world” refers to the first time it was used during Bandung Conference 1955; meaning that the term points to any countries other than European or American. We require a clear conscience in using (or abusing) the term. As for “ecology”, we are referring to its simple denotation which is any kind of science that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. Therefore, young academicians from any kind of discipline are asked to analyze alternative offers, thoughts and practices surrounding them that envision a better life in this world.

We believe that this alternative actions thrives within spaces and socio-political times with democratic atmosphere that enables chances for each and everyone to have the rights and obligations upon their living space. We hope that these studies can articulate current social dynamics of being in many different living spaces and, at the same time, create an open and critical discourse upon it.


* Updated means and ways of performing democracy

* Environmental empowerment

* Urban/rural development

* Social tension, crisis and negotiations between people

* Rethinking sustainability


* The submission is open for alumnus of any bachelor studies, be it science, technology, social sciences, art and cultural studies, etc

* Download, fill in our application form along with your essay proposal (maximum 500 words)

* Send it to us with your previous essays (minimum 2) through reach(at)equatorsymposium(dot)org

* Essay proposal submission deadline is September 13, 2016

* Selected essay proposals will be announced in September 24, 2016


If you are interested in participating in the upcoming Equator Symposium not as speakers, please keep yourselves updated through www.equatorsymposium.org.


Simposium Khatulistiwa adalah sebuah forum internasional yang dirancang sebagai arena pertemuan ahli, pemikir, praktisi, peneliti dari berbagai bidang ilmu. Ini adalah acara untuk berbagi informasi dan pengetahuan, bertukar pikiran dan pendapat sebagai upaya membangun pemahaman kritis atas berbagai praktik seni rupa kontemporer dalam kaitannya dengan dinamika sosial, budaya, dan politik di kawasan khatulistiwa. Dengan ini, praktik dan wacana seni kontemporer membutuhkan sebuah ruang yang terbuka, inklusif dan siap akan beragam studi kritis dari berbagai disiplin yang relevan. Simposium Khatulistiwa juga akan berfungsi sebagai upaya untuk mengembangkan jejaring antara berbagai perorangan dan lembaga yang bisa mengaktivasikan peran para ahli dan praktisi seni kontemporer Indonesia ke dalam sebuah forum internasional.


SK 2014 // Yayasan Biennale Yogyakarta

d.a. Taman Budaya Yogyakarta

Jl. Sriwedani 1, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

[telpon] +62 274 587712

[email] reach@equatorsymposium.org

[situs web] www.biennalejogja.org

[kontak] Ratna Mufida +62817277679

News from Jogja

Jogja Biennale Equator #3: Indonesia meets Nigeria

Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation proudly announces its new direction and curatorial team for the next edition, Biennale Equator #3 2015.

Begun in 2011 and finishing in 2020, Biennale Jogja has transformed into the Biennale Equator, departing from the idea of tracing and responding to a history of globalism and the relationships of people and States, in the constellation of the international art world. While the concept of mobility and the extension of various expression of art forms and ideas have been more visible in the last two decades, at the same time we notice the existence of a hierarchy in the art system of the so-called center and periphery. The idea of defining regionalism with a focus on the equatorial area is initiated as an intervention on this inequality.

After collaborating with India (2011) and Arab countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (2013), in 2015 Biennale Jogja will be working with Nigeria as its partner country. The selection of Nigeria emerged from a process of re-mapping Indonesian relationships with African countries, from the colonial period up to recent developments. Nigeria and Indonesia have developed diplomatic, trade and political relationships which reflect similarities and diversities in the context of culture and history. The Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation sees Nigeria as an entry point for dialogue with other African countries, particularly from West Africa.

We welcome Alia Swastika as the Director of the 13th Biennale Jogja, returning to us after her role as Co-curator for the 11th Edition with Suman Gopinath (India).  Alia Swastika is a curator based in Yogyakarta, and has been working with the art scene in the city for almost 15 years. Aside from her projects in Indonesia, Alia Swastika has been involved in various international projects; as curator for Marker Focus on Indonesia, at Art Dubai 2012; co-Artistic Director of 9th Gwangju Biennale: Roundtable (with five other curators) and other projects. She is now a board member on the International Biennial Association representing Biennale Jogja.

From the curatorial team, the Artistic Director is Rain Rosidi, and the Curator is Woto Wibowo aka Wok The Rock. Rain Rosidi (born 1975) is an independent curator and lecturer at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta. He worked as curator for the alternative space Gelaran (2000). In 2003, he joined the arts management residency program at Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and at the Asia Australian Art Center (Gallery 4A), Australia. His curatorial works include Neo Iconoclast (2014), Future of Us (2012), Jogja Agro Pop (2011), Indonesian Disjunction (2009), Utopia Negativa (2008), Jawa Baru (2008) and others.

Woto Wibowo aka Wok the Rock (born 1975) is an artist interested in developing experiments in collective space, interdisciplinary work  and contemporary culture interventions, using design aesthetic and speculative platforms in his artistic practice. He is now the Director of Ruang  56, an artist-run-space focusing on contemporary photography.


* The submission is open for alumnus of any bachelor studies, be it science, technology, social sciences, art and cultural studies, etc
* Download, fill in our application form along with your essay proposal (maximum 500 words)
* Send it to us with your previous essays (minimum 2) through reach(at)equatorsymposium(dot)org
* Essay proposal submission deadline is September 13, 2016
* Selected essay proposals will be announced in September 24, 2016
Equator Symposium 2014


Equator Symposium 2014
November 18-19, 2014.
at Gajah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Deadline for submissions: September 13, 2014.

Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation invites young academicians from various backgrounds (be it science, technology, social sciences, art and cultural studies, etc) to submit their paper proposals to the Equator Symposium 2014 (or ES 2014). Selected essay proposals will be given a chance to finalize their essay and prepare it to be presented in ES 2014′s upcoming forum.

ES 2014 tries to reveal the ecosystem of the association of the many (artist groups, societal hobby-based groups, authority associations, etc) in the order place of their lives (city, village, country, as well as between all of these). The encounters, either physical or virtual, and how those encounters are then disseminated to many more people is our first step in the effort to uncover the ecosystem of these groups.

– Community empowerment
– Urban development
– Globalization and regional politics
– Meetings and sites in the Internet era
– Social tension, crisis and negotiations
– New practices in the current democracy
– Rethinking sustainability

– The submission is open for students or alumnus of any post-graduate studies, be it science, technology, social sciences, art and cultural studies, etc.
– Submit your essay proposal (maximum 500 words)
– Send us your previous essays (minimum 2)
– Fill in our application form here
– Essay proposal submission deadline is September 13, 2014
– Selected essay proposals will be announced in September 24, 2014

If you are interested in participating in the symposium (not presenting your essay), please keep yourself updated on our schedule through www.equatorsymposium.org

Equator Symposium is international in scale, involving specialists and practitioners from various nations which can be included in breadth and scope of the equatorial line. Within the framework of an expert and knowledgeable discourse, the Equator Symposium will be cross-disciplinary, although its focus of attention is contemporary art. In this way the practice and discourse of contemporary art requires an open space, inclusive and ready to accept various critical studies that are relevant and sourced from a variety of disciplines and field of expertise. The Equator Symposium will also function as an effort to develop networks amongst individuals and institutions which can activate the role of experts and practitioners of Indonesian contemporary art in an international forum.

Equator Symposium // Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation
c/o. Jl. Sriwedani 1, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
[phone] +62 274 587712
[email] symposiumequator_yby@yahoo.com
[website] www.biennalejogja.org
[contact person] Ratna Mufida +62817277679

The Official Launching of Equator Symposium 2013

Equator Symposium is international in scale, involving specialists and practitioners from various nations which can be included in breadth and scope of the equatorial line. Within the framework of an expert and knowledgeable discourse, the Equator Symposium will be cross-disciplinary, although its focus of attention is contemporary art. In this way the practice and discourse of contemporary art requires an open space, inclusive and ready to accept various critical studies that are relevant and sourced from a variety of disciplines and field of expertise. The Equator Symposium will also function as an effort to develop networks amongst individuals and institutions which can activate the role of experts and practitioners of Indonesian contemporary art in an international forum.

The official launch of the
Discussion series on

In the last decade important changes have occurred in Asia and the Arab Peninsula, which indicate the dynamics of social-political development encountering democracy. Reformation in Indonesia occurred in 1997-1998, making Indonesia one of the largest Muslim countries with a democratic system.

Nearly a decade later, the countries of the Arab peninsula – for various reasons and urged by their own citizens, who were fed up with the restraints and pressures of authoritarian regimes – suddenly rose up and welcomed democracy. We know now that the transition is not always peaceful, nor completely smooth.

Along with this, the rise of the Indonesian economy (also China, India, Brazil, Turkey and the Philippines) indicates the dynamics of the global economy shifting to the Asian region, whilst Europe and the United states experienced a downturn in growth, crises and economic complications which are yet to be resolved.

Unexpectedly, growth in the Asian region and in the Arab peninsula, which has occurred in the social, political and economic fields, has since become the development which have most impacted today’s world and will continue to impact on the future.

We can imagine that within these conditions there will also occur great changes and important developments in the fields of media, art, and culture in this region.

The Equator Symposium is an arena that we are preparing for a number of experts and practitioners to share and exchange knowledge and critical perspectives on matters pertaining to the development of our world today, by placing the Equatorial region as a departure point and main focus. To open this series of meetings, we will begin with the programs of Biennale Jogja XII – Equator #2, 2013.

DAY #1: Discussion

Introduction and presentation about Equator Symposium by the project officer of Equator Symposium (2013 – 2022) Enin Supriyanto

One of the main points stated in the end of the Asian-African Conference, also known as Bandung Conference, 18-24 April 1955, says:

The Asian-African Conference was of the opinion that at this stage the best results in cultural cooperation would be achieved by pursuing bilateral arrangements to implement its recommendations and by each country taking action on its own, wherever possible and feasible.

The spirit of that statement is inline with Biennale Jogja’s core concepts on all of their holdings and events, which are formulated as a meeting and melting point of the arts and culture within the countries along the equator line. The Bandung Conference became even more relevant this year because the current Biennale Jogja works with countries in Arab peninsula, especially Egypt that have been Indonesia’s close partner since the 1955 Bandung Conference.

We all know that the Asian-African Conference opened the access for direct collaborations and cooperation such as the Non-Aligned Movement (Gerakan Non-Blok), which was a gesture in facing the world’s polarized power in facing the cold war; or bilateral and regional cooperation such as ASEAN.

Now, living at the times where globalization is an everyday reality, we still have to face the fact that these Asian-African countries have a vast variety of experiences in social-politic-economy and culture. Some countries are achieving a fast economic growth—even though not without its own complications— some are still struggling to gain basic economic growth. Some started to experience a stabile and steady democratic condition, some others are still trap in a chaotic conflicts and violence or even still oppressed under authoritarian regimes. Some already highly recognized in their contemporary art and cultural achievements, while others are still struggling with basic development issues.

So, how can we perceive and understand the spirit of Bandung Conference today? What lessons can we learn from that heroic and high-spirited past to help us solve our problems today and to pave our way for the better future? How far can we take the discourses and practices of contemporary art form the ‘developing countries’ as the real and meaningful contributions to this process?

To address these issues and help us understand them critically, Equator Symposium will invite experts to share their insights and knowledge in a public lecture session.

Nowadays, when globalization has already become our daily reality, we still face the fact that Asian-African countries have a vast variety of social-political-economical experiences. Some countries has been through a rapid economic progress, with each own complexities, meanwhile many others are far left behind. Some has been through fluent and stable process of democratization, some went through it either slowly or with conflicts, and a few still face authoritarianism or endless political conflicts. Some countries plays prominent role in the development of their arts and cultural sector, some others still grapple with fundamental issues upon their establishment.

How do we conceive the spirit, the passion of the Bandung Conference nowadays? What lesson can we learn from the passionate and insightful past for our current and future practices? To what extent do contemporary thoughts and practices, especially related to Southeast Asian contemporary art, can contribute to that process?

In speculating the answers upon these questions, Equator Symposium invites practicing experts for lectures.

Talks #1: Internet and alternative media

Conventional media – newspapers, magazines, analogue radio – has limited reach, both in space and time. Entering the 3rd millennium, it is immediately apparent that the internet has exceeded the limitations of conventional media. If in the past free and objective journalism was considered the fourth pillar of democracy (other than the parliament, the government, and the justice system), then in this 21st century there are many objections to the press and its journalistic practices. The media is in fact closely tied to the interests of business and politics, and thus loses its status as a “guard dog” barking at the powerful elite.

The internet brought opportunities for outsiders to voice their interests directly. Citizen journalists, social networks, and various models of participation in socio-political life have been enabled by the internet. Thus far, under the general principle of internet providers that the internet is open source, methods of control and censorship by authorities cannot operate as easily as previously (as has occurred in the past with conventional media: censorship, gagging, jail, etc.).

This discussion session will be attended by activists, practitioners, and artists who undertake a variety of activities using the internet as their main mode.

Talks #2: Art, public, politics

If the internet and its various practices are now open, and its potential as a new vehicle for involvement in democratic practice on a global level is obvious and genuinely accepted, what is the role of art now?  In Indonesia, for example, we still rarely read the great works of literature which contemplate our national history. It could be said that there are none who have achieved more than Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s ‘Pulau Buru’ (Buru Island) anthology (This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Men, Footsteps, House of Glass).

The world of film may at first glance provide a more positive picture. Since the work of Riri Riza; Gie (2005), a number of creators and producers of Indonesian film have become emboldened to touch on complex historical and socio-political themes (from those with a comedic element like Nagabonar 2, to those with themes from the distant past: Sang Pencerah – The Illuminator, 2010; and Soegija, 2012, and others). But, in terms of those whose adopt an attitude which truly provocative towards the dark history of the nation, we were most surprised by the facts and expressive means which were recorded and presented in the overseas film production Act of Killing (2012).

In the art world, efforts to respond to the peculiar matters involving ‘the practice of art today and social life’ resurface just at the point when the art market is shining globally. At least, there are plenty of parties enthusiastically discussing ‘relational aesthetics’, a concept proposed by Nicolas Bourriaud (Relational Aesthetics, 2002), as well as active, participatory and collective practices in the visual arts, such as those proposed by Nato Thompson (Living as Form, 2012 – creativetime.org).

Talks #2 will be attended by observers, practitioners and artists who will unpack these matters, or describe their own practices.


This program aims to clarify the main plans of the Equator Symposium which formally begins next year, 2014. Attendees at this meeting – perhaps divided into or three groups – are expected to exchange their thoughts and share opinions on the plans for the Equator Symposium.

At the end of this meeting, each panel will present its opinions and recommendations in a final (public) meeting which will include questions and answers from other panels.

We hope that the submissions from this meeting on the second day will provide points of consideration and guidance for the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation in presenting the best Equator Symposium possible.



THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR and CURATOR PROFILE Biennale Jogja XIII – Equator # 3 – November 2015 Indonesia encounters Nigeria

kurator director artistic bj 13ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 

Rain Rosidi (born in Magelang, 1973) lives and works in Yogyakarta.
Rain is an art curator and lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts – Art Institute of Indonesia in Yogyakarta. In 2000 worked as a manager and curator at Gelaran Budaya, which is an alternative space that organizes art exhibitions and art discussion independently. In 2003 joined the residency program at the Queensland Art Management Art Gallery, Brisbane, and in the Asian Australian Art Centre, Sydney. Rain curated several art exhibitions, such as: Neo Iconoclasts, Magelang (2014), Geneng Street Art Project, Yogyakarta (2013), Future of Us, Yogyakarta (2012), Agro Pop Jogja, Yogyakarta (2011), Sensual Musical, a . Rouse, Kuala Lumpur (2011), Yogyakarta Art Scene, at Yogyakarta Art Festival (2011), Airport Radio Album Launching, France Cultural Centre, Yogyakarta (2010), Dark Saying, Yogyakarta (2010), How Art Lives, at Yogyakarta Art Festival (2010), Sensuous Object, Yogyakarta (2010), Indonesian Disjunction, Bali (2009), Utopia Negativa, Magelang (2008), Jawa Baru (New Java), Jakarta (2008), Tenggara (South East), Liverpool (2008), Tasty Loops, Semarang (2007) , Lullaby, Yogyakarta (2007).

Wok The Rock (Born in Madiun, 1975). Graduated from Visual Communication Design Program, Art Institute of Indonesia, Yogyakarta. Wok The Rock is a cross-disciplinary artists who produce based collaboration artworks and other collaboration practices. Not only producing art objects, Wok The Rock also saw the creation of the joint space, speculative investigation and experimentation as a medium of artistic practice. The creation of space and work platforms also continue in activities in a variety of arts and cultural community.

In 2002, Wok The Rock co-founded Ruang MES 56, an artist-run-space of contemporary photography and served as a director in 2014 he was also active in the underground music community in Yogyakarta with local musicians producing music together, initiating an internet based record label Yes No Wave music, which distributes music for free, and curated Indonesian Netaudio Festival. He lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


By Enin Supriyanto (Project Officer Equator Symposium)

The Jogja Biennale attempts to look forwards, developing new perspectives and opening itself to confronting the ‘establishment’ or the conventions of events like it.

Contemporary art discourse is very dynamic, although the dichotomy between the centre and the peripherary is still very apparent.There is a need to find new opportunities to give meaning to these events. We imagine a common platform for them, that is at the same time able to provoke the emergence of a diverse variety of perspectives in order to present new alternative to hegemonic discourse.

–       Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation (YBY)

The Equatorial Symposium and the Jogja Biennale are two components of the the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation’s program that cannot be reduced or compared. Through out the program, the equatorial series of the Jogja Biennale has always worked with few countries, and in the future will always leave behinds its previous partners, consequently the opportunity to develop understandings together is reduced, if not lost altogether.Due to this working pattern the Biennale Jogja will also lose the opportunity to continue dialogue with intellectuals from its partner countries.

The Equator Symposium wants to be bridge between as many ‘local geniuses’ as possible from around the equator. Small occurences here and there are the triggers for various changes, the existence of which should be collected and vocalised in order to continuously refresh our thinking and inspire us.Their ingenuity in facing their respective national complexities along the equator is what the Equator Symposium is interested in.We believe that together we can give the world a reason to change! Through the Equator Symposium, YBY positions itself as the connecting agent and also the point of dissemination for the latest ideas, developments and growth from all the countries in the equatorial region. Whatever is connected to the creation of discourse around the equator is still open for negotiation.

The Equator Symposium is based on the spirit of organisation in the speech of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, when he opened the Asia-Africa Conference, 18 April 1955. “What can we do? We can do much! We can inject various reasons into the worlds business. We can move all the spiritual, moral and political strength of Asia and Africa for peace!” What occured subsequently in post-reform Indonesia is often simplified as a “change deficit” (to borrow a phrase from Sr.ST Sunardi).With regards to this, we feel we need to inspire ourselves, the people around us, and also Indonesian society in general, to realise that change can happen.We can implement change.

What is interesting from YBY’s previous official explanation, is the section that directly addresses the reality that “coincidentally” the choice of region and political agenda echoes socio-cultural-political issues that have brought Indonesia to an important position on the map of inter-regional relations, as well as particular prestige in the journey of modern Indonesia. YBY’s initiative and working agenda is also an echo of the past, from a meeting of “the nations of the Equator”, in the middle of the 20th centrury, with Indonesia as one of the main initiators, as well as the host.This brief essay will in fact exploit this “coincidence”. The coincidence I refer to is: nations within the Equatorial belt – between 23.27° NL and 23.27° SL – formed the largest proportion of the 29 nations (newly independent, former colonies of Western powers) that attended the Asia Africa Conference (KAA) in Bandung, 1955. [1] Furthermore, if we accept that the Non-Aligned Movement was an outcome of the Asia Africa Conference, then almost all the nations that have already or will in future become colleagues of the Jogja Biennale, can also be regarded as members of the Non-Aligned Movement. [2] I am of the opinion that lessons from – and reflections on – the Asia Africa Conference might provide stock for us to further understand our own problems today, and also a challenge. These efforts will supply us with many points from which to enter the issues and challenges that will be faced by the BJ if it genuinely wishes to pursue a political agenda in the world of global contemporary art.

A number of important footnotes about the Asia Africa Conference will give us a picture of the thinking that developed in the Asian-African nations when their leaders and intellectuals really began to consider their positions and attitudes towards the imperialism that had structured and controlled the hierarchy of relationships between nations after the end of colonialism, at the conclusion of WWII and the beginning of global tensions through the Cold War. In this particular historical context we can understand why Soekarno, the president of Indonesia at that time, in his courageous welcoming speech, clearly identified the Asia Africa Conference as the “first inter-continental conference of coloured peoples in the history of mankind!”[3]

Richard Wright (1908-1960) – a black American writer/journalist/civil rights activist who moved to Paris and became a French citizen – was so enthused as to come to Bandung on his own initiative and expense just to witness the events of the Asia Africa Conference. [4]
Day in and day out, these crowds would stand in this tropic sun, staring, listening, applauding; it was the first time in their downtrodden lives that they’d seen so many men of their color, race, and nationality arrayed in such aspects of power, their men keeping order, their Asia and their Africa in control of their destinies…. [5]

The YBY is what Wright called ‘an effort to control one’s own destiny’, because it is born forth by a group of contemporary arts practicioners who require a number of particular agreements within the Jogja Biennale in order that it fulfil standards, and can continue to be developed. In that reality it is logical that criticism emerge.

Because of this, the Equator Symposium, is an international forum that is intended to be an arena for the meeting of experts, theorists, practitioners and researchers in the field of visual arts and culture. This is an event for the sharing of information and knowledge, and the exchange of thoughts and opinions as a way of building critical understanding of various contemporary arts practice in their association with social, cultural and political dynamic in the equatorial region.

Hence, the practice and discourse of contemporary arts needs an open, inclusive space that is ready to undertake critical studies in the various relevant disciplines. The Equator Symposium also functions as an effort to develop networks between the various individuals and institutions that can activate the role of contemporary art experts and practitioners in Indonesia in an international forum.
[1] The 29 nations that participated in the Asia-Africa conference, Bandung 1955 were: Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Burma/Myanmar, Iran, the Philippines, Cambodia, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Japan, Sudan, People’s Republic of China, Jordan, Syria, Laos, Thailand, Mesir, Lebanon, Turki, Ethiopia, Liberia, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Gold Coast, now Ghana, Libya, India, Nepal, Yemen.

[2] The Biennale Jogja’s zone of activity in the Equator series is framed byt the northern latitude 23’27” and the southern latitude 23’27”. The YBY introduces Indonesia with:India (2011), Arab Nations (2013), Africa (2015), South America (2017), States in the Pacific Islands and Australia (2019) – Because of the uniqueness of the area, the Jogja Biennale in 2019 will also be know as the ‘Ocean Biennale’ And then in Southeast Asia (2021). The series will then be finalised with the presentation of the Equator conference in 2022.

[3] At the time of publication, I have not been able to find the Indonesian language version of the speech printed in the book: Lahirkanlah Asia Baru dan Afrika Baru! Pidato P.J.M. Presiden Soekarno pada pembukaan Konferensi Asia-Afrika (Speeches from P.J.M. President Soekarno at the opening of the Asia Africa Conference) 18 April 1955, (Translated into English by Intojo), Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jakarta 1955. For my needs in this instance, I have used the English version most widely available on the internet.


[4] Notes and commentary on the Asia Africa Conference was published directly in the US in the form of a small book after the conference:Richard Wright, The Color Curtain, A Report on Bandung Conference, World Publishing Company, N.Y., 1956. In this essay I refer to the new publication that includes three texts:Richard Wright,Black Power, Three Books from Exile:Black Power; The Color Curtain; and White Man, Listen!, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, N.Y., 2008.—pp. 429-629.

[5] Richard Wright, 2008, p. 536.


Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation

Team Work
Tn. Enin Supriyanto
Project Officer Equator Symposium
E-mail: goodbyenin@gmail.com

Nn. Grace Samboh
Program Manager Equator Symposium
E-mail: sambohgrace@gmail.com

Nn. Ratna Mufida
Operational Manager Equator Symposium
E-mail: ratnamufida@yahoo.com

Mailing Address
Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation
c/o. Taman Budaya Yogyakarta
Jl. Sri Wedani 1, Yogyakarta,  Indonesia 55122
Phone: +62 274 587712
E-mail: symposiumequator_yby@yahoo.com


Wawancara dengan Katulistiwa
Coordinator Introduction

As a Coordinator for the PE program, my admiration for the enthusiasm, determination and stamina of Parallel Events participants began even when our invitation to take part in the
PE program was responded by 29 groups from a variety of backgrounds. Some of them are artists, musicians, activists in reproductive health, environmental activists, documentary activists, video makers, a group of artisans who make distinct souvenirs of Yogyakarta, and a lecturer of geology.

The activity proposals submitted by these 29 groups to the Committee of Biennale Jogja XI built on the introduction and campaign effort of Parallel Events program of Biennale Jogja XI, held on May 19, 2011. Eventually, after two proposal preparation workshops on June 18 and July 30, 2011—held to help refine the proposal of each participant—we selected ten out of the 29 groups. We needed to do the selection process considering that the Parallel Events program was one of the competitions held for Biennale Jogja XI.

Every participant of the PE program has done their best in responding to the seven challenges posed by Biennale Jogja XI Committee; i.e. (1) Experiencing the challenge working with group(s) from a different scientific background; (2) Experiencing new methods in the process of creating the work or holding the activity; (3) Experiencing the challenge in negotiating with other groups in bringing the concept about; (4) Experiencing the challenge of collaborating with others from an expanded social circle; (5) The possibility of new ideas as the consequence of coming together with people from different scientific backgrounds; (6) The possibility of obtaining a network that might mutually benefit all of its members in the future; (7) Obtaining the knowledge and skill to manage things and negotiate.

Through the hard work involved to bring about the ideas of the ten final participants of the Parallel Events Program, the public is eventually able to witness a variety of perspectives and interpretations with regards to the three themes of Biennale Jogja XI: Religiosity and Diversity; Issues around the Equator; and Issues about the relationship between Indonesia and India. For this, we from the Committee of Biennale Jogja XI took our hats off for the participants of the PE program in Biennale Jogja XI 2011.

I hope the testimonials and presentations of the ten participants to the Biennale Jogja XI in the catalogue would be responded by more potential participants in the Parallel Events of Biennale Jogja XII next year!

Aisyah Hilal
Coordinator of Biennale Jogja XI Parallel Events

Statment Jury

The Parallel Events Program of Biennale Jogja XI 2011 considers seven criteria: (1) The activities should be collectivebased. (2) If the activity is initiated by non-artists, visual artists should be involved. The activity should be held in a collective manner. (3) If the activity is initiated by artists, non-artists must also be involved, and the activity should be held in a collective manner. (4) The activity is related to the themes of Biennale Jogja XI 2011: religiosity and diversity; issues of the equator; and issues about the relationship between Indonesia and India. (5) The execution of the activity should agree with the proposal. (6) There should be interdisciplinary practices in the concept, design and execution of the activity. (7) The artistic aspect.

The ten participants of Biennale Jogja XI 2011 Parallel Events have met all the requirements set according to these seven criteria. We as members of the Jury wish to extend our appreciation to all participants of the Biennale Jogja XI 2011 Parallel Events for their enthusiasm and contributions.

We as the members of the Jury of Biennale Jogja XI 2011 Parallel Events have agreed to give the awards to three participants with the Best Program Designs, without ranking them. They are: Ace House Collective, Kandang Jaran and KUNCI Cultural Studies Center.

The decision of the Jury is final and not subject to an appeal.
Yogyakarta, January 3, 2012,
Members of the Jury PE BJ XI 2011
PM Laksono
Nindityo Adipurnomo
Halim HD
Muhammad ‘Ucup’ Yusuf
Amalinda Savirani
Parallel Event

Whose the city belongs to? We fill it we have it.

Biennale Jogja XI did not merely showcase artists’ creations in the form of two- or three-dimensional works, but also included activities that involved the general public. Art presentations that took the form of activities were located outside the main exhibition space of Biennale Jogja XI and spread all across Yogyakarta. The public was able to enjoy bits and pieces of these activities at Yogyakarta Arts Center. These presentations included fragments of the events initiated by the participants in the Parallel Events program, fragments of the events from Festival Equator, archive exhibition by Indonesian Visual Art Archive, exhibition of collaborative works by volunteers of Biennale Jogja XI and Indonesian Students’
Association in India about the popular culture in India. Information about alternative tourist attraction related with the theme of Biennale Jogja XI and the issues that the Biennale plans to take on in the next ten years—i.e. those of the Equator—was also presented by students of Geology Faculty of Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Yogyakarta, Bolbrutu (gank of the stone hunter, and Viavia Café at the Yogyakarta Arts Center. Mural and graffiti
artists also took part in this event, they were PLUS03,

Jogja Biennale time after time*

Assembling the documents and documentation of the Biennale Jogja

Life seems to be too big to just be a research object,

and too great not to be celebrated.

(Ignas Kleden, 1988)

It is indisputable that the  Jogja Biennale (BJ) is the most consistent, big, routine arts event in Indonesia. It only rival is the Biennale Jakarta (which is older than BJ but not as routine). Several other biennales, such as those in East Java and Bali, are not as established as the first two I just mentioned, and are not as consistent in terms of their schedules. Just like the Biennale Jakarta, BJ is also a product of the local government.

In its 21 years of existence, BJ has changed looks three times. It all began with the Yogyakarta Painting Exhibition which was organized by Taman Budaya Yogyakarta (TBY) in 1983, 1985, 1986 and 1987. Afterwards, TBY, which was under the leadership of Rob M. Mujiono by then, changed the biggest exhibition into the Biennale Painting Yogyakarta (BSLY) in 1988, 1990, and 1992. In the introduction of the BSLY 1988, Mujiono said that the aim of the biennale event was to provide facilities for the best artworks in the past two years, so that, in time, the event could be a barometer of activity and the level of creativity of the artists, as well as the public’s appreciation toward Yogyakarta’s paintings. To select the best artworks, BSLY had a panel of judges who did not only choose the works to be exhibited, but also which works would receive awards; that continued until BSLY 1992.

One day ahead of the BSLY 1992 event, the public and media attention was taken over by the opening of the Binal Experimental Arts 1992. (Jogja is indeed a wordplay city: “Biennale” in Indonesian dialect is pronounced “bee-null” and written “binal” in Indonesian, which translates into “naughty”.) Binal was organized by a number of young artists who objected to the requirements of BSLY participants. (The two most controversial requirements at that time were “Participants are professional painters aged at least 35 years old as of July 1, 1992 [and …] Participants may submit painting works [two dimensional] not using the batik medium” (Source: Binal Experimental Arts 1992 Proposal.) As the name suggests, Binal provided numerous forms of art other than paintings; from installation works in public spaces (alleys, round-abouts and the UGM boulevard), performances in public spaces (Tugu Station, Taman Sari and the South Square), artwork exhibitions at artists’ studios (Eddie Hara and Regina Bimadona), installation exhibition at the Senisono Gallery, as well as open public discussions at the Tempo Building. In nine days (July 27 – August 4, 1992), Yogyakarta was filled with art activities which involved over 300 artists. BSLY 1992 kicked off and ended losing popularity and exposure. There was barely any mass media which covered the BSLY, or if there was, it was only to compare it with Binal.

Two years later, the BSLY name was no longer heard. As a replacement, TBY organized the Rupa-rupa Seni Rupa (The Variety of Arts) Exhibition comprising: Outdoor Sculpture Arts National Exhibition, Biennale IV Painting Exhibition, Contemporary Arts Exhibition (Installation) and Arts Workshop. The Variety of Arts exhibition triggered the birth of Yogyakarta Visual Arts Biennale (BSRY) which no longer included a panel of judges as had been the case with the BSLY. In exchange, the Variety of Arts exhibition in 1994 and BSRY 1997 and 1999 invited several source persons and a number of writers to be involved in the events. The source person team (which in the beginning, in 1994, was called the curatorial team) was the one who curated—in the curatorial logic that we understand right now—the event.

There was no BSRY in 2001 due to a local autonomy policy which eliminated funds for one period of the BSRY event. In 2003, Biennale came back with a new look. One (single) curator came up with a theme for Biennale. The event was then officially called BJ. Not only was a curator involved in the BJ event, but also a commercial gallery came as one of the sponsors. As a result, the succession of BJ increasingly depended on the curator, the management team, and sponsors. Curated by Hendro Wiyanto, BJ VII 2003 was established under the theme Countrybution, and was the roots of the establishment of the BJ.

Indeed so, BJ VIII 2005 themed Right Here Right Now, was curated by three curators, M. Dwi Marianto, Eko Prawoto, and Mikke Susanto; was organized in 13 different locations; and sponsored by Gudang Garam Internasional. BJ VIII 2005 brought back the “win – lose” principle (one is better than the others) with an award as a symbol of it. Merry celebration, festivity and award-giving ceremonies were patterns of the event, which are repeatedly (and are even getting bigger and bigger) in the next BJ events. Aside of the fact that the event was just organized in three locations, the four curators of the BJ IX 2007 Neo-nation—Suwarno Wisetrotomo, Kuss Indrato, Eko Prawoto, and Sudjud Dartanto—included 167 artists and four groups; while BJ X 2009 Jogja Jamming: Art Archives Movement was organized by four curators (Wahyudin, Eko Prawoto, Samuel Indratma, and Hermano) along with the board of curators (Agus Burhan, Ong Hari Wahyu and Sindhunata). No wonder there were 323 artists (including 82 groups) listed as participants of the latest BJ event.


Something interesting happened at the BJ X 2009 event. A number of art workers who have long been involved in the arts scene proposed the institutionalization of an independent BJ. (Grace Samboh)


* This story is a short note out of my findings in the process of archiving the ten Biennale Jogja events. The assembly of documents and documentation, and the archiving of the Biennale Jogja were done with (and for) the Indonesian Visual Art Archive.



Interviewing the Equator

Starting in 2011, the Biennale Jogja XI, which takes place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, will work its way around the equator, a zone designated as the area between the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23°27′ north) and the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23°27′ south).  Biennale Jogja will look further towards the future, open up new perspectives and develop confrontations that engage convention and the establishment by examining similar situations all over the world. The discourse of contemporary art has become very dynamic, but we still notice that the dichotomy of center and periphery remains very strong. There is the need to identify new opportunities and seek out more valuable meaning in a biennale event.

The geopolitical parameters of North and South, which reflects categories of wealth and territorial closeness in term of stereotypical ethnicity, have been contributing greatly to the development of contemporary culture these days. We dream of a differentiation; we hope to be the initiator and catalyst for the creation of alternative relations and inter-relations in the practices of art.

The equator will be the common platform to re-read the notion of the world. At the same time, the equator can negate the existence of the ‘centers’ by offering a specific territorial frame of working; 23°27′ NL and 23°27′ SL. This is a step to introduce a non-central perspective.

The equator, when viewed within geological, geographical, ecological, ethnographic, historical and political realms, is of tremendous interest as a working area to be explored. Its diversity, which is a reflection of the wealth of abundance along the characteristic solar exposure, reflects closely linked living resources. The similarity of natural characteristics is framed within the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.


The equator – the earth zone which has a relatively higher speed of rotation; on a stretch of territory 40,000 km long; a mosaic of island continents in the webbing of the ocean – will be an ‘arena’ in which to assess results, meetings, encounters, clashes, repairs, renewal, and  humanity.  In each edition, beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2021, Biennale Jogja will work face-to-face with one other country at the equator, walking toward the West.  The title will be BIENNALE EQUATOR, shortened from its full title of THE EQUATOR: Biennale Jogja.




The Mission of Yayasan Biennale Yogyakarta (YBY), established on August 23, 2010 is to:

Initiate and facilitate efforts to achieve a strategic concept of urban planning based on art and culture and to improve the blueprint for cultural city of the future as a space for fair and democratic living.

Visual arts are one of the sectors of cultural creativity which is growing rapidly in Yogyakarta, stands in a central position and is very important in the life of Indonesian arts. Yogyakarta has played a very dominant role in the history of Indonesian visual art. This region is home to the most influential art academies, the residences and studios of the country’s leading artists and host to a never-ending stream of arts events.

The development and management of our cultural resources is an effort to build and optimize all the potential of the people creating art and cultural heritage as well as the utilization of all the cultural assets which exist in the Special Region of Yogyakarta.

1. Nindityo Adipurnomo Artist, co-founder of Yayasan Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Director of Cemeti Art House
2. Suwarno Wisetrotomo Curator, professor at the Indonesian Institute of Arts
3. Butet Kartaredjasa Community representative, Head of Yayasan Bagong Kussudiardjo
4. Dyan Anggraini Artist, former Head of Yogyakarta Cultural Center
5. Mella Jaarsma Artist, co-founder of Yayasan Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Director of Cemeti Art House
6. Anggi Minarni Community initiator at Heritage Yogyakarta, co-founder of Indonesian Visual Art Archive
7. Ong Hari Wahyu Artist, community art activitist
8. Kusen Alipah Hadi Artist, cultural activists
9. Kuss Indarto Curator
10. Eko Prawoto Architect, observer of urban problems, professor at Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana

1. Yustina Neni (Director) Arts managment professional, Director of Kedai Kebun Forum, co-Founder of Yayasan Indonesian Visual Art Archive
2. Kusworo Bayu Aji (Finance) Building contractor, bamboo expert


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