Friday, 6 January 2023 Biennale Jogja has re-launched its latest book entitled 10 Tahun Biennale Jogja Khatulistiwa: Geopolitical Practices and Decolonization. This event took place in the LPPM Seminar Room of Sanata Dharma University, Campus 2 Mrican.
The book launch was opened with remarks from the host, Dr. Yustinus Tri Subagya (Head of the USD master program in cultural studies), discussion speakers were Alia Swastika (Director of the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation), Dr. St. Sunardi (Lecturer of the Postgraduate Program in Religious and Cultural Sciences, Sanata Dharma University), Hartmantyo Pradigto Utomo (Studio Malya and Researcher of the Department of Sociology UGM), Saraswati N (Author of 10 Years of Biennale Jogja), In addition to USD representatives and speakers, there were also invitees and general participants.
The 2-hour discussion was moderated by Gita Amalia, Gita started the event by introducing the profiles of each speaker. Alia Swastika as the first speaker conveyed about the main keyword in the 10-year journey of Biennale Jogja, namely Khatulistiwa. According to Alia, it is important to collect readings and studies during the Biennale Equator because this process is part of the trigger for social change. The works at the Biennale are political and part of the concern. In addition, it wants to show that the work, process, and discussion during this Equator series can foster space in society. Many works deal with attempts to rewrite history. This encourages us to see how social change is triggered by citizen performative theory, how citizens have a performative drive to change socially.
During the process of making this book, Alia was assisted by Irham Nur Asyani and Harmantyo. They discussed almost all aspects including the selection of the author. The authors also expressed their interest in line with the vision and mission. The selected author is a young writer of Asana Bina Seni program who does not work too often in academic contexts to work with the archives of Biennale Jogja. The writers did not all follow the Biennale and some had never even watched it. Readings like this help to see the impact or memory of these events for the younger generation. This is also done in the Asana Bina Seni program, learning to do readings on the art ecosystem, especially knowledge production.
St. Sunardi as the second speaker also responded to the moderator’s question about the possibility of Biennale Jogja can contribute to aesthetic discourse at the global level. According to him, on the one hand artists have been working experiments here and there, but observers and researchers have not succeeded in raising their experimentation. On the contrary, writers are still too hard to borrow mainstream categories to baptize activities around art. De facto, it existed and is still the responsibility of all of us. Sunardi added, 10 years is an extraordinary work, it may need further deepening and adequately articulated.
Saraswati also answered a question about her interest in writing about subaltern and feminism. According to him, writing a book about fine art was his first experience, because he had been focusing more on working on documentaries and observing practices in his school that often photographed marginalized indigenous people who after the film was finished and immediately left.
His first difficulty in writing this book was mapping out what the 10 years of the Biennale had in common with the collectivity experience. Some questions are also often present during the writing process, such as asking yourself whether this is in accordance with what Saraswati wants to convey. Likewise, the process of chatting with foreign artists who are language barrierd and so far she has successfully interviewed, namely female artist Citra Sasmita.
As the last speaker, Hartmantyo Pradigto Utomo presented a presentation slide that focused on the Asana Bina Seni program and its relation to the pedagogical dimension or global educational turn. Tyo also shared his experience of the process with the authors of the 10-year Biennale Jogja Khatulistiwa book for the last 3.5 months. According to him, there is a vulnerability of young writers to the condition of creative workers who have to manage their own work needs. Managing time writing and working, health conditions, financial inability to access literature and archives are relatively expensive.
The discussion continued with a question and answer session and responses from participants and invitations. The event was closed by taking pictures together and enjoying a coffee break provided by the committee. Biennale Jogja would like to thank Sanata Dharma University for providing space to launch the book 10 years of its journey. Likewise to speakers, invitees, and general participants who have responded well to the sustainability of the programs held by Biennale Jogja for the public.