Updated Blog Guidelines

Hi everyone.

As you know, I mostly use this blog as a portfolio of every writing that I do. You may or may not notice I do not post update every video I make here or in my professional Instagram (it’s a new thing I’m trying out). Work has been increasingly overwhelming for both my physical and mental health, so I try to reprioritize.

Nowadays, I simply add my Pijaru videos to my personal YouTube playlist once every other week, and link it up in Scriptwriting in Pijaru > Misc, so it will be automatically updated. So, if you are here for my Pijaru works, simply save that playlist.

I have also added some contributions I neglected thus far, like JFDG’s Feminisme Indonesia 101 which I wrote and layouted, and an old, very personal Magdalene contribution.

Lastly, I added Neo Batavia, for some of whose episodes I wrote the early drafts. I am a fan of Rein’s work and it is exciting to see him branch out to videos. I hope you will check it out and appreciate the hardwork the team has done.

Aw, hopefully we can gain enough traction to proceed!

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Projects I juggle this May

  1. Writing and acting for Keluarga Somat Fan;
  2. Researching and writing a three-episode motion graphics series featuring Kartu Indonesia Pintar recipients (very time-consuming but exciting!);
  3. Preparing a panel discussion about Women’s Movement during Indonesia’s Reform, which I will moderate! Coming soon this month;
  4. Further discussing JFDG’s core values and programs (we are turning into a formal association!) and evaluating negative experiences our members/ex-members/partners/ex-partners have had throughout our run;
  5. Getting enough family/friend/cat time and rest. To my delight, I am relatively pain-free this menstrual cycle!

Ngomong Jorok Updates

First of all, happy New Year!

Second of all, have you seen this?

That’s right. So far we have released 3/5 episodes of Ngomong Jorok, which are about:

  1. Menstruation
  2. Nocturnal emission
  3. Acne and body hair

Two to go:

  1. Genitalia
  2. Sexual desire

If you see it and like it and want to see more, kindly comment on the videos, please! Devina and I have plenty of things we want to explore in the next season. We are also thinking about making a video about FGM, HIV/AIDS, and sexual orientation – since the three are such hot button topic and not well-handled in media nowadays. If you want to see this, let us know.

What else did I do this month:

  1. I represented JFDG in Kenobi’s Feminism for Men panel. Had a blast! I have hope for feminist allyship in the future.
  2. We started organizing this year’s Women’s March. Guess what, 10 cities are joining Jakarta!

Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak: Sentil Patriarki Lewat Genre Patriarkal

Marlina akhirnya pulang ke tanah air setelah berkuda ke berbagai festival film internasional. Didaulat sebagai feminist satay western, keberhasilan Marlina di luar malah menjadi momok tersendiri. Penonton domestik pun jadi bertanya-tanya, apakah Marlina akan kedodoran membawa wacana yang demikian banyak?

Melepaskan diri dari ngehek-gaze

Berbeda dengan dua film Mouly Surya sebelumnya, Marlina bukanlah kisah urban, melainkan kisah seorang janda di tengah sabana Sumba yang harus bertahan dari preman-preman biadab. Cerita macam ini rawan sekali diperlakukan dengan male and urban gaze kelas menengah ngehek yang mengeksploitasi protagonis untuk memeras air mata penonton. Jadi, sangat menyegarkan saat Mouly memilih untuk memadukan referensi pop berupa genre Barat dengan cerita yang kurang lekat di telinga kota (pun masyarakat patriarkal).

Pilihan gaya ini bisa dibilang mawas diri, melepaskan cerita Marlina dari beban representasi daerah Sumba; menjadikannya kisah perempuan Sumba yang diceritakan oleh dan untuk penikmat sinema. Karenanya, Marlina menjadi lebih universal pun luwes untuk dipasarkan, sekaligus konsisten dengan eksplorasi-eksplorasi sinematis Mouly Surya sebelumnya.

Keasingan Barat/Sumba juga menghasilkan artifisialitas, yang dalam kasus Marlina, justru membuatnya imersif. Adalah kenyataan yang pahit bahwa kesaksian perempuan akan kekerasan yang mereka alami dipandang sebelah mata; dianggap menjemukan, dusta, tidak penting. Amit-amit bilang “feminis”. Karenanya, film-film dengan kekerasan seksual sebagai pilarnya (terpaksa) perlu mengeksplorasi cara lain untuk bisa didengar sepenuhnya. Marlina maju dengan bahasa sinema yang berakar pada machismo dan sisipan humor. Menggunakan bahasa visual yang berjarak dan tak mengancam maskulinitas, percakapan tentang kekerasan berbasis gender “naik pangkat” dari isu perempuan menjadi isu kemanusiaan. Genre Barat pun memungkinkan Marlina sang protagonis mengisi arketipe pahlawan, memberinya agensi dalam kisahnya sendiri.

Kekerasan dan jalan menuju pemulihan

Dalam Marlina, kekerasan patriarkal diekspos dan dibantai. Wujudnya dapat disederhanakan menjadi para preman, dan kemudian, polisi. Para preman memiskinkan perempuan secara langsung: mengambil ternaknya, meminta jamuannya, mengambil otoritas tubuhnya. Sementara itu, polisi digambarkan tidak mampu menghentikan kekerasan dan pemiskinan ini. Para korban malah direviktimisasi dengan formalitas birokrasi. Mereka tidak diberikan akses pemulihan, meskipun datang untuk hal tersebut.

Bentuk kekerasan yang paling sentral dalam Marlina adalah pemerkosaan oleh Markus. Bahkan setelah Marlina berhasil (secara harfiah) menakhlukkan empat lelaki dengan masakannya, dia masih tidak berdaya saat diterjang langsung oleh preman keparat satu itu. Tentunya, hanya karena Marlina tidak sanggup mencegah pemerkosaan, bukan berarti dia tidak bisa mengakhirinya dengan caranya sendiri. Kepala Markus tanggal, badannya ditinggal.

Meskipun judul menulis Marlina sebagai Si Pembunuh, kenyataannya lebih dari sekadar seorang perempuan yang membantai pemerkosanya. Malah, membantai Markus hanyalah perkara bela diri, tidak kurang dan tidak lebih. Marlina tidak membunuh atas dendam, melainkan melindungi tubuhnya sendiri. Kelar meracun dan memenggal, yang dicari Marlina adalah keadilan. “Saya tidak merasa berdosa,” tegasnya.

Perjalanan mencari keadilan ini adalah premis sentral dari Marlina. Dengan apik, Marlina memadukan surealisme fatamorgana hantu Markus memetik bijol, komedi karakter-karakter di odong, dan getirnya kenyataan bagi pelapor kekerasan seksual. Marlina harus menelan pahitnya lebih mudah melaporkan pencurian ternak dibandingkan visum. Pada akhirnya, dia tidak mendapatkan keadilan yang menjadi haknya.

Namun, bukan berarti Marlina tidak bisa mendapatkan penebusan. Dia mendapatkannya dalam bentuk dukungan para perempuan lain. Tidak puas dengan mumi suami yang tak responsif, Marlina akhirnya mendapatkan penghiburan dari Topan, putri pemilik warteg. Tidak bisa melawan Franz yang jauh lebih kuat, Marlina mendapat dukungan dari Novi. Para perempuan Marlina saling membantu, memberikan argumen kuat bahwa Marlina sungguh adalah sebuah feminist satay western.

Redefinisi, lokalisasi feminisme

Namun, tak cuma mengkritik patriarki, Marlina juga mengkritik sinema feminis. Meskipun betul sinema feminis tidak sesederhana berprotagonis perempuan dan berantagonis lelaki, ada kalanya kritik feminis memiliki standardisasi yang terlalu muluk-muluk. Apabila mengikuti kaidah tersebut, Marlina bisa jadi tidak dianggap feminis.

Marlina tanpa ragu menaruh perempuannya di tempat domestik nan tradisional: masak, macak, manak. Marlina yang “cantik” diminta memasak untuk tamu (oleh tamu tersebut!), bahkan diminta tidur—lantas diperkosa—sang tamu. Novi, yang dimainkan dengan apik oleh Dea Panendra, hamil tua dan dicurigai sungsang. Percakapan para perempuan dalam film pun tidak cukup untuk lolos ujian Bechdel lantaran selalu berputar di peran domestik mereka. Namun, bukan berarti tidak ada pemberontakan dalam konformitas mereka. Para perempuan Marlina malah mampu mengubah peran menjadi senjata. Saat Marlina bersolek dan memasak, dia meramu racun. Saat Novi hamil, dia meminta sang suami melayani nafsunya atas nama ngidam. Saat ditiduri, mereka menghabisi pemerkosanya. Dapur menjadi ruang aman mereka, meski kadang tetap diintrusi para lelaki tak sabaran.

Maka, perlu diingat bahwa Marlina beroperasi dalam masyarakat agraria dengan tuntutan peran yang lebih mengikat ketimbang masyarakat urban. Karenanya, feminisme dalam Marlina bukan sesederhana memperjuangkan diri untuk lepas dari peran domestik, karena toh pilihan lainnya tidak ada. Perempuan dalam Marlina menuntut hak asasi mereka, yang kenyataannya tidak bisa didapat dari meminta dan melapor. Mereka harus merebut, mengejar, membunuh, hanya untuk diperhitungkan. Meskipun berbeda isu dan cara, aspek ini tidaklah asing bagi perempuan pada umumnya.

Pada akhirnya, Marlina mengembalikan narasi kekerasan berbasis gender kembali pada para korban dan penyintasnya, dengan cara segar yang semoga membuatnya lebih keras bergaung. Tidak berhenti di sana, Marlina menunjukkan bahwa para korban mampu merenggut kembali keadilan yang diambil dari mereka dengan caranya sendiri. Sebagai masyarakat, kita bisa belajar dari Ian, yang membantu merebut truk agar Novi dapat kabur dari para preman:

“Kau pahlawan,” kata Novi kepada Ian.

“Kau yang pahlawan,” kata Ian.

The birthday project

Ah, September. Thou art here – which means my 24th birthday is approaching in less than three weeks.

I used to be the kind of kid who wants a lot of presents for my birthday, thank goodness I grew out of it. I think now that I’m in my 20s, I’m more interested in having my birthdays a little more… meaningful, although still somewhat selfish, I admit.

For this birthday, I’m not expecting things, or money, although both would be nice and I’m still going to insert a wishlist as old habits die hard. I am, however, asking for your time.

For my birthday, I want to know what I mean to you. So, if you’d be so kind, tell me our story. Have I ever meant something to you, or still do?  Do we talk often, have we lost touch? Send it on my birthday, or before. Mail me, e-mail me, chat me, anything. Heck, I intend on sending myself one too! I think there’s no better age than 24 to discover more about the people I surround myself with. I bet it would be revealing.

I think your time will worth more than this somewhat unattainable wish list of mine – which I’m including so in few years I can review my priorities:

  1. A house
  2. Sexual Politics in Indonesia (Wieringa, S.)
  3. Cat carrier
  4. USB microphone
  5. 1080p webcam
  6. USB LED light

Feminist Fest 2017 is approaching

What is Feminist Fest 2017?

It is an event held by Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group, which has previously organized Women’s March Jakarta. Seeing a hopeful number of youth partaking in WMJ, we would like to take the next step and introduce them properly to the current issues feminist activists are facing in Indonesia. Organized fully by volunteers, we have managed to gain the support of 30+ communities/NGOs.

Feminist Fest will be held in SMA 1 PSKD, 26-27 August 2017. There will be 5 mini workshops, 15 discussions – all held in Indonesian, and an NGO bazaar for 300 visitors.

Who are the speakers anyway?

Really, really awesome crowd. I myself will be moderating the Media and Feminism panel, so check out my speakers:

Hera Diani

Hera co-founded Magdalene.co, a web magazine that channels the voices of feminists, pluralists and progressives. With a journalism experience spanning over 15 years, Hera has worked at The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Globe, Strategic Review Journal, Coal/OGE Asia and Voice of America. Her works have also appeared in a number of publications such as Foreign Policy, South China Morning Post, The Diplomat and Today Singapore. Hera has been a Reuters Foundation and East West Center Jefferson fellow. She received a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung, West Java.

Kartika Jahja

Tika studied Film Production di Art Institute of Seattle and has pursued music for 20 years; she is currently a singer/songwriter in Tika & The Dissidents. Her newest album MERAH talks about gender equality. Her single Tubuhku Otoritasku, for example, is turned into a body-positive, bodily authority campaign.

Songwriting aside, Tika is a feminist activist. She initiates and runs Bersama Project, which advocates gender equality through music, art, and pop culture. She also initiates and runs Mari Jeung Rebut Kembali collective with 4 other feminists: Shera Rindra, Dyana Savina Hutadjulu, Ika Vantiani and Teraya Paramehta. Tika is also actively involved in other various gender equality campaign.

Rain Chudori

Rain Chudori is a writer and translator. Named “the literary prodigy” by Nylon Magazine, she has written for The Jakarta Post, The Jakarta Globe, Tempo, Salihara, and other publications. She is the founder and creative director of the literary journal, The Murmur House. She writes short stories and essays about film, theater, and fine arts. Her column Mémoire Du Jour, is a recollection of love and literature. Her book, Monsoon Tiger and Other Stories is published by KPG Gramedia and was exhibited at Frankfurt Book Fair 2015. Her first novel will be published in 2017. She is currently studying film theory in university.

How can I join Feminist Fest 2017?

Due to the limited space we have for the classes, visitors have to register via Eventbrite. We regret to say that we cannot yet provide free entry to our festival – fundraising for a premiere event run by volunteers has proven to be tough. We sell two-day entries for Rp150.000,00. We offer discount for students, Rp100.000,00.

Make sure you don’t book two classes at one time. More information about the registration guideline can be found here.

You should join Feminist Fest 2017 if …

  1. You have free time next weekend;
  2. You are overall a cool person who deserve to be surrounded by equally cool people, or;
  3. You are still skeptical of feminists, especially Indonesian feminists, even though you have read some good things about feminism;
  4. You are struggling with your identity and are wondering if there is a safe space to freely express yourselves;
  5. You are keen on gender equality activism and are looking for a chance to network;
  6. You are looking for a high school (during scouting, I myself wished I studied in SMA 1 PSKD);
  7. You grew up sheltered like me and really want to learn more things outside your bubble;
  8. You want to see the feminist idea of tolerance and equality.