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
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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.

I need this published.

I started writing this in my anger state so I will see if eventually this will be the best thing for me to cope and whether I should publish this.

[EDIT: I think this brings an awareness somewhat so I’ll bare myself to you, netizens. Scary.]

One of my best friend was currently dealing with heavy depression. One of the toughest point for me as a support system is the lack of communication with everyone. I think I understand her better now.

I had an actual neighbor stalking me. This middle-aged man sent me creepy messages on FB. He loiters in front of my house. He occasionally opens my front gate if my parents happen to come home. My dad purchased a set of encyclopedias from him. When I told my parents, they asked nothing about how I feel. They only tell me what to do. They told me he’s a nutcase that had preyed on various women and masturbated to them, in front of them.

My mom goes as far as saying: don’t give him the satisfaction. My mom missed the point: he has INTRUDED my most personal space and sent me to paranoia, but she wants me to be nonchalant of it?

My dad: just pretend this never happened, just stop passing in front of his house because he’ll move out soon enough. My dad missed the point: he KNOWS where I live. I don’t feel safe.

But nobody lets me feel.

Today I woke up with these things in mind:

  1. I can’t communicate the gravity of this situation to my parents
  2. This is what my best friend is feeling towards the world and I need to get to her ASAP
  3. I don’t feel healthy enough to accompany her
  4. I have to attend a wedding in which I’m the lector
  5. I don’t feel healthy enough to do that either
  6. I don’t feel like going out of the house in a dolled-up state. What if he’s there?
  7. I can’t just say this to my parents because they’d say, “You have a responsibility!” along the lines of “You’re being dramatic!” etc.
  8. I know myself and I’m not the type to abandon such responsibility (I’m a model student ffs! On 2nd thought that might be a form of overcompensation)
  9. I know they’ll think that regardless and that awakens my longtime insecurity of my parents not caring about how I feel, and constantly refer to me as the “selfish one”
  10. “The selfish one” stigma has since affected me to the point of anxious breakdown some time during university
  11. I haven’t processed and am still emotionally very affected by my best friend’s recent breakdown on Wed, my dad’s awful response to it that same night, sickness and a close encounter to fraud on Thu, similar sickness and this stalking revelation on Fri.

The thoughts are so overwhelming to me and I ended up breaking down in tears this morning. I tried to stop. It’s awfully difficult. The thoughts are on a re-run.

My mom tried to comfort me. She confirmed thought #7. I pushed her out because she’s making things worse. She slammed my door. I get it, she hasn’t had the chance to deal with her issues either. She’s not one to stay when it stopped being about her.

I haven’t seen my dad after I had to explain in tears last night why his reassurance that “he won’t do anything because he’s afraid of me” is not a good enough reason to be less afraid. He left and went straight to sleep. He’s not one to stay when emotions are pouring out.

My sisters listened intently that night and really helped me feel better. I thank them for this. They’re awesome.

I, however, have a longstanding anxiety for my older sister’s temperament so I don’t think she can’t be a sustainable support. I’ve learnt not to blame her for it. I can see this is a result of the same parenting I received. She’s not one to stay when her anger is on the way.

I think this whole ordeal only tells us something terribly important: we are not used to dealing with the emotional consequences of the harassment victims. We are so used to telling women not to get raped. We aren’t equipped to comfort them when it comes close.

Beyond that, we’re not used to comfort people when they’re in distress. As for me, I need space. I’m used to taking care of myself. It’s just terribly overwhelming today, and it’s a pain to go to a wedding instead of dealing with myself in a closed space for a day. It’s a pain not to prioritise my mental state.

Don’t tell me what to do. Don’t ask questions. Simply let me feel. Hugs help. Food helps. Cats heal.

As I’m sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car en route to the wedding, I can only hope I don’t break down in public today.

Feminist Fest Indonesia

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that I’m very much into social justice and allyship. I try to incorporate feminist values (read: being a decent, sensitive, supportive human being) in my passion projects regardless of the subject matter. Besides, I’m involved in Jakarta Feminist Discussion Group, which initiated Women’s March Jakarta (if you’ve heard about it).

Women’s March Jakarta was very fun, positive, and we’ve got to see a lot of young people getting all woke and starting to know their rights, which is great. It also opens up a dialogue (or shouting match and sealionings) about feminism in Indonesia since. All in all, glad to know that this year’s International Women’s Day get people talking. The bonus? Triggered, gaslighting bros.

Anyway, we the organizers thought that now people start to wonder about feminism, it’d be nice to accomodate them in a festival! So we will hold one on Aug 26-27 2017. It would be very interactive, very informative, very localized (as it has always been intended). We’ll gather local NGOs and match them with young caders, we’ll talk a lot about womanhood and allyship and the media and the system, we’ll have good music, we’ll swap books! We could all use some positivity in the midst of politicized intolerance.

In the meantime, we will hold multiple pre-events (because feminists don’t stay still!) starting May 20 2017. The first one is a talkshow and screening of Tiar’s film. Tiar is one of Women’s March organizer, and apparently a cool film lady:

There’ll also be a talk on Islam and Feminism on May 23 and classes on May 27.

D-I-Why is now exclusive on YouTube!

D-I-Why is Michelle’s brainchild whose aim is to crush budding crafts lover dream and telling them that, “Yo, DIY’s torture. Succumb to capitalism and consumerism and be done with it.” I thought, wow, how reflective. Lol. Anyway, we have made two episodes available on Facebook:

Apparently our #HePi (Herson-Depi) ship is sailing well enough. Um, also, as Pijaru is veering towards YouTube growth (otw to Silver Play Button, y’all!), our producer has decided to move D-I-Why there and post strictly teasers on FB.

Please stay tune for Kitabertiga‘s next project: Ngomong Jorok and Komikomen S2. I have just finalized the reading list for next season’s Komikomen and also the talking points for NgoRok. More updates soon.

Staying Alive collab

Staying Alive is a LINE-based initiative aimed to reduce the number of SCA-related deaths. SCA itself is sudden cardiac arrest, which is one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Jonathan Grantomo, the initiator, reached out to Pijaru if we want to make SCA PSA videos. So I pitched them and here they are, 5 videos to run starting Mar 16 2017:

More on this playlist.