Representation Ends as It Begins

20 Dec 2014 | Ferdiansyah Thajib - Yogyakarta, Indonesia

While over the past few years the English coverage of Bon Suwung in this platform have been rather sluggish, the co-production of narratives with occupants of Ledhok Timoho has continued to roll on, mainly in Indonesian language. More than challenges in language translation, our reluctance is prompted by considerations on how to extend representation that could include the non-representational situatedness  that refuses to be domesticated by normative knowledge. Through the current account,  we do not pretend that we have come to a solution to this challenge. At best what are presented here are merely chronological glimpses of what is becoming on and off the wasteland. More information than representation.

As a long term project which problematizes notions of emptiness in Indonesian urban wasteland, Bon Suwung’s focus has gradually evolved from trying to provide descriptive accounts on the ongoingness of life on the precarious ground to collaborative attempts with the people living there in nurturing endurance to homestead amidst illegalizing discourse of their whereabouts.

Beginning  July 2013, a team of artists, social workers, and oral historians are assembling to work together with a group of  youth inhabiting the wasteland in an activity called HackHistory. HackHistory is a collaboration with youth on memory, historical translation and violence in Indonesia. For further details of the activities, simply click here.

In parallel to that, artists involved in KUNCI’s Made In Commons Project are also increasingly taking interest in the community living in Ledhok Timoho. Made in Commons is series of experiments on commons as categories in the making by ways of doing things together and exploring what we have in common.

One of the participants of the project for instance, Rotterdam-based artist, Simon Kentgens, worked together with a group of children in September 2014, speculating the uses, meanings and possible futures of  ’The Bridge’ which is located at the very end of the compound. Yogya’s visual artist, Setu Legi, followed up it up by examining  notions of spatial and visual orientation through drawing workshops on viewpoint with the  inhabitants of Ledhok Timoho.

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