Spectators filled the Ajiyasa Hall, Jogja National Museum, Sunday (10/10). That afternoon, a discussion forum called “Counter-Internationalism and Beyond Local” was held as part of the Biennale Forum #3 Indonesia with Oceania—Sharing Currents and Mutual Responsibilities.
“I am the President of Tidore”, said Bams Conoras when introducing himself as one of the speakers. Three other speakers sat next to him. They are Constantinus Raharusun from Udeido Collective, Marthen Reasoa from Paparisa Ambon Bergerak, and Mama Fun from Lakoat.Kujawas.
Guided by Ayos Purwoaji and Elia Nurvista, the co-curators of the main exhibition Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 2021, the Tidore President responded to questions about the meaning of locality. “Locality is resistance. Don’t let your identity be taken away,” he said, which earned him an enthusiastic response from the audience.
Talking about locality and identity still, there are at least two things to mention: Kartini Day celebrations and Batik Day.
“Regarding Kartini Day. 34 provinces in Indonesia have female heroes, but only Javanese (women) are held in a pedestal,” said the man with two long braids, again followed by cheers from the audience.
He also questioned National Batik Day which is celebrated every October 2nd. “34 provinces have their unique fabrics, but why only batik is celebrated?” he asked.
In his opinion, if the locality does not fight, the state will seize it. The discussion continues with Ayos’s question regarding views on modernity from the practice of locality.
President Tidore chimed in. He said that modernity is important and necessary to support local culture. The two can go hand in hand. “Modernity, (but) don’t forget identity,” he said.
Discussing the marriage between modernity and tradition, President Tidore gave an example of hip-hop music that targets young people.
“In my concept, youth is about resistance. The lyrics are traditional, but the beat is hip-hop. Take local elements, wrap them in a modern way,” he explained.
For him, modernity is a matter of time. Like a motorcycle that is now considered cool, but could be out of date 500 years from now.
President Tidore emphasized identity and identity when discussing locality, as well as modernity. The idea he conveyed, of course, was greeted with thunderous applause. “Remember religion, remember self. Remember culture, remember identity,” he said.