Festival Kesenian Semarang ‘170808: Koensoemsi Ataoe Mati!’ (To consume or die)
The long lasting sigh eventually resulted in a festival which was innovated by me and friends at Hysteria community. At the beginning, we were not going to put the word Semarang in the title of the festival. Yet, we decided to do it to “insinuate” the local government and art stake holder of this town. Besides, we also want to prove that the success of a festival does not always depend on the hand of local government. For information, the provincial government responded precisely a day after the press conference. The festival, which was held at 10-23 Agustus 2008, covered other various elements. There were visual art exhibition, mural, videos, installation, performance art, Wayang Sandosa, Kapoeira, percussion, poetry declamation, short story discussion, Japanese dance, cosplay, theater performance, and live DJ and experimental music. It was definitely not bad at all for a festival which was 95% handled by college students. The role of Hivos, the Dutch institution that supported this event is very vital. However, the main problem is the absence of donation guarantee in the next year. Would this festival be stopped in the middle “only” due to the fund problem?
I personally feel that holding a festival is the part of the efforts to form a climate and tradition which should be the responsibility of all elements. The city development program is not only focused on its physical, but also mental aspect that one of its essential factors is culture, or more specifically, art. Sometimes we might think, What for, it’s not even our business. At this point, I remember of Romo Mangun who always prioritizes the social ethics. As an individual, it is everybody’s right to spend the income to fulfill personal satisfaction. On the other hand, as a social being, we cannot justr ignore such a stagnancy. It will need a lot of cultural philosopher to valance the city anonymity and destructive power towards the historical icons, which later will potentially destroy the inhabitant’s collective memory. Or at least to balance the foreign forces that repress us through the culture. Frankly, this is the spirit of the mentioned recent festival.
Id o not know how the festival format or who the organizer will be, but one thing for sure, creating festival tradition is the responsibility of all elements. The presence or lack of fund still can be discussed in the sake of togetherness. For me, this is a much better option than doing nothing, insulting, and making a little regret when the agenda is absolutely closed.
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