Demi menjelaskan konteks penciptaan puisi 'Kalau...' oleh Noorca Mahendra Massardi di bawah tadi (26 Mac, Patah Balek), sengaja diterbitkan di sini lebih awal dua berita (daripada koleksi Universiti Ohio, Amerika Syarikat).
Indonesian Artists Demand More Liberal Attitude to Arts
A group of some 50 Indonesian artists, in a meeting with House of Representatives [DPR] members Wednesday, said the government should adopt a more liberal approach to the arts and eliminate official interference in arts development in the country.
The artists filed a statement saying that in an open society police should not be called on to judge the merits of art.
Their demand follows the banning last week by police of performances in Indonesia of "Opera Kecoa," meaning "Cockroach Opera," a satirical comedy by the Teater Koma about a poverty-stricken transvestite and other street people.
The Jakarta Post last week quoted a police area chief as saying the play was banned because its social content and message are sensitive and could create public unrest.
The opera is scheduled to be shown in Japan in February.
Nano Riantiarno, 41, director of the Teater Koma performers, said at the meeting that his group would go to Japan but he still hopes for government clearance to stage Opera Kecoa during the tour.
The chief of the Arts Council of Jakarta (DKJ) Noorca M. Massardi said society as a whole should be the arbiter of the arts.
He urged the House of Representatives to scrap laws which require performers to obtain police permits, adding that it is inappropriate for a work of art to be evaluated by a law enforcement agency.
Meanwhile, popular Indonesian poet Rendra warned that a lack of democracy and the country's restrictions on cultural and artistic expression would stifle creativity and that Indonesia risks becoming a society of "robots or zombies."
Police last month also banned Rendra from reading two of his works, prompting him to cancel his entire performance in protest. Many of Rendra's poems are also about the lives of street people and other poverty-stricken groups in Indonesia.
Since the Teater Koma group was established in 1977, it has been prohibited from performing plays twice in Jakarta and once in Medan, North Sumatra.
Teater Koma is scheduled to perform in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Maebashi, Gunma prefecture, from February 22 to March 7 next year at the invitation of the Japan Foundation.
The bans come only months after President Suharto called for greater observance of human rights in his August 16 speech commemorating the 45th anniversary of Indonesian independence. (Sumber: Kyodo, 5 Dis 1990)
Rendra's Poetry Reading at Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR)
A long big clap reverberated as soon as poet W.S. Rendra (55) finished reading his Demi Orang-orang Rangkasbitung (For the Sake of Rangkasbitung People) in a DPR (People's Representative Council) Commission I hearing for DKJ (Jakarta Arts Council) and some artists last Wednesday.
At the same moment, a long standing ovation was given by about 50 artists attending the hearing. Rendra, also known as the "Peacock Poet," responded to the audience by raising his closed fist. Rendra's power to mesmerize his audience during the 15-minute poetry reading had reached its climax.
An almost similar scene was also witnessed during a special hearing between Rendra and F-PDI (Indonesian Democracy Party Faction in DPR) which was attended by faction member Soerjadi, the General Chairman of PDI.
In addition to reading his Demi Orang-orang Rangkasbitung, Rendra was also asked to read his other poem, Doa Seorang Pemuda Rangkas Bitung di Rotterdam (The Prayer of a Rangkasbitung Youth in Rotterdam). While listening to this last poem, some of the people's representatives were seen to have been deeply touched by the poem.
"A beautiful poem. I hope it can be read in front of the general public soon," said Ipik Asmasubrata, a member of the PDI Faction, followed by other DPR members' nods, indicating their general agreement.
Indeed, Rendra had done his best to express all of his charisma, ability to act, and mime as well as showing his vocal capacity, the same standard he always maintains everytime he performs in front of his audience.
For example, in "Demi Orang-orang Rangkasbitung" which actualized Multatuli's presence, he changed his voice and accent to fit a Dutchman speaking Indonesian.
The Jakarta artists asked for a hearing as a result of the banning of a number of art performances in Jakarta during these last two months. They departed from PKJ-TIM (Jakarta Arts Center--Taman Ismail Marzuki).
The participating artists among others were Dr. Salim Said, Isma Savitri, Yulianti Parani, Sutarji Calzoum Bachri, Putu Widjaya, Eros Djarot, Bur Rasuanto, Ramadhan KH, Adi Kurdi and Riantiarno. Both hearings took place until 5 p.m. and were chaired by H. Imron Rosyadi SH (at the Commission I hearing) and Fatimah Ahmad SH (at the PDI Faction hearing).
The chairman of Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Arts Council), Noorca M. Massardi, who read the artists' petition in both hearings, mentioned that the banning of art performances had created deep concerns as well as restlessness, not only among the artists and cultural figures, arts managers, patrons, and spectators, but also among the Indonesian and international publics.
"If having a permit to perform is still deemed necessary, it should have been issued without time limit. It should be like holding a Press Publications Business Permit (SIUPP) for print media. The newspaper's editor does not have to ask a permit for every single publication," said Noorca.
He added that, basically, a permit to conduct an art performance is not needed at all. In case an art work is legally proved to be a misdemeanor, then it is the artist and his manager who should be brought to the court.
Many members of the People Representative Council in Commission I and the PDI Faction were puzzled about the government's recent ban on art performances.
"This is a big issue," said Anang Adenansi, a member of Commission I from F-KP (Development Unity, or Golkar, Faction). However, he suggested that the artists should be more mature in expressing themselves. (Sumber asal: Kompas, 6 Dis 1990)
Sebahagian isu ini saya pernah bangkitkan dalam beberapa catatan saya tentang kawalan Orde Baru terhadap seniman, intelektual, aktivis dan siswa Indonesia.
Tahun-tahun awal ini pernah mendapat jolokan "era keterbukaan" tetapi tidak lama selepas itu tekanan dan kawalan berlangsung semula, berakhir dengan penutupan majalah Tempo pada Jun, 1994 dan di hujungnya penangkapan aktivis-aktivis muda dalam Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD) pada Julai 1996.
Untuk bacaan latar, rujuk koleksi artikel saya di Selak Lagi: Awal kebodohan di Indonesia, Puisi dalam trauma bahasa, Kritik agama untuk 'Islam sivil' [bahagian 1], [bahagian 2], [bahagian 3] dan [bahagian 4].