NOW! JAKARTA | Celebrating the Creativity of Indonesian Women

Celebrating the Creativity of Indonesian Women

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Cipta Media Ekspresi is an open call grant by the Ford Foundation in collaboration with Wikimedia Indonesia for women in the field of art and culture, to support and celebrate their cultural diversity and creativity.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Indonesia/NOW!JAKARTA

In Indonesia, many women are prevented from working and realising their full creative potential merely because of their gender - they may be talented in weaving, dancing, playing musical instruments or making movies, but often, they don’t have the time to hone their skills because they are too busy running the household and raising their children. 

Many Indonesians still believe that taking care of their family is the main task of a woman, and therefore her other desires, wishes or dreams often fall short. These difficulties are a reality for many, but rarely addressed.

The IDR 3.5 billion grant Cipta Media Ekspresi aims to lend these women a helping hand: it is open to women from all across the archipelago in various categories and was designed to address issues that so far have hindered the creativity of women and recognize their knowledge, skills and expertise.

Many Indonesians still believe that taking care of their family is the main task of a woman, and therefore her other desires, wishes or dreams often fall short. These difficulties are a reality for many, but rarely addressed.

“There may be a few grants for arts and culture in Indonesia, but none of them is specifically aimed at women only,” Lisabona Rahman, head jury of Cipta Media Ekspresi, explained. “We asked ourselves, why do women have problems with visibility in this field? Based on our experience and observations, we came up with different categories.”

The category Access is targeted at women who feel that they are suffering from a lack of access - for instance, they don’t have access to musical instruments, tools to paint, draw or create artworks, and need an intervention to be able to access cultural work.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Indonesia/NOW!JAKARTA

Women with a particular interest in seeking inspiration from other cultures, working with people outside their home or wanting to display their works in different cultural environments, can apply in the category Mobility.

Arts and culture tend to be enriched when there is an exchange of opinions and thoughts, and when creators come together to collaborate and produce new, innovative works. The category Collaboration/ Cooperation aims to encourage projects involving cross-sectoral collaborations.

The category Cross Generation is open for projects that encourage women and their communities to think about the tradition and history of women’s roles or the role of gender and sexuality through a woman’s point of view - the jury is especially looking out for a collaboration between the old and young generation.

The last category Research/ Study concerns women’s cultural practices: seeking or recognizing new ways of working, or creating curatorial exhibitions and shows. The priority of this category is for projects that offer new studies, research and knowledge about women’s cultural practices.

The jury itself mirrors the aim of the project, as its eight members come from different generations and various parts of Indonesia, reflecting distinct realities of the country: environmental activist and politician Aleta Baun, women’s activist and consultant Andy Yentriyani, graphic designer Cecil Mariani, founder of the grant and researcher Heidi Arbuckle, writer Intan Paramaditha, stage actor and director Naomi Srikandi, ethnomusicologist and singer Nyak Ina Raseuki (Ubiet), and Lisabona herself, an archivist specializing in film history.

“We have already received a number of submissions, and we try to keep our minds as open as possible,” Lisabona said. “We wait to be inspired by different project ideas. We really need to take a look at every project one by one, all revolving around different topics, so it will be a challenging task to select the grantees in the end - but we are all excited to get started.”

Visit www.ciptamedia.org for more information or to send in your application. Submission deadline is 25 March.


Katrin Figge

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