Present in Indonesia for over 60 years, the Goethe-Institut Indonesien has become a place for encounters with cultural players from Germany, Indonesia, and around the world, and has found a role in facilitating development and production of many intercultural initiatives and projects.
Supported in Jakarta and Bandung (and “Wisma Jerman” in Surabaya), the Institute has a “network of 29 special schools with excellent German programmes”, Dr Heinrich Blömeke, Regional Director of Goethe Institute in Jakarta says.
The various cultural and educational programmes support intercultural dialogue and enable participation at a broad level. These programmes strengthen the structures of civil society, according to the official notes. “We engage with artists, students. It’s not about showcasing it’s about cooperation,” Blömeke notes.
Indeed, the programmes are broad. From film to music, and the occasional dance show, the Institute’s operating philosophy is that it engages with communities wanting to interact with the world beyond these borders. Its multi-functional hall in the Goethehaus seats roughly 300 and recent events have seen full audiences at film screenings, music performances and other shows. The classic Indonesian heritage building is welcoming with its large courtyard and the traditional designs seen all around.
Over the years, the Goethe-Institut Indonesien has held various large events including the German Festival which brought together a range of performances from film to theatre and music for several months. While Blomeke hopes to bring a similar event back in a few years, at the moment, he notes, the focus of the institute is more on artist residencies involving creative talents who will be staying for a while and engaging with their local counterparts in a deeper, more meaningful manner.
The “German Cinema” film festival is one its annual highlights where the most recent productions from the German cinemascape are brought to audiences in Indonesia. Discussions and workshops are held with actors and prominent directors. Dance is another cultural event that the Institute focuses on and brings in various productions to the region. A number of musicians have visited Indonesia thanks to the Institutes efforts, but beyond standard genre performances, it has brought in the concept of “Anders Horen” (listen differently) through its series of concerts which provides a new listening experience in unusual spaces or conditions. In recent years, art, too, has seen much success here, especially the recent exhibit of Raden Saleh’s work.
In cooperation with several other Embassy partners, the Goethe-Insitut Indonesien also hosts programmes hosted by those embassies that may not have a suitable venue for their shows. As such the institute in Jakarta coordinates all activities for the Goethe-Institute in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
This allows it to serve as a platform for regional cooperation and focus on strengthening networks of artists and activities in the region