Cities Without Maps: film screening- Kota Tanpa Peta: pemutaran film
29 August 2008
24th July 2008
Ratmakan Kampung, Kali Code, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Cities Without Maps is a mapping project of the Jagalan and Ratmakan Kampungs on the Code River (Kali Code) in Yogyakarta.
Making a project about a community as foreigners and presenting it to the community, in the community, was always going to be a daunting affair but our Cities Without Maps – Kota Tanpa Peta film screening was well attended and there was a general feeling of celebration in the Kampung. We had spread the word for everyone to bring a little food to share with everyone on the warung and trade for a book and gave helium balloons to the children. The next night we held a second screening at Mes56 and an artist talk which facilitated an interesting discussion about community based art.
When Zanny and I first arrived in Indonesia we were fascinated by the way directions were given, especially in kampungs like these ones we did our project in- that are densely populated by small houses/ single room dwellings with narrow gangs (laneways) connecting them. The mapping we witnessed was more of a “verbal mapping”, where directions were given using landmarks or people’s houses (you turn right past the mosque then keep walking til you see Pak Suki’s house and it’s across the gang) instead of a drawn map based on Cartesian principles, which we are so used to. We did not set out to make a map of this type, as if one was needed people in the kampungs would have already made one, but we set out to redefine what a map is for us.
Making this mapping project we explored various issues dealing with spatial politics. These areas were built as squatter settlements and the Sultan still owns the land, therefore the people living along Kali Code have a tenuous relationship to the land they live on. Some houses along the river are scheduled for demolition to make way for new apartments that will accomodate more people, in less space and the occupants will have to pay rent to live there.
In Jagalan and Ratmakan kampungs we also discovered everyone we met had a ghost story- these areas were built on Javanese and Chinese graveyards I even met a real life ghostbuster who spoke about the hierarchy of the ghost world. We used ghost stories in our film as a metaphor for this delicate relationship to space.
The fragile relationship this community has to their land, and the impending threat of being pushed out due to gentrification were just some of the parallels we found to the area we are conducting a study of in Sydney, Redfern.
Cities Without Maps – Kota Tanpa Peta is a mapping project consisting of a book, film with animations and a warung cinema by Zanny Begg and Keg de Souza produced through an Asialink Residency at the Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA), Yogyakarta.