From year to year, the rate of violence against women continues to increase. Meanwhile, the Draft Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) has not yet been passed. All sectors, including art, are not yet a safe space for women. In the midst of this urgent condition, a number of women members of the Art Coalition are moving towards equality for women through music, literature and art collectives. Three of them are Kartika Jahja (Jakarta), Lily Yulianti Farid (Makassar), and Rahmadiyah Tria Gayathri (Palu).
Since 2013, musician and gender equality activist Kartika Jahja has begun to focus on women’s issues. Although he did not experience it firsthand, he observed that the art and music industry in particular were still discriminatory against women.
“Gender inequality is in sight. The patriarchal mindset made many people think it was not a problem, but after being asked again they realized, oh yeah, that’s harassment right? Is that violent? ” he said.
According to Tika, sexism, harassment, violence, and unrealistic standards of beauty still exist in the mainstream music industry. He shared his experience as a judge in a music competition. Verbal abuse and male gaze unavoidable female contestants.
“They harass women with their comments and insisted select female participants who are considered sexy. The decision maker is still filled by kingpin a patriarchal man, ”said the 2009 Tempo Magazine’s Selected Music Artist.
Departing from experiences and worries about discrimination against women, Tika formed a number of collectives to educate the public about gender violence through art, music, and pop culture in the Joint Project Foundation, Ruang Selatan, and Mari Jeung Rebut Kembali.
Meanwhile, in the literary world there is Lily Yulianti Farid, the writer and initiator of Rumata ‘Art Space and the Makassar International Writers Festival (MIWF). He admits that he is uncomfortable with the sexist jokes that male writers often make when gathering, both offline and online.
“It’s not all, yes, but I often experience this. In fact, as writers and artists, they should show a non-sexist attitude, ”said Lily.
According to a former journalist who took a master’s degree in the field Gender and Development There is still a lot of homework for literary activists to create an equal ecosystem. The lack of training in writing and translating women’s works, according to Lily, is a number of reasons that make women’s capacities and opportunities lag behind male writers. In addition, inadequate gender data collection in literary publications and events makes this imbalance often invisible and resolved.
The identification of gender inequality that she observed encouraged Lily to apply the principle of deep gender diversity MIWF. With that, the literary ideas that emerged became more diverse and represented various points of view. Even in the Lintas Laut program, Lily is pursuing a special residency for women writers from Eastern Indonesia and Western Australia, in collaboration with the Center for Stories, Perth.
“Awareness of women’s equality and representation is our working principle. 80 percent of the MIWF volunteers are women. These are clear sides, “he said.
Lily hopes that the organizers of the literary festival in the future will make the issue of feminism and gender justice an integral part of work and programs. According to him, this is important to end gender-based discrimination in the literary world.
In Palu, Central Sulawesi, Rahmadiyah Tria Gayathri shared about his luck being at the Perspectives Forum, an art collective that leads to equality.
“As the only woman who founded this collective, I have the privilege of working, also receiving support and peer protection. As a woman, I have an equal bargaining position, ”said the cross-media artist who is familiarly called Ama.
However, when it comes to the art ecosystem in general, Ama gives a red report card. She believes that women are often placed in domestic and managerial positions in groups. This makes men dominate opportunities to develop themselves in other fields.
Together with the Corner of View Forum, Ama seeks to use a gender justice lens in her work. For example, in a documentary film for the campaign for the ratification of the PKS Bill that they just completed.
“In that project, all the crew who work are women. This might be an example of how we try to elaborate works that are considered masculine to be done with gender awareness, “he said.
Through each of these initiatives, the three women from three different arts and regions have the same dream, namely to open opportunities for women to develop themselves. Awareness of gender-based discrimination and the disappearance of patriarchal logic are essential to create an equal arts ecosystem for all. (Dian Putri)