Faiza Mardzoeki

Indonesian Green Activists Take to the Stage to Raise Awareness

Hot Spot Theater: Kalimantan’s youth living in fire-prone areas will be the first to enjoy and learn from the play ‘Subversif!’

A protected forest area in East Kalimantan. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)
A protected forest area in East Kalimantan. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

Jakarta. Indonesian artists are attempting to raise awareness in the young generation regarding environmental issues through theatrical performances.

In its newest play entitled “Subversif!”, Institute Ungu tries to present the issue of Indonesia’s deforestation in Kalimantan. The play was adapted from the Norwegian classic “Enemy of the People,” originally written by Henrik Ibsen in 1882.

“Art, in any form, is one media that can broadcast more about issues than yelling in the street. It can deliver serious messages in a more creative and flexible way. And through theater, we are trying to raise community awareness, especially in youth, about their environment,” producer Faiza Mardzoeki from Institute Ungu said on Thursday.

“This play portrays the current situation of Indonesia which is severely contaminated with capitalism and foreign companies who want destroy our environment. But clearly, the new generation cannot see that. This is why we target younger Indonesians,” Rifnu says.

“This play will touch the collective hearts of Indonesian youth. While we don’t expect it would immediately change Indonesians’ perceptions, we hope that the next generation will care more about their environment,” actor Teuku Rifnu Wikana, who plays a protagonist role in “Subversif!” said.

Musician Kartika Jahja, who is a journalist in the play, says the media is a strong element in engaging people in environmental protection.

“The theme of this play might be a bit difficult to digest for youth. But hopefully with this, the voices in our play would echo everywhere, and to everyone…,” Kartika says.

“We’re going to perform this play first in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, the place currently known for its dense haze. From what I’ve heard, Kalimantan’s youth are really enthusiastic to watch this play,” Kartika says.

“We want to plant the seeds, and see how it grows. Of course it depends on the youth, but at least, we make the first step then we’ll see how it goes,” she says.

Singer Sita Nursanti believes that “art, in whichever form, will always be a suitable form of dialogue … whether the issue is serious issue or not, the audience can get the message in addition to enjoy the performance,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dinda Kanya Dewi emphasizes the importance of speak up among Indonesian youth.

“In ‘Subversif!’ I play a role as a young teacher who is brave enough to fight for her own ideals and her own truth against the majority who are blinded by materialistic desires. This play wants to say that Indonesian youth should be critical and open about whatever happens to their nation. They should voice whatever comes in their mind as long as it is true, at least for them,” she says.

Source: JakartaGlobe