POST C- Interview with Theresia

I was able to have a conversation with Theresia, a 3rd year Product Design student at UTS who migrated from Jakarta and now lives in Pyrmont, Sydney. We spoke about the life in general and education after coming to Australia and how it feels in comparison to living in Indonesia

We were able to have a great casual conversation. We started of with talking the time she came to Australia with her parents and her younger brother at a young age about more than 10 years ago. We went straight into talking about visiting Indonesia, which she visits nearly every year in the holidays and said she is planning to visit there again at the end of semester. “When asked how it felt to have arrived in Australia for the first time? “She was to the point on the fact “it was basically hard for the firsts time…because everything changes, we have to say bye to friend to indo and I had to take care of ourselves” as when she was in indo “there were elderly to take care of me” and now that she was starting to live the typical Australian lifestyle as parents go to work and kids are alone at home “she had to take care of herself” which she expressed as huge change in her life.

As we moved on there was interesting revelation as we spoke about her expectations in the education system in Australia that in comparison to Indonesia. She went on to say her expectation were different starting of with her studies in 5th year of primary schooling. She pointed out there was a needed to “catch up with the grammar” and the Australian slangs. It was also put into my attention when asked further about the intensity of entering schooling in Indonesia that the education system was harder in comparison and examples given were “if your not doing well, you had to repeat” and study period was “intense where we have to go early at 7 O’clock (am) and finish at 5 O’ Clock (pm), and the fact that tutors were needed for primary students as well as high school students. Theresia mentioned that she failed a year in Indonesia, but when she started her year in primary she was allowed to progress to fifth year straight away. This shows the different levels of intense study being practiced between the two countries, where one is strict the other being more lenient. One of the reason for this intensity is due to the fact that the Indonesia education system is a dismal enterprise because of corruption, a lack of resources, bad teacher training, bad teacher attitudes and practices (Readers Forum 2010, Jakarta Post). But the new administration under President Joko Widodo are fixing the issue with help from his new education secretary, Anies Baswedan, a former university president and creator of a programme that sends graduates to teach in remote areas ( The Economist 2014)

Primary students studying
Primary students studying.

References

Reader Forum 2010, “Letter: Bad education practices”, Jakarta Post, viewed on 1 May 2015 < http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/09/29/letter-bad-education-practice.html>

2014 “School’s In”, The Economist, Viewed on 1 May 2015 < http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21636098-indonesias-schools-are-lousy-new-administration-wants-fix-them-schools&gt;

Images

2014 “School’s In”, The Economist, Viewed on 1 May 2015 < http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21636098-indonesias-schools-are-lousy-new-administration-wants-fix-them-schools&gt;

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POST D- Documentary: China Benteng- A Poetry

This documentary looks to capture parts of the vibrant life of the Chinese Benteng community. The filmmaker explains at the beginning this minority group referred to a community of Chinese Indonesians residing in Tangerang Area, in the province of Banen. Which was one occupied by the Dutch colonists. They have been known to live there since 1407 CE. This post will follow on the various lifestyles lead by this mix cultural populace and try to understand their perspective in short.

Keep in mind the people living in Tangerang are mostly farmers who have been following the family business since their arrival to the land and are quite isolated in the sense, by their environment; which is mostly of pastures, livestock and green-calm surrounding which in comparison to a rough, crowded, loud city life of Jakarta (Donenfeld, J 2013) which is an hours away. What’s more interesting is the fact the Benteng Chinese upholds to both the old Chinese and Betwai traditions which has been passed down from generations to generations like that of Lim Tjoan a 75 year old farmer who have retired from farming with his “…field work is now handled by my children” (Leo. P.J 2012), which is quite impressive in this day and age where many of the traditional understanding and knowledge is lost as new technologies and influences take its place. This show of cultural richness is further evidently shown at the start of the video where the people celebrate the ‘Dragon Boat’ festival, which started 2300 years ago when the Chou Dynasty ruled China (1122 – 256 BC) and has been celebrated to this very day as rememberence. And if you look in further there is a second layer of family traditions showcased when the “bride is combed by her brother three times in a row” (TheKotatua 2013, 9:20) a ritual with the filmmaker explaining that each comb has a meaning. In other times there is the traditional values that you hold on to as an individual which is shown in the video when the ducks are released into the water and the “people jumps into the river to catch ducks, which is believed will bring luck” (TheKotatua 2013, 22:43). It seems absurd to watch these occurrences being performed but if you look closely at its core reasoning, a sense of unity can be seen being bought to the community. It echoes togetherness and show of strength in a mental and physical sense towards the hardships and suppression the people of Tangerang had to endure over the past.

Participants of one of the dragon boats winning the race.
Participants of one of the dragon boats winning the race.

Today the Benteng Chinese culture is a mixture of Chinese and Betwai cultures, the Betwai being the indigenous people of Jakarta. These ties of mix tradition encourages a lifestyle which can be challenging but at the same time interesting to live by. Never the less there is no compromise for togetherness and that’s the key that holds this community together.

References

Donenfeld. J 2013, Back to City Life in Jakarta, Indonesia, weblog, viewed on 30 April 2015 <http://jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/04/back-to-city-life-in-jakarta-indonesia/ >

Leo. P.J 2012, ‘The life of Benteng Chinese’, The Jakarta Post, online, Jakarta, viewed on 30 April 2015 < http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/03/31/the-life-benteng-chinese.html&gt;

Donenfeld. J 2013, Back to City Life in Jakarta, Indonesia, weblog, viewed on 30 April 2015 <http://jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/04/back-to-city-life-in-jakarta-indonesia/ >

TheKotatua 2012, China Benteng- A Poetry, Youtube, viewed on 30 April 2015<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E83cFFrYx7U>

 Images and Videos

TheKotatua 2012, China Benteng- A Poetry, Youtube, viewed on 30 April 2015<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E83cFFrYx7U>

Participants of one of the dragon boats winning the race“, taken from the video.  TheKotatua 2012, China Benteng- A Poetry, Youtube, viewed on 30 April 2015<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E83cFFrYx7U>

POST B- Converting Plastic to Fuel

Land solid waste is known to be one of the major contributors of world pollution, and its an area that some countries both developing and non-developing struggle to find a solution to. Even though some countries such as Sweden with its ability to recycle 99% of its waste with its state of the art machines, other countries like India with its 1. 3 billion population compared to 9.6 million of the former is not having much luck. It’s no news then India is one of the largest polluters of landfill.

The urban India generates around 188,500 tonnes of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) -68.9 million tonnes per year- and waste generation increases by 50% every decade (Annepu R). and the Landfill space dedicated to them is depleting as every days goes by, with many cities faced with having more waste than they can hold. This is due to the lack of the right kind of infrastructure to implement the waste separation methods that has lead to most of the by-products from the recycling process being diverted to water and air, adding more to the pollution cycle.

A municipal solid waste open dump site near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India Credit: Ranjith Annepu
A municipal solid waste open dump site near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Credit: Ranjith Annepu

The main reasons for the decline of infrastructure are the depreciation in financial input to the recycling programs and lack of Data and awareness of the problem at hand. That being said efforts are being made to look into cheaper alternatives by allowing ‘Waste to Energy’ companies from China and South East Asia to establish their presence in the country, which would allow India to gain access to their technology for more knowledge and expertise in this area.

As part of this increased understanding, a pilot program has been initiated in the State of Pune, under the Indian civic government body, Pune Municipal Corporation. The focus of the program is to convert plastic, one of the large waste culprits into fuel for power generators. “Rudra Environmental Solutions, the company behind the technology seek to convert 9000 kg of plastic a month into 5400 litres of fuel “(Waste Plastic to fuel pilot project in India), the process follows Gasolysis which is the decomposition of a condensed substance by heating, it does not involve reaction with oxygen, a catalyst for carbon emissions, to generate poly fuels, the result is high heat value without effecting the environment. “The residue from the plant comes out in the form of tart that can be used for road-repairing” making this an environmental friendly alternative to waste recycling.

Rudra Environmental Solutions will collect the waste plastic from the ward and sell the resultant fuel
Rudra Environmental Solutions will collect the waste plastic from the ward and sell the resultant fuel

In the many attempts involved in coming up with better waste management, the use of Gasolysis by Rudra Environmental Solutions is shedding a possible light to a more economical solution which could be used by other developing countries and lead ourselves to a better future of living.

References

Annepu R, A Billion Reasons for waste to energy in india, Waste Management World, Website, Viewed on 30 April 2015 <http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-14/issue-6/wmw-special/a-billion-reasons-for-waste-to-energy-in-india.html>

Waste Plastic to fuel pilot project in India, Waste management World, last viewed 30 April 2015 < http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/2010/08/waste-plastic-to-fuel-pilot-project-in-india.html>

2010, “Plant processing plastic into liquid fuel devised”, Sakal Times, Web, Viewed on 30 April 2015 < http://www.sakaaltimes.com/NewsDetails.aspx?NewsId=5422517215183687338&SectionId=5171561142064258099&SectionName=Pune&NewsDate=20100304&NewsTitle=Plant%20processing%20plastic%20into%20liquid%20fuel%20devised>

Images:

Annepu.R, A municipal solid waste open dump site near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India <http://www.waste-management-world.com/content/dam/wmw/print-articles/2013/11/india-1311wmw.jpg&gt;

Rudra Environmental Solutions will collect the waste plastic from the ward and sell the resultant fuel ,Viewed on 1 May 2015<http://www.waste-management-world.com/content/dam/etc/medialib/new-lib/wmw/online-articles/2010/08/64773.res/_jcr_content/renditions/pennwell.web.400.363.jpg&gt;

POST A- Art on the Wall: Street Art

The relation between an street artist and his or her artwork is seen as an revolt towards a higher power, this post would show this phenomena through evident similarities between the two different cities of Jakarta, Indonesia and Melbourne, Australia on the two well known cities that encourages street art in their own sense. These views are portrayed through the comparison of the lifestyle lived by the street artists to bring change in a political and lifestyle inspired artistry.

Just to clarify, ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Street Art’ are two different genres. The lateral focuses and follows the true meaning of Art, which is …”an experession or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power” (Oxford Dictionary, 2015). In this case the focus is on emotional power one which has been capsulated and has helped build Indonesia back from their harsh experience of oppressive colonialism in World War II. Although Street Art wasn’t invented then, the paintings produced by the artists at the time in the likes of “Affandi Soedjono and others — passionately striving to portray what was truly Indonesian” (Forshee 2006, p 60). This same effect of protistic image are applied today which are evident in the streets of Jakarta, portraying negativism that still lurks among the populous and their government.

Muriel painting by the Street artists Bujangan Urban
Muriel painting by the Street artists Bujangan Urban

In Jakarta and in many parts of Indonesia, street art is encouraged by the community and collaborated with the artists to focus on a specific theme which highlights a certain problem or issue being faced, this is seen as an “effect of street art communities interacting with the community”(MOCA 2013, 5:52) it is seen as an symbolism of power to make change to give sense of hope for the people. In comparison the street art interaction at Housier Lane and other similar streets in Melbourne follows the creative skill and imagination of the artist. As “David Hurlston, the curator of Australian art at the National Gallery of Victoria, says our street art — recognised internationally mainly for aerosol and stencil works — is arguably “the most distinctly identifiable cultural and contemporary artistic movement to have occurred in Australia over the past 30 years” (Sydney Morning Hereld, N. Rousseau 2012) and preserved as a National Heritage site to be viewed by tourists from in and out of the country. Some of the artworks includes that of internationally recognised street artists like that of the works of Banksy and his stencil art piece the Little Diver.

The ‘Little Diver’ by Banksy can be viewed in Cocker Alley, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The stencil has been protected by a clear perspex screen.
The ‘Little Diver’ by Banksy can be viewed in Cocker Alley, off Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The stencil has been protected by a clear perspex screen.

As the saying goes “a picture speaks a thousand words”, and street art can be viewed as a voice that louden the cries of the people, to express ideas, expand ones imagination, and sometimes to make you feel inspired. It is important that we hear them all and encourage preserving them.

References:

Oxforfd Dictionary n.d., viewed 29 April 2015. <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/art&gt;

Forshee, J. 2006, Culture and Customs of Indonesia, Greenwood Publishing Group, United States

MOCA 2013, Global Street Art-Jakarta- Art In The Streets- MOCAv, Youtube, viewed 29 April 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-pp1m7mp3k&gt;

Rousseau, N 2012, Paste modernism, Sydney Morning Hereld, Website, Last Viewed 29 November 2015 <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/paste-modernism-20120120-1q9p5.html&gt;

 Images:

Santai bro,viewed 1 May 2015 <http://bujangan-urban.blogspot.com.au/&gt;

Anthony Lister in Hosier Lane,Paste modernism, viewed on 1 May 2015 <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/paste-modernism-20120120-1q9p5.html