Emma Frankland. Photo: UK/ID 2016-18 Team
We're excited to announce a series of new collaborations between UK and Indonesian artists, commissioned by the British Council, that tackle important issues in our world today. Audiences in Indonesia can experience them over the next 12 months and we hope that people in the UK will have a chance to see many of them too, live or online.
There are 15 new collaborations across all artforms. In theatre and dance, the UK artists include Candoco, helping to develop a new Indonesian company of disabled and non-disabled dancers. Performance artists Emma Frankland (UK) and Tamara Pertamina (Indonesia) will embark on a journey exploring different cultural attitudes towards gender and producing a new performance work.
Working across disciplines, Indonesia's Hana Madness and the UK's the vacuum cleaner create an artistic response to the voices of people with mental health disabilities, including a film with VICE media. Caglar Kimyoncu (UK) and Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (Indonesia) work on a collaborative transmedia installation exploring what shapes our identity.
The collaborators all met through UK/ID, our programme to build stronger relationships between the UK and Indonesia in the creative sector.
"We have 15 weddings to go to over the next year!"
Caglar Kimyoncu's Jogja fun car. Photo: Caglar Kimyoncu
"These artists had their 'first dates' through a series of networking events and residencies we ran in 2016 and 2017, introducing lots of practitioners and organisations to each other," says Adam Pushkin, Director Arts and Creative Industries at British Council Indonesia. "Now that we're commissioning them to work together, we have 15 weddings to go to over the next year!"
The programme aims to develop fledgling relationships into longterm partnerships, to enable wider audiences to share the benefit of UK-Indonesian collaboration, and to inspire more UK and Indonesian artists to work together.
It's taken perseverance to get to this stage. Mariska Febriyani of Ballet.id, Indonesia first met Candoco at the Unlimited Festival in 2016. "I had doubts," she admitted later in an interview. "Not only whether it is or isn't relevant to the Indonesian audience; but also because what in the UK might be basic provision, like good accessibility for the artists and their work, might not be available in Indonesia .But I realised that human limitation is not caused by our physical limitation, but rather by our own fearful thoughts."
"We believe art can change how people understand mental health"
Candoco and Ballet.id at The 2nd Indonesian Ballet Gala. Photo: Ballet.id
Now, there's excitement in the air. "I'm totally thrilled to be working with Hana Madness," says James Leadbitter, AKA the vacuum cleaner. "It's really exciting. We both passionately believe art can change how people understand mental health. As disabled people, to be supported in making work about challenging experiences feels necessary, vital and timely."
The collaborations involving performing arts are:
Ballet.id (Indonesia) and Candoco Dance Company (UK)
One of the most successful UK/ID collaborations of 2017, CANdoDANCE saw a new company of d/Deaf and hearing dancers created in Jakarta. Now Candoco will be back, to help broaden the company – encompassing other disabilities alongside dancers without disabilities – and cement CANdoDANCE's place as Indonesia's leading integrated dance company.
Trans Connection – We Dig
Emma Frankland (UK) and Tamara Pertamina (Indonesia)
It’s only really in the 21st century that many Europeans have started to understand the complexity and fluidity of gender; yet in Indonesia, there are indigenous ethnic groups that have acknowledged more than two genders for centuries. Two performance artists from very different backgrounds will travel together, listening to stories and learning about diverse approaches to gender, to produce a collaborative performance work.
Hana Madness (Indonesia), the vacuum cleaner (UK) and VICE Media (UK and Indonesia)
James Leadbitter – aka the vacuum cleaner – and Hana Madness are both brilliant artists whose work draws on their lived experience of mental health disability. They will travel together in the UK and Indonesia listening to the voices of those with mental health disabilities, including some who experience pasung (shackling): creating a brand new artistic response, and a new film in partnership with VICE Media.
What Makes You Who You Are
Caglar Kimyoncu (UK) and Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (Indonesia)
How far does your social, culture, political environment, sexuality or disability shape who you are? These questions around identity started from Kimyouncu’s residency in PSBK, in Yogyakarta last year. He returns to Indonesia to work with local artists, creating a collaborative transmedia storytelling installation that is accessible for all, regardless of disability.
Find out more:
> See the full list of 15 new collaborations across all artforms
> Read an interview with Emma Frankland about her tour to Indonesia in 2017
> Follow the stories of recent UK/ID events and collaborations
> Check out an artist blog from Hana Madness
> Follow UK/ID on Instagram for news and updates about the projects @idbritisharts