Jayapura, Jubi – Indonesia has just held the Melanesian Arts and Culture Festival at Kupang, the Capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia for the reason that there are 11 million of Melanesian people in this country.
The Directorate General of Culture of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Kacung Marijan stated that 80 percent of Melanesians live in Indonesia.
In the Seminar on the Freedom of Press held by Press Council in Jayapura on last week, the initiator of peace dialogue of Papua and Jakarta, Pastor Neles Tebay questioned why the festival has only been held now, not sooner after Indonesian independence.
He further said has it connected with the Melanesian Spearhead Group in Honiara to cause the festival to be held for the first time in Kupang?
“I remember when first time I was taught that I am Indonesian from Irian Jaya Province, not directly refer as Papuan or Irian. Honestly the view on cultural race is still regarded as a political perspective,” he said when responding the discussion initiated by the Press Council. Further the former The Jakarta Post journalist said the freedom of press in the cultural expression do not be politicized because it could take many victims.
Responding to the Father Tebay’s statement and opinion, the sociologist from Universitas Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Thamrin Amal Tamagola mentioned Indonesia as a political concept and Nusantara as part of the concept of racial and ethnic diversities.
“So the term of Batak, Papuan is part of archipelago pluralism, but they are the Indonesian citizens. It’s similar with the Melanesian, but they are the Indonesian citizens as the nation state,” he said, adding there are 651 ethnics in Indonesia that sustain the nation state of Indonesia.
However, Tamagola warned that the harmonization efforts will certainly have problems because the presence of a nation tribe is a natural event.
Therefore he said if it is called as Batak or Biak, for example, at first it should have a local language (Biak or Batak). Secondly, its custom (cultural cycle from birth to death rites) is still exist and the third, it is certainly opposing the harmonization effort. Further the sociologist of Halmahera origin said there are still “gaps” to be used in doing harmonization in Indonesia. (Dominggus Mampioper/rom)
International award for film about journalism in West Papua
Papua, Jubi – A short documentary which highlights the risks of being a journalist in Indonesian-ruled Papua region, or West Papua, has won an international film award.
Aprila, directed by Rohan Radheya, took out the best short film award at the 16th Pacific Fifo Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia.
The Dutch journalist and film-maker’s documentary tells the story of a young local journalist who stopped doing her job after receiving death threats.
According to Fifo’s website, audience members in Tahiti expressed interest in the insight the film offered into a region and freedom struggle largely unknown to the world.
Mr Radheya said while international attention on Papua often focused on restrictions that Jakarta placed on access for foreign journalists, the plight of local journalists was ignored.
“What we endure as foreign journalists is nothing compared to what local indigenous journalists in Papua are facing,” he said. (*)
Archaeological research to reveal cultural history in Papua and West Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – There is not much archaeological research have done in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Therefore, the Archeological Centre of Papua Province has deployed researchers to conduct archaeological research that took place in several areas in both provinces.
The areas of research are the Berau Bay of Fak-fak Regency, Fort du Bus of Kaimana Regency, Yahoto prehistoric cave, Beanenbala Naguhi 1 Cave, Beanembala Naguhi 2 Cave of Keerom Regency and Srobu Mountain site of Jayapura Municipality. The research also traced the Austronesian speakers in Nabire Regency, the early prehistoric residential trails in Sentani Lake as well as explored the cultural footprint of Austronesian speakers in Raja Ampat Regency.
The researchers then presented their findings on 11-12 December 2018 in a hotel located in Jayapura City.
In his presentation,a researcher Klementin Fairyo who led the expedition to the prehistoric cave sites in Keerom Regency explained that the purpose of his research is to discover the function of the cave based on the cultural findings as well as to know the cultural characteristic of people living in the border of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
“There are a lot of caves found in the border area of Papua and Papua New Guinea, and this needs further investigation,” he said on Wednesday (12/12/2018) in Jayapura.
Meanwhile, Hari Suroto who led an identification of early prehistoric settlement in Sentani Lake area said the lake has produced many sources of food and become a source of clean water for people living nearby.
In the meantime, the Head of the Papua Archeology Centre Drs. Gusti Made Sudamika made an analogy that Papua is like a virgin who has not been touched by humans. Therefore, the archaeologists in Papua should conduct further research in this region.
“And the priority of research would not only cover the coastal areas but the mountainous areas as well, precisely the Baliem Valley, Wamena,” he said.(*)
Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Expo – Waena Museum and Arts Centre, the forgotten asset
Artists and cultural observers of Papua encourage the revitalisation of Expo-Waena Museum and Arts Centre.
the museum and arts centre where located in the city border –the border between Jayapura Municipality and Jayapura Regency—is supposed to be able to accommodate all activities related to arts and cultural performances, such as traditional music concerts, culturally related discussions, painting and other art exhibitions, literary and journalism activities, et cetera.
Titus Krist Pekei, the initiator of noken recognition to UNESCO, told Jubi on Wednesday, 7 November 2018, that Papua Provincial Government should pay serious attention to this museum.
According to him, if the museum is well-managed, it would become the arts and cultural centre of Papua Province. Further, It should accommodate all culturally related activities, ideas and creative works of Papuan tribes. “It would become an entrance for people to get to know Papua,” he said.
He further asked the Cultural Office of Papua Province to have a partnership with all parties to revive the activities and art performance in this art centre and museum. “Don’t think it only belongs to civil servants, but everyone who has talent,” said Pekei who’s also the Director of Papua’s Ecology.
He took the Noken museum which built several years ago as an example. “The Ministry of Cultural and Education handed over the management of Noken Museum to Papua Government, and the government then assigned it to the Noken Papua Foundation. However, it’s not clear for the Expo-Waena Museum,” said Pekei.
Expo-Waena Museum and Arts Centre was established in the 1980s and the late 1990 and used as a location for development exhibitions in Papua in the 1980s and late 1990s. In 2013, the building was planned to be restored and became the office of Papua People’s Assembly.
The museum has nine main buildings including pavilions for displaying the cultural artefacts of Jayapura, Manokwari, Biak, Jayawijaya, Merauke, Nabire, Serui, Sorong, dan Fakfak. It holds more than three thousand collections of ten types of cultural artefacts, historical and ethnographical objects and other art collections.
Sometimes ago a film community Papuan Voice held a discussion and film screening at Expo – Waena Museum and Art Centre. However, now the museum neglects. Some local artists think it should not happen due to its contribution to the local artists to express their creativity. This place should be well-maintained.
“If talking about art and culture, local artists could not be separated with this place,” said the Secretary of Papuan Arts Council Septinus Rumasep to Jubi in an occasion.
Meanwhile, the Papuan parliament member John N. R. Gobay said the museum and art centre is a crucial asset that has forgotten. This art centre has not occupied since 1996.
“It’s an asset of Papua Provincial Cultural Office. It reflects the Papuan culture and identity. We cannot talk about a nation whose cultural identity is destroyed,” said Gobay who was a former Chairman of Paniai Customary Council.
Moreover, he said the Expo-Waena Art Centre must have art shops that selling traditional souvenirs, cafes, and a library that provides books about Papua. Thus, this will become a cultural centre of Papua. Therefore, he asked the Papua Provincial Government to revitalise it.
“The government should relocate people living near the museum. The government is responsible for protecting the local culture through this art centre. Therefore the regulation No. 8 could be implemented,” he said.
He also appealed the artists to establish an advocacy team and plan a meeting with the governor and parliament member for the revitalization of museum and art centre. “I asked the provincial government to support this by clearing the complex of museum and art centre in Jayapura City,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Papuan artist Semi Simson said the Papua Provincial Government do not pay attention to this museum since long time ago. They must revive this complex as Papuan cultural centre. (*)
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