Photo contest attracts visitors to museum event
Sita W. Dewi
The Jakarta Post
'Does anybody know who Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II is?' asked Asep Kambali of the Indonesia History Community, during the Weekend at the Museum event on Sunday.
'The hero on the Rp 10,000-bank note!' answered 10-year-old Nabila, to the audience's laughter.
Nabila's was correct. The national hero's picture was depicted on the note. Badaruddin II, a young prince of Palembang, South Sumatra, fought against British and Dutch colonialists in the 18th century.
'It's not only a matter of knowing a hero's hometown or birth year, but what they did to deserve the title of national hero,' Asep said.
Asep was speaking before dozens of participants taking part in the event, hosted by the Indonesia Museum Foundation at Taman Prasasti Museum in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, on Sunday morning.
Asep, a historian and lecturer, admitted that history did not attract much attention in classrooms as most teachers lacked the creativity to make the subject interesting.
Most participants, however, were engaged in the main activity of the day ' a photo competition.
About 50 participants with various backgrounds were busy with their professional or semi-professional cameras, trying to find the most interesting spots and angles in the hope of winning prizes offered by the committee, or simply just to create their best shots. Some of them had never been there before.
Rahmat Dwi, a 30-year-old soldier, said it was his first experience after only four months of being posted at Indonesian Military (TNI) headquarters in Jakarta.
'I'm here because my friend told me about it and because I love photography, but it amazes me that such a place exists, nestled among the capital's skyscrapers,' he told The Jakarta Post.
Rahmat, who has had a photography hobby since 2010, found photo hunting in the museum challenging.
'I've been to places all over the country while serving the nation and I mostly photographed nature. Here most objects are monotonous in terms of color so it was a bit challenging to find interesting angles,' he said.
For participant Tanti Hartati, 24, it was her first photography experience. 'I borrowed my sister's camera for this event. I can't really speak about challenges because I've never done it before. But operating the camera is more complicated than I thought. I'd love to improve my skills,' she said.
Adhitya Zainudin, the event's committee member, said the event was aimed at providing educational and fun activities in museums.
'Museums need attractive events to lure visitors. It's the job of communities like us to think about it,' he said, adding that the third edition of Weekend of the Museum will be based on the theme of music.
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