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Jakarta Post

Authorities bar art exhibition in Yogyakarta

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Thu, February 15, 2018   /   05:27 pm
Authorities bar art exhibition in Yogyakarta In preparation: An excavator clears land for the location of the development of a new Yogyakarta airport in Kulonprogo regency. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Local authorities in Yogyakarta barred an art exhibition initiated by a group of activists protesting of the construction of a new airport in Kulonprogo regency, Yogyakarta.

The exhibition, titled “Tanah Istimewa” (Special Land) and initiated by a group called “Teman Temon” (Temon’s friends), was initially to be held at Lorong Gallery in Kasihan district, Kulonprogo. Local authorities, however, prevented the exhibition's opening, citing the organizer’s failure to lodge a notification letter with the local authorities as the reason.

“After we checked with the village head, we found out that the organizer had not submitted a notification letter about the event to local authorities. The Lorong Gallery [management] voluntarily cancelled the exhibition,” Kasihan Police Precinct head Comm. Supardi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Lorong Gallery curator Arham Rahman, however, said a village head in Kasihan, Joko Pramono, had called him while he was preparing the opening of the exhibition of Wednesday evening. During the meeting, Joko claimed that the police had warned him not to let the exhibition go on because “it triggers unrest among society”.

The planned two-day exhibition was held in solidarity with local farmers affected by the construction of a new airport in Kulonprogo. The farmers were allegedly evicted from their plots of land to make way for the airport construction. The exhibition had planned to display paintings, art installations, posters, short films and pieces of evidence indicating evictions in Kulonprogo.

The Post was unable to reach Joko for comment. (swd)