Fighting against Collective Amnesia with the Dining Table Revolution

December 30, 2015 - Uncategory

ArtJog is an annual art festival in Yogyakarta that showcases many kinds of artwork. This year’s ArtJog was the 8th event, in which Indieguerillas were appointed as the main artists to create the special center piece to be displayed in the front yard of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta (TBY – Yogyakarta Art Park) along with those of Yoko Ono’s. One of Indieguerillas’ creations was called the Green Box; a piece to spotlight the shrinking of sawah (paddy field), whether in the rural or urban areas, and its effects on our view of nature. The decreasing space has forced us to alter the rice. On the other hand, we continue to consume land without caring about the present vegetation and ecosystem. Someday, we will have to re-learn to live with nature. Ironically, human is from nature, learns nature, conquers nature, depends on nature, but is exiled from nature. Currently, he is surrounded a concrete jungle and facing a food crisis that slowly but surely is coming.

The Green Box itself consisted of three communities in Yogyakarta that care about food supply and balance in nature, ie. Jogja Berbekun, Permablitz, and Jejaring Pangan. For its turn, Jejaring Pangan, which means food network, held a mini workshop called Revolusi Meja Makan (Dining Table Revolution) and invited anyone who was interested in discussing and sharing stories on food supply and the revolution on our dining tables. Indmira was in attendant that afternoon, represented by the communication team. There were other organizations present in the event, such as Jogja Berkebun, Sahabat Lingkungan Jogja, Persma Balairung Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), and Ocean of Life Indonesia (OLI), who was also one of the main speakers.

One of the products of the Green Box was a writing titled Amensia Collective (Collective Amnesia), a mass forgetfulness. This mass forgetfulness is interpreted as the youths forgetting the history of the local agricultural practices. This history disappears with time and the development of the technology and as more and more people care less about the environment and cut down on agricultural spaces. Unfortunately, there is an increasing number of youths that cannot differentiate padi (rice plant) and gabah (husked rice grain), and never experience rice planting directly. This interesting but sad phenomenon of collective amnesia continues on to the dining table. While we continue to consume our food, we do not care where and how our food is produced and delivered.

Jejaring Pangan, as community concerned in food production and distribution, has started a campaign to popularize local foods and map the locations of origins. Jejaring Pangan also actively holds discussions to highlight challenges in food security and collaborates with other groups that care about the same views.(An)

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