Coming back to Jogja I realized once again this is my (second) home. Just arrived I used ojek, motorbike taxi, and needed to navigate woman (!) driver to reach my place.
Getting to know Jogja city is pretty easy when you open your eyes and start to listen to it’s walls. Messages are plenty. Street artist representing the people are raising concerns. Documentary movies are being made about spiritual Bali island turning into hectic international touristic hot spot and there are similar things going on in heart of Java, particularly Jogjakarta city.
Remembering my first visit in 2011 all I remember is low architecture and that far away small Asian city atmosphere which is lately being interrupted by massive shopping malls and gigantic hotels which are growing as fast mushrooms after the rain. Staying empty. A normal thing for a city where most of tourists are backpackers choosing for small hostels and home stays and an average salary is somewhere about 50 Euros, definitely not enough to spend it for some good cheese or brand clothes. You can only imagine what is going on behind scenes.The city is getting Western look with freshly paved sidewalk of Malioboro shopping street which once was packed with parked motorbikes. It’s benches are just a cherry on the top of the rainbow cake.
Changes are part of life, but not all changes bring only positive effects. All in all in Jogja land is sold and farmers are left empty handed without alternatives. Despite we talk about city, huge part of Jogja inhabitants relies on farming.
It is good to see concern is made visible in the beginning of touristic Prawirotaman street. Anagard’s colorful stencil is a humorist reminder exposing Jogja’s hospitable character of welcoming everyone with open hands: “Refugees welcome.” At the same time stencil is showing how fast foreigners are feeling at home in the city, claiming they are not bule (an Indonesian term for white foreigner) as they can speak a little bit of Indonesian language. More serious posters added later on are haranguing people to revolt and take (back) what belongs to them.
Poster 1: Propaganda against new international airport which would mean enormous farm land grabbing.
Poster 2: “AGAINTS! ANY KIND OF LAND GRABBINGS TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE SPACE!”
Poster 3: “Warning: forced eviction and land grabbing cause misery and downturn in livelihood, be aware and keep awake during chronic attacking from power of authority, refuse and stay against any kind of living space grabbing”
Following walls whenever in Jogja became my habit and some more writing on Jogja’s walls you can find in following link – Chapter 8: Street art in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Messages of the streets.