By: Annisa Desmiati R
There is an impression that belleslettres could only be enjoyed by a limited few. It’s because literature has been mainly presented in text books that are not easily accessible. While we all know, that reading habbit of Indonesian people is still low, and the high price of books makes it unaffordable for many. So it needs a way out to bring belleslettres closer to it’s devotee.
‘Literature in the City’ is expected to answer that challenge. As a part of the Jakarta Biennale 2009, presented by The Jakarta Arts Council, ‘Literature in the City’ presents literature in a simple way. It’s presented in three different media ; stickers, t-shirts and murals in 10 main spots in Jakarta.
Quotations from poems and proses about Jakarta, by Chairil Anwar, Sapardi Djoko Damono, Sitor Situmorang, Arifin C. Noer, Ajip Rosidi, Yudhistira ANM Massardi, Toeti Heraty Noerhadi, F. Rahardi, Toto Soedarto Bachtiar, Eka Budianta, Pramoedya Ananta Toer etc, will adorn and will became a gaud in the city. ‘Literature in the city’ also quotes old news about Jakarta in the past. They are taken from old newspapers such as Keng Po, Bintang Betawi and Neratja.
The Program Launching
Literature in the City was launched on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at Taman Menteng sites. Marco Kusumawijaya, chair of The Jakarta Arts Council , and Arie Budhiman, Head of DKI Jakarta Tourism and Culture Department were present to officially announced it. Sitor Situmorang and Goenawan Mohamad were among many literati attending the launch.
At least 300 t-shirts and thousand stickers were given out. Hundreds of people circled some poets reading several poems by Yudhistira ANM Massardi, Goenawan Muhammad and Chairil Anwar .
The event sweetly closed with a musical poem presented by Nova Ruth. This young poet presented a poem by Arifin C Noor titled ‘Jakarta’ and another poem ‘Dikawinkan Alam’ by Sitok Srengenge. Nova not only read the poems, but also mixed it up with hip hop rhythm.