continuum noun a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct; PHOTO VIA
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RAMA ADITYADHARMA Let’s talk about time and space. More specifically,
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how these two dimensions are interrelated; how
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they are strung together to form a dynamic reality
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slightly related but perceptively different pieces.
To make reading Continuum like literally going
through a continuum. I know. I’m insane. But
in my head for the past three months, but it was over cups of coffee with Chelsea (the Head of Production) that an idea for this volume’s structure – something I had yet to consider – sprung. Rather than arranging pieces based on only set sections, to instead create an order based on individual topics and to thread a string throughout all the
hopefully you will see it. Each page becomes a piece of a puzzle; a point
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Prose: The Time Adrian Siaril
Lonely Traveller Ayu Astrid Maylinda
Long Distance Friendships Catherine Muliawan
Social Life through Social Media Joanita Wibowo
Social Media: The Fourth Wave of Feminism Hannah Louey
Theory of Evolution: Beauty and Body Image Edition Nicole Andora
This is Not a Feminist Freak-out Mary Anugrah Rasita
Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality Audi Tri Harsono
Isolation: The Other Side Alexandra Andreana
Enjoying The Sunsets of Life Stevani Susanto
Morphing Reality Allan Tanoemarga
Past in Present Alyssa Matindas
Continuing the Legacy of Produksi Film Negara (PFN) Khevlyn Sunarjo
YouTube Marketplace Tiara Soeharto
A Smaller World Michael Reardon
Proliferation of Small Businesses in Australia Nadeen Samira
Anti-Brand: Just Another Brand Chelsea Laurens
End the Festivities, Start Being Critical Gary Evano Daniel
Indonesia in the ASEAN Economic Community Fenessa Adikoesoemo
10 12 18 22 26 28 34 38 40 44 48 52 56 60 63 66 70 74 77
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Volume 4: Humans
WRITERS Nadeen Samira Rusdi Australian National University Bachelor of International Business
Fenessa Adikoesoemo University of Melbourne Bachelor of Commerce
Khelvyn Sunarjo University of New South Wales Bachelor of Design (Environment Design and Applied Objects)
Audi Tri Harsono University of Melbourne Master of Biotechnology
Bianca Winataputri University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts (Art History & Media and Communications)
Adrian Siaril Deakin University Bachelor of Commerce (Graduated)
Rani Mutiara Soeharto University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts
timothy kwok chelsea laurens University of Melbourne Master of Commerce (Marketing)
Gary Evano Daniel Prasetiya Mulya School of Business and Economics Majoring in Business
Mary Rasita University of Leeds Master of Arts (Political Communication)
hannah louey University of Melbourne Master of Publishing & Communications
alyssa Matindas SMAK Tirtamarta - BPK Penabur
alexandra Andreana University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
catherine muliawan University of Washington Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
Joanita Olivia Wibowo University of Sydney Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)
Ireina Karyn Legoh SMA Don Bosco 2 - Jakarta Utara
Reagan Kurniadwiputra Susanto University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Engineering)
Jessica Margareta University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Food Science)
Jessica Margareta University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Food Science)
Stefanny Gabriella Gunawan University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Chemical Engineering)
Aurenia Karisa RMIT University, Melbourne Bachelor of Communication Design
rama adityadarma University of Melbourne Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications)
Carissa Dea Chandra Putri University of Melbourne Bachelor of Fine Arts
(photo by paula vermeulen via unsplash)
Old prophets said it is the weapon of the Gods
Or am I fed with bias and pain?
Wise men called it vengeance from nature
As it coexists with existence
It steals lives
It moves life and universe forward
It shatters hearts It is eternal, there forever
It turns seed into feed It turns a stranger into a lover
He tried to stop it, but it killed him Instead She tried to run, and she failed. You and I, we and they, he and she,
the time adrian siaril
And prince into king
It heals the broken heart As if it never broke before
We all stuck with it together It moves you away from the dark cycle of life As it never gave you it
When I was little, they told me love was the greatest force on earth
It dragged away pain and blemish
But knowledge reveals the sharp truth
And let go of force from the past
And wisdom unveils some bitter facts An entity runs with us Watches over us And silently controls us A force such strong that it tested love itself A state so powerful that it shatters powerful kingdoms and the tyrants
Tick-tock Here it comes It is here, it is there
Riddle me this, riddle me that If youâ€™ve never known, It will come to you
lonely travelLer written by photo by
A y u A s t r i d M a yl ind a c a r l i j e a n (vIA U NS PL A S H)
What nobody tells you about departure is that the distance is internalised into a gradually deepening sense of alienation that transcends a scientific understanding of time and space.
For fans of science fiction, or Matthew McConaughey’s work in Interstellar (or both), the word ‘continuum’ probably resonates on an extraordinarily concrete and yet intangible level. In the realm of science the word has always had a special aura of uncharted possibilities. But generally, people see continuums in terms of the dimensions of time and space. However, the conflation of the two into a single plane is actually an emotional move.
When you look at the layout of the city on a map you will be astounded at just how much time and space can converge into a single piece of land to produce the most belligerent of taxi drivers and the cleverest of street peddlers. They are, after all, the ones most sensitive to the effects of time and space combined (think of distance, fares and dollars and you’re going to be right at the doorstep of their mindset).
Time and space has always moved beyond intellectual talk for the likes of us who have lived largely itinerant lives. Since I have spent chunks of my short life in different countries and travelled to many others, I can tell you that for the travellers among us, there is an inclination to categorise our lives in terms of time and space (see that I used the word ‘chunks’ earlier). With every place we arrive at, there is a part of us that we will leave behind in that point of time and space. And so it goes with a life of travel.
But as for myself, the city is mostly about being in a faraway place and feeling sheltered from loneliness. Anywhere could have been New York City if it means that I wouldn’t have to acknowledge the distance I usually felt between me and the rest of the world. It is Christmas Eve and I’m wandering about Central Park, freezing in my own perspiration. I retrieve my iPhone from my pocket to take a photograph and alas I am greeted by a swarm of ‘Merry Christmas’ messages from my friends in the Southern Hemisphere. And suddenly I am sad. I am standing in the most beautiful place in the world (in my opinion, at least) and I am sad.
Here I am at a strange place known as New York City. There are dull colours against gleaming skyscrapers, and brightly dressed people against the grime and dirt of the city. There is also a smell of ambition that permeates the place beyond the sometimes-faulty sewage. And then there is Central Park: a rectangular behemoth of greenery right smack in the middle of Manhattan. Everything flows through maze-like grids in what I strongly perceive is a game of cosmopolitan pinball.
I am suddenly reminded of a certain sense of loss accompanying the announcement from my mother earlier: she is about to sell the house I spent the best of my growing years in Singapore. The country is no longer an option for residence, as far as real estate is concerned. There is a deep pang of hurt and betrayal that is completely inexplicable and yet actually painful. It gets worse when I have to break the news to my friends.
We can’t help our memories; they follow us every waking moment of our lives, and even sometimes in to our dreams.
I start to contemplate how I will ever make it back to the country to which I owe the bulk of my maturation as a person, how these people I’ve come to know and love will ever be real beyond the screen of my phone screen. It’s hard to get excited about the future when there is all this lack of emotional capacity on how to leave it all behind. You would think I’d be an expert in the ‘six degrees of separation’ by the third country I live as a long-term resident. What nobody tells you about each departure is that the distance is internalised into a gradually deepening sense of alienation, which transcends a scientific understanding of time and space. You can say that since it’s been almost three years now and that there are miles between me and my old life, its values should have started to depreciate as I move further and further away from that specific point of time and space within the continuum. However, when you bring in the dimension of emotion, it’s a whole different ball game.
Spoiler alert, let’s transport ourselves to that moment in Interstellar when Cooper, the movie’s protagonist, is receiving video communication from his children in the spaceship. Within mere minutes, he watches his children age ten, twenty, thirty years. He tears as he observes his children’s growing despair condensed into pixels that are emotionally inauthentic, because they cannot completely represent the linearity of maturation that he had hoped to see with his own eyes. In other words, he has missed watching his kids grow up, and that is never easy. Catching up with family and friends who live overseas through instant messaging has the same kind of inauthenticity; we can only watch their lives emerge through shortened anecdotes, having passed through different stages of mental curation, presented to us.
That is to say, time and space are as reconcilable in our minds as they are destructive; destructive in the sense that time and distance can translate into nostalgia and longing. We can’t help our memories; they follow us every waking moment of our lives, and even sometimes into our dreams. No scientific authority has ever accounted for how much time and space interferes with our emotional lives. No one tells you how it hurts. They only tell you that time and space converge in a continuum and that perhaps someone will be able to manipulate the two dimensions. Or perhaps one day, someone will also tell you that time travel will never work, and hence time-space can only be experienced once and never again. Now that is true pessimism.
No scientific authority has ever accounted for how much time and space interferes with our emotional lives.
l o n g d i s ta n c e friendships written by photo by
c at h er in e m u l iaw an s t ef an n y gabr iel l a gu n aw an
Long distance friendships have become a bit of a food for thought lately. Living in Seattle, I have adjusted in keeping up my relationships with people in a dozen different cities, multiple continents and time zones. Let me clarify by saying that when I say relationships I am referring to the platonic kind. Letâ€™s just say I wonâ€™t be reenacting any Taylor Swift songs anytime soon since college is super annoying, but I digress. San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, New York. Those are only cities in the States. I also have friends outside of the States. Jakarta, Melbourne, London. Can I keep up with all of these people all over the place? The World Clock app on the iPhone helps.
So is it really true that in today’s world, relationships do not depend on how close you are to each other but how close you are to your cell phone?
I can’t help but wonder though, how much distance actually plays part in maintaining a relationship with someone. How is it truly significant?
But this is not the olden days and the Internet has made the dynamic a little bit different.
In the olden days, theoretically, I would be closer to my friends in the States, let’s say the one in Boston, than my friend in Indonesia. If I wanted to communicate with ‘Boston’ to rave about Gone Girl, for example, I would have to send a letter and pay around a dollar for postage. My letter would then go through the postal service and reach Boston in about five days. Five days after that, I would receive my friend’s respond about how awesome Rosamund Pike is and how in some weird ways, and how Amy Dunne really is our spirit animal. This would take a total of 10 days.
‘Boston’ is an incredibly busy bee. She is in a ton of volunteer positions and a member of a myriad of clubs. Her hobbies are generally productive ones that are not particularly conducive to cell phone use. Then we have ‘Indonesia’, whose day involves sitting on the couch watching reruns of Friends while balancing a bowl of Lay’s on one knee and her cell phone on the other. I mean, who could blame her. That sounds like the life. With this in mind, you can now guess which relationship is easier to maintain. Not to say that I’m closer with one person than the other, but one relationship clearly takes less effort than the other. Yes, time zones are still a mild challenge. But I’m a college student. It’s not like my sleeping patterns were all that ordered and organised to begin with. So is it really true that in today’s world, relationships do not depend on how close you are to each other but how close you are to your cell phone?
However, if I wanted to do the same with my friend in Indonesia, my letter would not reach her for weeks, maybe even months. Not to mention postage would cost me a lot more dough. Like, 20 times more (which amounts to $20 for those people too lazy to re-read the last couple sentences). That’s at least two burrito bowls at Chipotle, including extra guacamole. And this is assuming that the letter would even reach her at all. Even these days, international shipping is dodgy at best. Then, I would have to wait a few more months for her reply. That would amount to maybe a couple months total, at best. In that time, ‘Boston’ and I could have sent each other written out dialogue from the entire movie.
Well, it’s not quite that simple. Yes, thanks to modern technology communication of words and sentences across vast distances has never been easier. With applications like Skype and FaceTime, visual and audio communication is also convenient, instant, and mostly cost-less. But is it truly the same? Is looking at your friend’s face on a monitor the same
alejandro escamilla VIA UNSPLASH
How much distance actually plays a part in maintaining a relationship with someone. How truly significant is it?
as looking at her in front of you? I don’t have the answer because I don’t know the answer. Yes, for the most part it’s sufficient. A lot of the times I’m laughing so hard at a really corny pun or so swept up in a discussion about how awesome 1989 is that I don’t even notice that I’m hearing my friend’s voice on a speaker. That said, there are those moments, though. They don’t happen too often (hopefully), but there those moments when I feel like the world is crumbling around me. Like the time I had a fight with my parents. Or the time I failed a test (FYI, I’m a proud Asian). Or the time Chuck got cancelled. In those moments, I am fresh out of luck because no amount of stickers or Skype bear hug emojis could ever replace a warm hug from your best friend. So is physical distance truly irrelevant for relationships in this day and age? I think the multi-billion dollar airplane and travel industry would agree with me that that is not necessarily true. But the social networking industry would also agree with me that distance is way less significant than it was 20 years ago.
SOCIAL LI FE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA WRITTEN BY
JOANITA WIBOWO ILLUSTRATION BY
As the food we ordered in the restaurant came out, some of my friends took out their phones to take a picture. Within a few minutes, I get a notification on my phone that said I’ve been tagged on Instagram and I’ve been sent a Snapchat of the afore mentioned food.
While we might not consciously think ‘how do I want to be seen?’ when sharing something on social media, it is ingrained in our decisions.
I do think this is the new normal compared to the previous decades. The increasing ubiquity of technology has changed the way we interact – social media becomes more prevalent and pervasive in our lifestyles. It becomes the main platform to communicate our activities, interests and whereabouts to others. What is it that really drives us to do this?
While we might not consciously think, ‘how do I want to be seen?’ when sharing something on social media, it is ingrained in our decisions. We put it into consideration when recording a video of a crowd dancing to the music in Djakarta Warehouse Project or taking a picture of ourselves in the Color Run. We think about it when we decide whether the picture of our salmon bruschetta brunch is Instagram-worthy.
Some would say they’d like to capture and share the moments with the loved ones, but it might not be as simple as that. While some of the motivations of sharing in social media remain genuine as to share their happiness, excitement or knowledge, most still account as proof that you’ve been there, done that. Some scholars have argued that social media is a platform of identity production and construction. Users use social media as a space of continual “social self-formation” to create and maintain a persona they would like others to see and perceive. It is a stage in which users are the stars, the PRs, as well as the audience. In other words, everything we do in social media, we do it to create a certain image of ourselves to our followers.
The banal fact is that not all social media images are truthful. As with other media, social media is mostly parasocial in nature. It’s not real – it’s merely representations of ourselves, which might be distorted. This is further accommodated by how easy it is now for us to crop, edit or filter a picture – or retake it in an instant shall we find it unattractive. The image we show might be to fulfil personal considerations as well as expectations from others. As an example, I have been un-tagging unflattering pictures of myself – in which I might look chubby, unintentionally closed my eyes, or posed an accidental weird gesture. Combined with my selective photo uploading, my Facebook photos
A. PHOTO BY jonathan velasquez via unsplash
B. photo BY beata ratuszniak via unsplash
may show a girl who seems better looking, elegant or agreeable than the real-life me.
We may put more attention to
It is done to invoke good responses as well as to avoid negative ones. One may want to construct a more upscale, hip image through uploading more pictures of fancy bistro dishes and less of midnight Indomie sessions. Another may refrain from posting a picture of themselves wearing tight clothes, for others may judge her as slutty or promiscuous.
before our physical selves.
In a way, it is an extension of our need to gain social acceptance. Whereas previously our visibility – and therefore our possible social circle – was limited to the physical spaces we are in (e.g. school, home, workplace), now we are constantly ‘seen’ without spatial boundaries. This provides more opportunities, but at the same time gives added pressure, as social media is even more public and more accessible than real life. Every ‘like’ counts, and every disapproving comment may bring disaffirmation.
Every like counts, and every disapproving comment may bring disaffirmation.
So social media is not arbitrary, but it is an assembly of conscious and subconscious attempts of image building and deconstruction. Some argue that because of this constant challenge of perpetual selfmaking and acceptance-seeking on social media, we increasingly disengage from the real experience – the
what’s in our phones than what’s
true enjoyment of activities such as watching a concert, celebrating birthday or eating out. We may put more attention to what’s in our phones than what’s before our physical selves. This sacrifices real-life engagement for a permanent taxidermy of recorded memory. However, it might be unwise or undesirable to refrain from using social media altogether. As mentioned, social media offers as abundant opportunities as it does challenges. Our discretion and self-confidence as social media users are needed to balance the motivation to maintain our online image and the need to ensure our personal enjoyment and experience. Through this, it is possible to express self-assertion without being overly concerned about what the followers may say. Social media is here to stay – and it is up to us to control it, or let it control us.
Social media, that has allowed individual members of the community to stand up and become a figurehead for what has been dubbed the ‘Fourth Wave’ of feminism.
the fourth wave of feminism
FEMINISM: A simple word that somehow conjures up many connotations. As a result, the term that simply means equality across both sexes has sparked so much negativity in the last few decades. Feminism and those that support it have largely dealt with the backlash that it inspires man hating and bra burning amongst a few others - with little to no way of responding... until now. Writer Hannah Louey With a long and complex history – from suffrage rights in the early 20th century to standpoint feminism of the 1980s – feminism is still well in effect in today’s society. Though each time period has had well-known figures, from Germaine Greer to today’s Clementine Ford, it is the influence of the digital age, or more accurately, social media, that arguably first allowed individual members of the community to stand up to criticisms and become a figurehead for what has been dubbed the ‘fourth wave’ of feminism. These changes didn’t happen until recently. In 2013, the Huffington Post conducted a survey that showed only 20 per cent of Americans self-identified themselves as a feminist, despite 82 per cent stating that they believed ‘men and women should be social, political and economic equals’ – the dictionary definition of feminism. These statistics seem to show that the truth of feminism and what it hopes to achieve is an ideology that is still shrouded in myths. However, the role of social media is beginning to change this. Social media, which includes any interactive platform on the web, has provided ordinary individuals with the opportunity to not only voice their opinions about feminism, but also respond to inaccurate beliefs that surround the term. One such example is the HeforShe campaign triggered by Emma Watson’s UN speech, which
/ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE
EMMA WATSON By Lana (Mirror) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; MALALA YOUSAFZAI By Southbank Centre [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
addressed the inaccurate perceptions of feminism, particularly the idea that in order to be a feminist, a woman has to denounce all men. Although Watson received backlash, largely due to her position as a white and famous woman, the response of her speech was both instantaneous and far-reaching: with over 60 thousand retweets In a way, social media has provided an outlet for communication, which is a necessary part of any societal change. Therefore, because of the internet, the ‘fourth wave’ of feminism was born, and unlike ever before everyone has the opportunity to join a community or a forum to discuss the feminism movement, regardless of their gender, age or location. Of the #HeforShe hashtag in the first week, Watson’s speech in combination with social media buzz has successfully created a discourse throughout the world about the myths surrounding feminism. It is not only celebrities and well-known figures that have had this ncredible effect online. In October 2014, a video went viral across social media showing a woman, Shoshanna Roberts, being filmed over the course of a day in Manhattan. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Shoshanna was catcalled over 100 times in ten hours. Although the video itself was not addressing any feminism myths, it was an example of the injustices that women still face each day, as well as an eye-opener for many who didn’t realise these still occurred.
But perhaps the most powerful example of how the internet and social media has influenced change throughout the world is the effect and actions of Malala Yousafzai, a seventeen-year-old Pakistani school girl who was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban – simply for standing up for female education. After facing such brutality, Malala managed to show the power of speech over violence. Despite her age, gender and location – all of which would suggest the difficulty of communication – Malala’s actions could be heard around the world. While news outlets covered the Taliban attack on her, it was the way the incident was communicated via social media, alongside personalised messages, that threw both Malala and feminism into daily conversation. As a result, her autobiography I Am Malala became a best seller, and she eventually received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014. The following quote from her acceptance speech has also been lauded as one of the most influential examples of feminism today: ‘I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education... I’m not raising my voice, it is the voice of those 66 million girls.’
Malala’s contribution has also shown that, above all else, the internet has allowed individuals of any age, gender or nationality to have an influential role in feminism. Feminism, with all of its controversies and accomplishments, is a movement that is gaining momentum. Though celebrities like Emma Watson and Beyonce are well liked as the famous faces of this movement, it is often the actions done everyday by ordinary citizens online that help make a difference. The rise of social media, which has helped fuel globalisation, has allowed both men and women to discuss their opinions, beliefs and thoughts on feminism with one another – to both feminists and non-feminists alike. In a way, social media has provided an outlet for communication, which is a necessary part of any societal change. Therefore, because of the internet, the ‘fourth wave’ of feminism was born, and unlike ever before everyone has the opportunity to join a community or a forum to discuss the feminism movement, regardless of their gender, age or location.
Therefore, Malala, both in Pakistan and throughout the world, has shed light on the effects that ideas, words and, particularly, feminism can have on society – how all these can influence people throughout the world.
ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
Theory of Evolution Beauty and Body Image Edition written by Ni c o l e A nd o r a illustrated by R EG I NA C H A ND R A
Beauty and its ideal is an ever-changing issue. Plenty are dissatisfied with their looks and the beauty depicted by the media has become further away from reality. Adding to that, photoshopped pictures of already-slim models and celebrities make people further question their own qualities.
The Gibson Girl
The ideal body: slender and tall with voluptuous bust and wide hips. Think of an hourglass figure with small and cinched waist.
The ideal body: boyish and androgynous with minimal breasts, a straight figure with no corseting and shorter hair. Being feminine was no longer ‘in’.
Self-appreciation is rare nowadays as the world we know now forces us to conform to a distorted reality of biased ideals. The truth is that ideal beauty keeps changing over time. The body image of our evolving society has culminated in a series of evolution.
The ideal body: feminine and curvaceous look. Women now avoided and were discouraged to possess too-skinny look, unlike in the 20s. Legs were prized; slender legs were fashionable.
To achieve this ideal, women turned to corseting to significantly reduce their torso and waist size. Makeup is limited to rouge, white powder and a dab of eye makeup. Innocent and tranquil look is considered the ideal beauty.
Larger busts were frowned upon, and bras were tightened to flatten the chest.
Natural waist was shown through style of clothing. Clothes were tailored to highlight shoulder width and body contours.
Women were encouraged to stay indoors to avoid the sun thus maintaining their pale and blemish-free skin.
Time capsule star: Camille Clifford and Evelyn Nesbit.
Time capsule item: lace-tied corset and girdles.
Here is an era-by-era walk through of beauty and body image evolution over time
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Teenage and young girls were scantily clad (in comparison to the Victorian era). Flaunting of knees, arms and legs was a • common occurrence.
Skirts were longer and simple jackets were everywhere. Practicality was dominant in women’s attire.
Trending fashion was loose dresses and skirts with a straight form that gave no hint of curves.
Pin-up girls were all the rage; therefore, a voluptuous body shape was desired.
Dark eye makeup, blush and substantial lips were a must.
Time capsule star: Louise Brooks.
Celebrities had a much more attainable body image. American woman had an average BMI of 23.6 while celebrities ranged from 18.5 (Barbara Stanwyck) to 20.3 (Lena Horne).
Time capsule item: red and dark rouges.
Time capsule star: Greta Garbo and Betty Grable.
Time capsule item: A-line skirts and fedora hats.
ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
Thin is In
The ideal body: full-figured shape remained in the post-war period. Busty and voluptuous hourglass figure was prized.
The ideal body: a toned but not-over-muscular body.
• Makeup products were marketed more publicly. Other than an overall well-composed appearance, a flawless skin was now expected. • Hairstyles were flamboyant and in an experimental stage. Hair products along with the trend of perming, setting, styling • and spraying were becoming all the rage.
There was an emphasis on fitness during this decade. Aerobic and exercise videos became a widespread trend; diet was no longer the only way to achieve a ‘perfect’ figure.
Popular fashion attire included headbands and stretchy materials such as spandex skirts and tights. Attire in vivid and bright colors was a trademark during the 80s.
Women had an average BMI of 25 while celebrities’ ranged from 17.6 (Cheryl Tiegs) to 20.4 (Bo Derek).
Time capsule star: Cindy Crawford, Madonna, Venus and Serena Williams.
Time capsule item: control top pantyhose.
Average American women’s BMI remained stable at 23.6 although still above those of celebrities, which ranged from 18.8 (Shirley MacLaine) to 20.5 (Elizabeth Taylor).
Time capsule star: Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.
Time capsule item: Television, Pop-art.
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The ideal body: curves remained favoured until this period although thin and androgynous were back in trend again. Models such as Twiggy started a trend of slight frame, minimal chest, short hair and boyish look. Most actresses still retained the full-figured look although trends started to give way to a thinner frame figure. Average women’s BMI rose to 25.6; stretching the gap further from celebrities’ that ranged from 17.6 (Soledad Miranda) to 20.4 (Jessica Lange).
Time capsule star: Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn.
Time capsule item: little black dress.
The ideal body: Twiggy-like thin figure dominated the 70s and it started to spread negative impact on women’s health and eating habits. This decade saw the rise of diet pills. Anorexia nervosa received much mainstream coverage along with crash diets and dangerous eating habits.
Makeup is minimal to achieve a more natural look. To accommodate the trend, makeup products were diversified.
Layered long hair becomes sought after and was styled in big waves.
Average women’s BMI remained relatively steady at 24.9 however still a far cry from celebrities’ that ranged from 18 (Morgan Fairlchild) to 20.5 (Joni Mitchell).
Time capsule star: Farah Fawcett and Brooke Shields.
Time capsule item: one-piece swimsuits.
ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
We need to remember that every image of beauty presented by the media is retouched. Do not confuse the body as an advertising medium with the body we see on the streets aka the ‘real, unedited body’ – no photoshop, just the real deal.
Heroin Chic •
The ideal body: a thin body yet with large breasts (as depicted by Pamela Anderson in Baywatch). On the other hand, high-end fashion emphasized more on a waif look: a thin, bony appearance with sunken cheeks and slight frame – hence the term Heroin Chic.
The shrinking body and supermodels comeback •
• Pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes and angular bone structure were some of the characteristics of the so-called Heroin Chic. • Weight control methods were marketed worldwide with the increasing usage of diet pills and tobacco as appetite suppressant.
Women had an average BMI of 26.3, which contrasted with celebrities’ that ranged from 17.5 (Tara Reid) to 19.6 (Penelope Cruz). Time capsule star: Kate Moss.
Time capsule item: Barbie doll.
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The situation was more dire than ever: women with an average BMI of 27.5 was left to compare their bodies to celebrities with BMI ranging from 17.2 (Keira Knightley) to 19.5 (Natalie Portman). Models are becoming thinner and thinner, especially in comparison to women in general. However – as the heroin chic trend from the 90s faded over time – a new era of supermodels with the likes of Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima started paving its way for another decade similar to the 80s. Strong and sexy are becoming in again. The late 2010s has seen the increasing demand to look fit, with toned muscles but not overly bulky. Hitting the gym is no longer something to be ashamed of; instead it is considered a part of a prestigious healthy lifestyle. Fitspiration (combination of fit and inspiration) becomes a trending topic in most health advocate sites and social media.
From the previous lists, we can see that body ideals for women has fluctuated through time, with stick-thin or voluptuous figures being valued differently at different times. However, in recent decades, these two conflicting body images have merged into a modern conviction of what is considered beautiful: an unhealthily thin and bony frame, combined with a substantial bust. Moreover, the gap between the size and shape of models with average women has also continued to widen. The average BMI of women has increased throughout the years, while those of models have remained significantly below the average. Some of these models even have BMI of a mere 15 or 16, where they can be considered clinically underweight. Ultimately, all of these result in the image of beauty depicted by the media simply impossible to achieve (and potentially unhealthy if it is actually achieved). Under the increasing pressure from society to aspire to this ideal beauty, many women are becoming highly self-conscious and in turn having low self-esteem. They are slowly losing confidence and love towards their own body. But perhaps in all this we forget that beauty comes in a myriad of size, shapes, and shades. There is no exact definition of beauty.
None of those questions have an absolute answer. In fact, it is not a matter of yes and no, but it is concerning one’s perception of ideal beauty. Ours have surely been altered by the media, but we sometimes fail to recognise it, as Anne Bolin said: I think it would be nice if hating the way you look weren’t so good for the economy. […] We know, too, that women in ads, knockouts to start with, are artificially perfected beyond human emulation. We know, but we forget. To sum this all up, we need to remember that every image of beauty presented by the media is retouched. Do not confuse the body as an advertising medium with the body we see on the streets aka the ‘real, unedited body’ – no photoshop, just the real deal. Lastly, by changing the way we see beauty and encouraging a positive self-image, we can learn to appreciate and be satisfied with our body. Our body is our temple, and this saying is true to every syllable. Love who you are, take good care of your body. Whether we fit in with the ideal beauty of our time or not, we are beautiful. Don’t ever let anyone judge your beauty from the size of your clothes, or your self-worth from the shade of your skin.
What is beauty? Is being thin and waif-like beautiful? Does being a size 16 and up less beautiful than a size 8 and below?
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THIS IS (NOT)
A FEMINIST FREAK-OUT
MARY ANUGRAH RASITA
I’m sitting here in the cold winter, writing a project on transforming social norms within Syrian refugee communities who marry off their daughters in an attempt to have ‘less mouths to feed’. Since the Syrian uprising that erupted in 2011, millions of Syrians have been displaced across the Middle East region, with many of them ended up settling in refugee camps. Imagine thus a situation where economic uncertainties are trickling, combined with strong patriarchal values. Child marriage is the answer. The UN Report stated that child marriage prevalence is at its highest in the world’s poorest countries, from Sub-Saharan Africa, to the Middle East, to South Asia. This is just one of the many issues lying at the heart of discussion on women empowerment; it serves as a hindrance to development, creating further cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and domestic abuse. The project requires me to communicate development - a product of time and space evolvement - in ways that do not dictate the local values, yet still aims for a social change. How is that even possible?
JESSICA MARGARETA 34
We live in the year 2014 where everything seems to be interconnected. Ideas, information, and mobility can transcend across borders. However, the reality for many people is not the same. The physical boundaries remain as it is, and continuum doesn’t exist for them. In this case, the evolvement of time and space do not translate into their reality, in which theirs remains dictated by the traditionally and physically confined norms and practices. While child marriage, human trafficking and maternal death are at its constant and horrifying state in most developing nations, issues reflecting on women’s oppression also exist in developed countries. Unequal work pay for women is still a debatable issue across countries, with the underlying conception that women practically have at least nine months off work when they get pregnant, something that men cannot be subjected to, obviously. In the political sphere - the major domain of power in society - gender composition of leaders across countries remains at an imbalance as well. Biological differences are clearly of inevitability. However, beyond a mere disparity of numbers per se, a large number of women remain in the subordinate section of society. In this case, the problem lies in how these ‘inevitable biological’ differences have been used as a domain for power-relations, rendering one more powerful than the other.
How many more decades will it take until we no longer have to pay fortunes to A-list stars like Emma Watson or Beyonce to beg justice for human beings who are born with uterus? A. MALALA
UN Photo/Mark graten on flickr, licensed under creative commons (2.0)
B. MTV VMA AWARDS 2014
GETTY IMAGES/MICHAEL BUCKNER on Flickr, licensed under creative commons (2.0)
When oppression against women remains (subtly) prevalent around the globe, it is interesting how different forms of oppression take place in varying levels of society, from one that could quickly incite public outrage, to one that people would not even slightly notice. Thanks to the media that carefully curates instances of oppression to women, they have become hard to recognise. Let me draw this analysis on the new Indonesia’s Maritime and Fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, who has certainly been taking up many pages of news outlets in Indonesia. Boy is she something? Such symbol of liberation with her straight-up ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude, inked with a tattoo on her leg, while holding onto her cigarette as if she is the real-life ‘Marlboro Man’. Clearly I don’t have to explain how the media quickly jumped to be in her presence all day and night, with some focusing (or criticising) merely on her outer appearance, and also the fact that she is only a secondary school graduate. What many people quickly overlook is how the media, or the public, unfairly and unabashedly treated her not as a politician, but rather as a woman. Remind me if I’m wrong, but when did the media ever bother to dedicate some lines in their story on a cigarette-smoking male politician? Never;
and do and do not for a second argue that there aren’t plenty of male politicians who can be seen smoking in public. Has the media ever been concerned about a male politician who is tattooed and has been married twice? Not in my lifetime. In fact, they would rather accept it as it is, because a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, right? Consequently, this is the way society treats women who do not act or look according to the constructed social mold, crafted by prejudice and injustice. Hence, we allow ourselves to willingly embrace this attitude - that if a woman who is socially visible in public does not conform to the social construct that has long been subjected for women - then that woman is an outlier, and she needs to be scrutinised. What is even more terrifying is that the media and the people allow this to take place, glorifying and basking in the unfair attitudes towards women, especially those who are in power, and I am not going to draw on the case of Julia Gillard, the former first ever unmarried female Australian prime minister, whose body was linked to the quail small breasts of Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Liberal National Party dinner. It is easy to point out on how this is simply how society works, and nothing can be done to change that. Essentially, equality is very much long overdue. In the case of women empowerment, we are moving forward
to the time where more access and chances are given to women, and quantity does speak volumes. Yet at the same time, we are not there yet. We are still not all-embracing, and we still fall back to the attitude that allows oppressing nature to take place, both consciously and unconsciously, from child marriage, to cat-calling, to ‘deviant women’ bashing on the media. You are now probably asking me back in your mind with this common cynical remark on any writings about women empowerment, ‘Well done. You have identified a problem that had been identified a million times. Now what is your solution?’ I have to regret that I have no answer to that, but I have one for this: How many more decades will it take until we no longer have to pay fortunes to A-list stars like Emma Watson or Beyonce to beg justice for human beings who are born with uterus? The numbers are endless. Unless we all have the courage to speak up and stand up for justice and equality, for the day we shall equally see each other as part of the human race, not as part of our own socially constructed boxes.
the upside of irrationality
the premise of the book is simple: as intelligent as we think we are, humans are not creatures of pure reasoning
The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home Review by Audi Tri Harsono
There’s nobody in this world that is more interested in your behavior other than yourself. Well, except those from market research companies, probably. Social scientists and the business industry have been studying human behavior for quite some time. What drives our shopping patterns? Does money motivate us to work harder? Why do we love IKEA so much? These questions are the typically asked in the field of behavioral economics, and are the main focus of the book ‘The Upside of Irrationality’ by Dan Ariely. The premise of the book is simple: as intelligent as we think we are, humans are not creatures of pure reasoning. A lot of our decisionmaking process is not as logical as we assume it would be. Our decision-making process is ‘flawed’ from a logical point of view. Why else would we procrastinate our assignments, if we know that cramming right before the deadline would kick our butts? This book explains in detail about those irrationalities, and how we can benefit from them.
Author: Dan Ariely Publisher: New York, NY: Harper, 2010. Pages (paperback): 368 Language: English
The book is filled with case studies from Ariely and his team’s research findings. One particular case that grabbed my attention was when Ariely describes something called the ‘Identifiable Victim Effect’. In one study, participants are given $5 that they could choose to donate to people in a country with food shortages. The participants are divided into three groups: the first group were told that the donation would be given to a specific girl (‘Maria’) whose photos and biography is shown, the second group were given the statistics about the poor country
the girl is from (there are millions of people suffering from food shortage), while the third group were given both the girl’s photo and the country statistics. It turns out that people from the first group (photo + biography) gave twice as much compared those from the second group (statistics). Even more shocking, the amount of money from the third group was between the first and the second group. It seems that cold facts (in this case: statistics) hinder our compassion, while individual suffering (in the form of photograph and biography of a specific girl) increases our compassion. Apparently this identifiable victim effect is already well known, and has been used as charity foundations’ tactics to generate aid from the public. (Note: knowing this fact, please don’t get discouraged to donate to a charity of your choice - famine kills Maria and her siblings, you know). Although the book will be very interesting for people who study social sciences, Ariely’s writing skills are more than adequate to captivate a non-social sciences reader. At the end of the book, Ariely summarises the irrationalities that paint our everyday decisions, which can serve as a lesson to be brought to our home and workplace. Quoting from the book itself: ‘If on one end of spectrum we put Mr. Spock from Star Trek, while at the other end we have Homer Simpson, we would most likely fall closer to Homer’. This fact shouldn’t make us feel down, though. Rather, only by acknowledging our irrationalities, we can make the necessary changes to help us make better decisions. This is what the book offers, and it would be really irrational for you to not take it.
ISOLATION: THE OTHER SIDE
WRITTEN BY PHOTO BY
Alexandra And r ean a JESSICA MARG AR ET A One of the biggest misconceptions of society today is the concept of isolation equaling loneliness, emptiness, monochromes or even depression. I don’t blame you for having such impressions; it may appear that way if you don’t look closely enough. Standing from a viewpoint of an introvert, one that cherishes alone-time every now and then, you’ll be welcomed into a whole new blissful, empowering, and colourful world of isolation. This piece will hopefully shed a different light to society’s existing misconception of isolation. Often, shivers run down people’s backs when they hear the word isolation. Isolation equals loneliness, so they say. I came across a quote that has been stuck with me for a while now. It’s from a book written by Macrina Widerkehr, and it reads: ‘If you’re hungry for growth, spend time with your loneliness.’ Though it caught my unwitting attention at first, it made no sense whatsoever. However, after a while of pondering, it hit me.
One of the biggest misconceptions of the society is the idea of isolation. It’s when people think of it as being locked up with the mind caged. It’s actually, and always has been, the other way around.
Of course the writer didn’t mean ‘loneliness’ in a depressive way, she meant it as being alone – you know, forgetting the rest of the world for a fraction of time and just focus on yourself. She simply meant that if you’re fearful of being on your own, you’re missing out on one of the essentials to grow. You see, I think being ‘alone’ is a pretty good place to discover and re-discover yourself. You’re being given the room, the luxury of time, and the lavishness of space to indulge in retrospection and introspection. Through these processes, you’ll realise many things about the world, about your day, and more often than not, about yourself, which you tend to often miss in the middle of all the hullabaloos. Now, I’d never go anywhere without remembering that sentence. It empowers me in the way love empowers people. It makes me fearless. For me, isolation equals sanity break. And by that I mean, believe it or not, being free. In this day and age, solitude or just a brief moment of silence is like a rare gem. We are always clustered, buried, and trapped in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that sometimes even finding the time to breathe seems to be such a hard thing to do. In the same way, our minds are given no time and space to catch a breath and unwind.
Do you know that in psychology, over-exhaustion, or simply lack of sanity breaks, is one of the main causes for mental breakdowns?
andyan nandiward hana
Think of isolation as being on your own in peace, in your own time, in your own space. To me, that luxury, that freedom, is even more precious than gold. Truth be told, your mind has been working like a busy, well-oiled machine. You desperately owe it freedom to do what it does best - wonder. Have a time-out. Be outside of time for a bit. Be free. Another misconception about isolation is that it’s deemed to be boring, bland, and unadventurous. As for me, I think it’s the other way around – isolation is synonymous with being adventurous. Believe it or not, the little laneways of Melbourne city actually facilitate isolation. In this busy city, you might ask? Yes. Those little laneways just make it extremely easy for you to get lost and immerse yourself in the wonder that is this beautiful city, and by doing so, allow you to plunge into your own thoughts and just be free. Isolation means getting lost, getting lost in your thoughts as well as in the wonders and beauty around you. It means being adventurous. Isolation means not missing out on life.
If you’re hungry for growth, spend time with your loneliness.
Take this for example: One of my favourite laneways here in Melbourne is the one on Flinders street, just beside the Spanish restaurant, the one painted full with graffiti. It’s one of the most sought-after laneways here, both for tourists and locals. The first time I went to that lane was with a bunch of friends for an impromptu photoshoot. The photos were stunning - the graffiti really made a perfect backdrop. I was alone the next time I came back to the same laneway. Only then did I realise how special the graffiti walls were. I never realised that that bit over there is blue, and that bit is green, and that other bit at the far end is a mixture of red and yellow. How did I miss paying attention to those colours? What I’m trying to say is, sometimes when you’re isolated and alone, you start seeing things for what they are – the main object of the picture, not just a mere backdrop. It makes me ask these questions: How many main objects in life have you treated as a mere backdrop? How many things in life have you missed out? One of the biggest misconceptions of society is the idea that isolation is similar to being locked up with the mind caged. It’s actually, and always has been, the other way around.
ENJOYING THE SUNSETS OF LIFE written by
S t ev an i S u s an t o
In the first year of university, I was perplexed at the abstractness of my first ever psychology assignment. We were supposed to watch the sunset and write an essay about the experience. At first I thought of grabbing images of sunsets off Google, in an attempt to skip the sunset-watching bit and save time for more procrastination. However, after much persuasion my friend finally convinced me to go to St. Kilda beach with her, just to ‘have fun while we’re doing the assignment,’ so she said. How was watching the sunset while taking notes supposed to be fun? How in the world was I supposed to come up with a thousand words to write about a single sunset? I was dumbfounded.
Watching the sunset and just sitting still while observing the sky and the horizon had a magically calming effect.
It was an exercise in observing, thinking and communicating. At first, it felt silly just sitting by the breakwater waiting for the sunset. Distractions were everywhere. The chatter of strangers nearby, the cold wind, and even the birds distracted me. When the sun started setting, we took pictures every few minutes to document the experience. Strangely, my interest in this exercise grew with every picture taken, and the distractions dissipated along the way. My focus narrowed on the sunset and suddenly I felt like a thousand words won’t be enough to write about it.
Every time I feel burnt out from the seemingly endless pile of assignments, I would always go outside and watch the sunset. I look forward to the time of the day where I could just sit at my balcony, or go for a walk at the park to take a break and observe the surrounding as the light of the day descended into the horizon. I’d detach myself from stress, letting the vestiges of worry and anxiety float away with the clouds, and just be present. Often I get lost in my web of thoughts while watching Mother Nature’s majestic closing of the day.
Subsequently, I went to watch the sunset by myself – at the park, the Docklands pier, or the balcony of my house. There’s just something about the beauty of sunsets that makes it so hypnotic and addictive. Maybe it is the indescribable sense of awe, or the way it leaves me in a transcendent state of mind; I’m undecided. Many poets, writers, and artists have tried to capture this beauty through words and paintings, but there is really nothing quite like feeling and living through the experience itself.
A. top sunset
adela r. saputra
B. sunset at dock
reagan kurniadwiputra susanto
We get so busy and distracted with our lives that we often take these moments for granted, or even let it pass by without realising it. The sunset is just an example of such moments. c. setting sun
ireina karyn legoh
Here are some lessons I’ve gathered from my sunset-watching experience: *
You may not have another chance to relive the same day, but you have tomorrow to try again.
The minute changes in the hues of the sky, the clouds, and the surrounding reminds me of the constant changes in our lives. These changes may be tiny, but they accumulate over time and in a blink of an eye bring an altogether different scene. The sky may look the same, but in reality, it’s different. Only after a minute or two would you be able to notice the change. When we reflect this back to our own lives, sometimes we don’t notice how we have changed: physically, emotionally, and spiritually, until someone pointed it out to us or until the change becomes significant enough that we realised it ourselves. Ultimately, we’ll realise that change is inevitable. It could be good, bad, or both. Since we can’t avoid it anyway, might as well embrace it.
busy and distracted with our lives that we often take these moments for granted, or even let it pass by without realising. The sunset is just an example of such moments. I’m sure you’ve been to a get-together or a dinner whereby everyone at the table is busy with their phones. Or maybe a bigger example would be when a parent missed their child’s milestones because they are caught up with work. You know what I mean. * The highs in life may be replaced by the lows, but we won’t learn and grow to reach new heights if there are no lows to teach us some lessons. Somehow the sunset is a perfect reminder of this every time I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom. The light of the day may be slowly being replaced by darkness of the night, but in that darkness there is another kind of beauty. The sun goes down, and the stars come out.
stefanny gabriella gunawan
In a way, every sunset also serves as a reminder to move on. The finality that comes with sunsets often stop me from dwelling on the ‘should have’s’ or ‘what if’s’. There’s no going back in time time to undo whatever mistakes you’ve made, to replay the good times, or to rewind the moments you’ve missed. Think of every single day as a chapter of a book, and the sunset as the concluding sentence of that chapter. You can’t start the next chapter of if you keep re-reading the last. You may not have another chance to relive the same day, but you have tomorrow to try again. * Life’s a beach, but you know at the end of the day there will always be a sunset waiting to be watched. So why not enjoy it while it lasts?
* * Beautiful moments are ephemeral. Every minute of that sunset is precious. Look away for a while and you may miss the last rays of sun hitting the horizon, you’ll never get the same magnificent sight back. We get so
MORPHING REALITY Our perception of reality will be changed and challenged with the advancement of technologies. An exciting look into the future, and advancements.
WRITTEN BY ILLUSTRATED BY
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Allan Tanoemarga AURENIA KARISA
ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
Remember that time when you talked so nonchalantly with people online, but ended up being super-awkward when you met them in person?
The technology is here to stay and get improved. It can and will change our perception of reality, and perhaps eventually, render our current physical world meaningless.
The physical world around you is fading away. The coffee you sip. The landscape you see. The person you touch. A few decades from now, all of them might as well no longer exist – replaced by unprecedented entities or matter.
in terms of their application to the augmentation of the physical products or services being offered. For instance, in the travel industry, the global hotel chain Marriott launched an experimental project in September 2014 called #GetTeleported. The project allowed travellers to enter a booth that teleports them to various holiday destinations using the VR goggles, providing them with a close-to-real travel experience. A more controversial example comes from the porn industry, where many pornographers are starting to develop VR porn for the Rift. Using 3D-scanning technology, many have managed to create realistic nudity in the virtual world, although they’re still aiming at integrating more interactivity onto the platform, possibly with the help of data-transmitting adult toys.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating. Consider this: how many hours do you spend each day staring at your phone or computer screen nowadays? Three to four hours… or even more? Have you ever noticed that the digital, fabricated world is blurring the physical world around you? This is the reality we live in right now. It’s an intricate mesh of the physical and digital worlds, with the latter slowly overriding the former. What is considered digital is becoming more real and vivid to us with each passing day, as we are relying more and more on technology to get on with our lives. On the other hand, the physical world is growing pale and distant before our eyes, and we are starting to lose sight of all its colours. (Remember that time when you talked so nonchalantly with people online, but ended up being super awkward when you met them in person?) Bearing all this in mind, it is hard not to believe that the way we see reality has been gradually altered by technology. What is real does not seem to be so obvious anymore. The Greek philosopher Parmenides might have claimed that ‘reality is unchanging’, but he might actually be wrong after all.
With the rapid growth of technology, our reality – or at least our perception of it – is set for further change, since developments in technology (as well as our desire to play god, perhaps) have finally led to the development of virtual reality (VR), hinting at the possibility of escaping the constraints of time and space – the very definition of the physical world. If you’re at least as old as I am, you might remember that the excitement surrounding VR first began in early 1990s, although it quickly waned, mostly due to technological limitations. In the past few years, the same interest has suddenly re-emerged, possibly because we are now equipped with better technology, and also because we are increasingly shifting our attention to the digital world.
Indeed, VR technology is still in its infancy; we are not yet able to bend the laws of physics and travel to Paris without leaving our beds, or have consensual intimate relationships with others miles away in other parts of the world. But, in my opinion, the technology is here to stay and get continuously improved. It can and will change our perceptions of reality, and perhaps, eventually render our current physical world meaningless.
The development of VR has been going on in many areas, most notably in the gaming industry, where it all started. In 2012, a 20-year-old Palmer Luckey created the prototype of the world-famous Oculus Rift, VR goggles which allow gamers to enter and explore a simulated world. With this device, fans of Seinfeld, for instance, would have the opportunity to check out Jerry’s apartment, whereas horror enthusiasts could enjoy the thrill of wandering through a haunted asylum. The possibilities are endless; every imaginable fantasy can be brought to life, becoming a reality for these gamers to stay in. The latest VR technology (especially Oculus Rift) has also found its uses in many other industries, although, to be fair, they remain limited
Based on the amount of time we spend staring into the digital world nowadays, the shift itself may have already begun. We might even have put one of our feet in either the digital or virtual realm, although I assume it would take a while before we truly depart the physical world, if we ever will. For now, stop reading this article and get back to the reality - your reality.
adrian siaril 50
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PRESENT WRITTEN BY
ALYSSA MATINDAS photo provided by
death to the stock photo [licensed by photograph end user license]
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There is a haunting beauty in these forgotten items, which manages to endure the rapid change of our vast media culture.
Film cameras, cassettes, and vinyl records are slowly making a comeback in this modern day. With all the digital innovation and discoveries this past decade, it’s quite interesting to see how these old-fashioned mechanical devices are trending again. It looks like our society is creating a paradox by making vintage culture somewhat modern again. This comeback seems understandable; there is a haunting beauty in these forgotten items, which manages to endure the rapid change of our vast media culture. Take a film camera, for instance. Nowadays, people all over the world are interconnected through the internet, which resulted in them wanting to share things such as pictures instantly. This instant sharing evidently can’t be done when using a film camera, as people have to have patience since the process might take quite some time. What’s also appealing is how photographing on film cameras forces you to focus more on how you’re composing your shot and when to capture the perfect moment, rather than on the act of showing the results to public. Furthermore, we have to acknowledge that precious machinery such as the classic 35mm film camera deserves to be preserved in our culture, since there’s something so timeless about it. We don’t have to (and we can’t) delete the bad, aib pictures because there’s no way of knowing until the roll of film has been processed. And even after it’s been processed, we just have to accept the result for what it is. In a way then, a real, ‘human’ moment is like taking a picture with a film camera. There’s no going back and repeating past mistakes.
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There’s no going back and repeating the same moment. We just have to accept it for what it is (or as we say in Indonesian, terima apa adanya). For these values, I believe it would thus be unmerited to simply call vintage items ‘recycled products’. If I may digress, I have my own reasons why I hold vintage items so dearly. It may be because I know that the old film camera my grandfather gave me has been with my family for years – they’ve never been able to complete their travel album without that Kodak Signet 35. I know that I’d be capturing lots of real, human moments and memories with that camera. Or maybe it’s also because I vividly remember a moment watching Back to the Future (all three series) on laser discs with my dad when I was little. So there is in fact something we can learn from this modern-vintage trend. It is not necessarily a gaptek thing to go old school by preferring vintage to digital. There’s something so fascinating about how these precious pieces of machinery have lasted over decades. So I guess in some ways, we are unchanging as time goes on. We always want to hold on to memories and moments that we hold closely to our hearts, for us to be able to look back and reminisce one day. Therefore even though time has changed, the impeccable quality that vintage items such as film cameras hold does make it worth preserving. all photos provided by
death to the stock photo [licensed by photograph end user license] ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
CONTINUING THE LEGACY OF PRODUKSI FILM NEGARA (pfn) WRITTEN BY PHOTO BY
KH EVLY N SUNAR JO florian klauer VIA UNSPLASH
On 10 December 2014, I was invited by my high school teacher and film producer Meiske Taurisia to attend a film event called ‘Aneka Ria Sinema’ at Produksi Film Negara (PFN) Jakarta. Since I was not familiar with the venue, it took me a while to find the place as it was hidden from the main roads of busy and bustling East Jakarta. When I entered the vast area of the compound, I saw a lot of run-down buildings. There I spotted directions to the event that is held in one of the worn-out buildings at the back. I was getting even more excited as I wondered whether I had made it to the right place. I did not get lost after all. I arrived in what was an interesting space: dark, cold, mouldy and spacious, with a lot of unfamiliar and rusty paraphernalia. It was clearly a gem that I had never known to exist in Jakarta. Surrounded by all this, my excitement was high as I waited for the series of lectures, panel discussions as well as movie screenings of Tokyo Story (1953) by Yasujiro Ozu and The Look of Silence (or Senyap) (2014) by Joshua Oppenheimer. Apart from myself, in attendance were small groups of local and international filmmakers, archivists, enthusiasts and personalities from related
History is a part of life’s learning curve and PFN is a microcosm of Indonesian culture and history.
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organizations who supported the events. I was thus very eager to sit, watch, listen, and participate in the discussion. The first panel was an introduction to the institution and the site by Shelvy Arifin, the Director of PFN. Her talk detailed PFN’s colourful journey which first started in 1934 as an independent film production company. During the Japanese occupation, PFN’s function changed to become a war tool – an institution to produce Japanese propaganda and to support their war interests. Later on during the era of Independence, the newly formed Indonesian state took over the institution, transforming it into visual news production facility. PFN then evolved into the state’s film production company in 1975 to further the state’s interests in the New Order era. During this period, PFN produced several well-known shows and films such as Si Unyil, a much-loved puppet doll series for children, and Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI, a 1984 docudrama that depicts the horrifying events of the Communist revolts of 1965.
Arifin explained to the attendees that PFN had clearly left these glory days behind. She enlightened us that we were all sitting inside what was formerly a film laboratory. The buildings in the PFN compound are in a derelict state. It was clear that they had not been maintained properly, perhaps due to a lack of funding. After addressing the problem at hands, Arifin then presented us with a grand plan for the new PFN. It appeared to be really good on paper, as it displays her responsibility to fix this dying institution. The plan included building a skyscraper for office spaces, which were to be leased to the public and filmmakers; demolishing a few derelict buildings including the film laboratory that we were sitting in; and rebuilding a few studios in the vast area of the compound. She was initially really confident in revealing this plan as she was perceivably trying to gather support from the people in the film industry. However, this confidence began to crumble when the discussion turned heated, especially since she did not seem to be very prepared for heavy criticism and questions regarding the demolition of the precious and historical film laboratory. In reply, she told us that it was necessary to make space for other buildings that would be more functional in the future than the preservation of historical buildings. She believed that this action would be much needed, as PFN is not a state-funded organization and it is her responsibility to make profits for the company.
Her attempt to save the company from its currently dire condition was noble, yet her plan was merely to save the balance sheets and to continue what has been left behind. One of the audience members, filmmaker Prima Rusdi, commented harshly and took on a role of devil’s advocate to Arifin’s plan. She made a very interesting remark that such plans were delirious; Arifin should have had knowledge of the obstacles and the challenges ahead of her, as most grand plans have rarely been realised in this country. Arifin took the criticism diplomatically and told us that it was not a solid plan yet and there is room for discussion. She also remarked that her plans depended on the new government’s administration. However, the attendees, myself included, were not really content with her plan to sacrifice a historical space in order to profit from it and move on from the current situation. I understood that there should always be concessions made to move forward, yet respect for history should be very well maintained. Because to move forward, we need to look a few steps back. The event then continued with a tour of the building by Edwin, an acclaimed independent movie director. Edwin showed us various movie vaults in the building where they have facilities for decades, which were also in dire condition. Most of the precious rolls of cellulose acetate films were in a horrible state; they were decaying, and as a result they produced a pungent odour – a condition which is commonly known as the vinegar syndrome.
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The screening of Senyap at PFN is a reminder that we live in a different time, and a better time.
After the tour, the attendees turned their attention to the movie screenings for both Tokyo Story, a movie about elderly couple visiting their children at Tokyo, and The Look of Silence (or Senyap), which attempted to reveal the truth after the G30S/PKI incidents. A discussion session for each movie followed thereafter, with those in attendance conferring about various topics ranging from the importance and challenges of preserving films for future generations to personal stories related to the movies. It was indeed a memorable occasion to see personalities from different groups and eras conversing under one roof, under one historical building of PFN.
A. PHOTO BY jennifer trovato via unsplash
B. photo BY
My day at PFN finally came to an end. What I had seen before me is hence a reminder that we live in a different time, and a better time. History is a part of life’s learning curve and PFN is a microcosm of Indonesian culture and history. Therefore, it is essential to preserve a piece of history, and to continue on with the legacy no matter how ugly or shameful the past is; because without history, there will be no future.
PS: Aneka Ria Sinema is an event of collaborative film exchange program supported by KOLEKTIF, Documentary Dream Centre and Eiganabe Independent Cinema Guild (Japan) held in Jogjakarta on 6-8 December 2014 and Jakarta on 9-10 December 2014. Organized by Meiske Taurisia, Adrian Pasaribu and Sari Mochtan with Guest Speakers from Japan and Thailand: Asako Fujioka (Eiganabe Independent Cinema Guild), Kae Ishihara (Film Preservation Society Japan), Takehiro Sakai (Nagoya Sinematheque), Koji Fukada (Film Director of ‘Hospitalité’) and Chalida Uabumrungjit from (Thai Film Archive).
JEFF SHELDON via unsplash
C. photo BY mario calvo via unsplash
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ARTS, EDUCATION AND CULTURE/
written by illustrated by
tiara soeh arto c arissa dea
Youtube is undoubtedly one of my most frequently visited websites since 2007. When I was younger, the premise of Youtube was that it was a free, democratic website where all of its users get to upload, view, and share videos the way they wanted to. I remember going through Nigahiga’s rant and how-to videos which were incredibly famous during that period of time—and going back years later only to see that it was removed from his profile due to copyright issues. During that time, it was completely fine to insert any kind of music inside Youtube videos, but things have changed since Google owned Youtube. These videos, which were supposed to correspond to Youtube’s slogan ‘Broadcast Yourself’, were eventually under the control of several companies. The slogan was retired in 2009, which might illustrate how Youtube isn’t about the users anymore, as its content is now under the control of third-party companies. Fast forward to the present, and we can see how Youtube increasingly advocates capitalism and commodification. As I am subscribed to a huge range
of Youtube channel genres (comedy, cooking, beauty gurus, you name it), I could see how Youtube is increasingly utilised as a medium of consumerism through the process of self-branding. It all started from the partnership program that began in 2007 (which wasn’t that ‘mass marketed’ for all users until Youtube allowed third-party companies to get involved—even I am able to get a partnership with Youtube now) and suddenly, users started uploading videos for the purpose of gaining fame and profit. We could see this through the evolution of Nigahiga’s videos alone. Despite the copyright issues, Ryan initially stayed true to his low-quality comedic videos. However, he later moved to LA in order to study filmmaking in a university. His videos (which still has the same comedic touch) were greatly improved in terms of visual quality, yet has lost that ‘personal touch’ that he once had—his videos become more planned, commercialised, made to fit the ‘market’, so to speak. However, he’s one of the Youtube users that I greatly admire, as I don’t recall him ever altering his video content to cater to the requests of third-party companies.
Yes, that’s right. There are an increasing number of Youtube personalities who have either implicitly or explicitly altered the content of their videos due to sponsorship. Initially, viewers were skeptical to those whose videos were sponsored, but presently they (including myself) have grown quite accustomed to it. This is most evident in the case of beauty gurus, as in many cases they have shown ‘hauls’, ‘lookbooks’ or ‘makeup tutorials’ where the products they used were limited to the brand of the companies that sponsored them.
These Youtube personalities have became a medium of commodification through the aesthetical construction of their self-image and lifestyle
In most (or all) cases, these gurus will provide the links to the products shown on the description box below their videos. I have to say that this is a great marketing scheme, as viewers are more likely to be attracted to the products used by their favorite Youtube personalities as opposed to just viewing them on the pages of an online shopping site. I, for one, have been drawn into this marketing strategy, as I have clicked and bought an item that was worn and styled by a beauty guru that I idolise. Whilst receiving the item in the mail, I realised that I have fallen in the illusive trap of consumerism—wrapped in a nice package emerging from the self-branding of these Youtube personalities. Being sponsored itself shows that these Youtube personalities have focused their attention into producing a celebrity persona instead of their own genuine innate qualities.
…wouldn’t it be unfortunate for us if we define our lives based on materialistic pursuits and the outside world, especially as it changes constantly?
A Smaller World: How Technology is Disrupting the World in South East Asia’s Favour WRITTEN BY PHOTO BY
These Youtube personalities have become a medium of commodification, through the aesthetical construction of their self-image and lifestyle. This has greatly impacted the viewers—as it further stimulates the process for the diversification and shaping up of their ways of life. Viewers are compelled to constantly upskill themselves and reconstruct their image in a certain way—which in this case is to imitate their favorite Youtube personalities. The construction of their identity is thus determined by their choice of commodities and personal tastes—which in its nature acts as a projection of their extrinsic qualities. It might be indisputable that our social context might have some influences to our lives, but I don’t think that life would be as fruitful if our self-improvement depends on these external contexts (which are highly prone to change). If one becomes too engrossed in the media and its attempts to advocate consumerism, the true reality about ourselves might even elude us. It has been happening in various instances—where the media attempts to divert our attention from important and accurate governmental issues. Undoubtedly, our ignorance of these issues could lead to dire consequences. For instance, Fox’s biased influence over Americans led to their negativity towards the Middle East, or the television’s tendency to display a more marketable content such as infotainment.
Michael Reardon BIANCA WINATA
The impact of this might not be immediate for you personally, but maybe we could take a moment and realise how our lives are very much in tune with tangible items and attempts to improve our self-branding (e.g Instagram, Facebook, shopping)—wouldn’t it be unfortunate for us if we define our lives based on materialistic pursuits and the outside world, especially as it changes constantly? Although Youtube has turned into a main source of income for some, it is undeniable that it has become a strong medium for commodification and consumerism in the global village era. The fact that I could become a Youtube partner, that my comments have been replied by some Youtube personalities, that I have been added as a friend on Facebook by a member of my favorite band, that there are video collaborations between users, Youtube personalities, and celebrities, and that people could contact famous celebrities directly through Twitter—indicate that the gap between fans, Youtube personalities, and celebrities have been narrowed, showing that capitalism has become more synonymous in society as time passes. However, although the continuous endorsement of commodification in the media might produce unfavorable outcomes, I’m still optimistic that the media could also produce more virtuous effects to its consumers,which would be positively illustrated by their methods of self-improvement.
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In many ways technology advancement can be very beneficial for businesses. Technology has allowed the surge in employment for SEA, as they are the ‘fresh in the global economic landscape’.
jay wennington VIA UNSPLASH
Change is and has always been the only constant in life, alongside death and taxes. However, with its low tax rates and the improving material health of its vast citizenry, the rapidly developing nations of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) are well positioned to take advantage of the disruptive technological and economic forces which continue to wreak havoc across the globe, whilst creating new opportunities on an unprecedented scale. As the most populous and arguably the most dominant nation of ASEAN, Indonesia holds particular promise in this brave new economic order as the nation has all the right ingredients necessary to become the superpower of South East Asia. If it plays its cards right, ASEAN with Indonesia as its leader could soon be an indispensable player in global affairs, as the world enters a new continuum where speed, flexibility and productivity are power and the nexus between population and economic might is re-established once again. The West: Fat, Bloated & Broke The world economy is finally emerging from the wreckage of the 200809 GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and the punishing recessions that followed in almost every developed nation. China continues its rapid expansion, although at a less frenetic pace, whilst the key advanced economies of the United States and United Kingdom have enjoyed
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a rebound in growth and decreasing unemployment rates since early 2013. Nevertheless, the Eurozone itself is still a mess and growth aside. Indeed, the United States and United Kingdom share a few stubborn ailments with their Continental cousins. These include yawning budget deficits and eye-watering levels of public debt which future generations of taxpayers will be forced to service like a recalcitrant mortgage that keeps going up rather than down. After years of living outside their means and funding excessive entitlements from the proceeds of buoyant times gone past, many nations of the West have reached the point where the revenue from taxpayers who work is not enough to supplement the lifestyles of those who are unemployed. This includes Australia to a lesser extent. Add to the mix rigid labour laws growing mountains of red-tape which stifles almost any commercial endeavour and political systems increasingly prone to gridlocked minority governments and you have the perfect recipe for stagnation in a world which demands speed and flexibility. While the West wallows in the dysfunction of its fat, bloated and broken economic model, in contrary, the East and especially South East Asia continues to move ahead.
The East: Lean, Mean & Hungry Moving our focus towards South East Asia and specifically its largest economy – Indonesia, a much more favourable picture emerges. The nine developing markets of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the developed market of Singapore which collectively form ASEAN represents almost ten per cent of the world’s population and would be the world’s seventh largest economy if it were a single entity. With low costs, low tax rates and consistently high GDP growth above five per cent per annum, its member states are attractive to foreign investors seeking to maximise returns, whilst their large populations dovetail with strong growth to produce vast economies-of-scale and the emergence of an affluent middle class – which further strengthens social stability and GDP growth in a virtuous circle. Technology is allowing routine positions in call centres, IT helpdesks and manufacturing assembly lines to be outsourced from developed markets to lower-cost overseas locations. In this particular industry, ASEAN nations and the Indian subcontinent taking the lion’s share of these lost jobs from the West, thus increasing their own participation levels. Meanwhile, the great disruptive technological revolution of our lifetime, the Internet, continues to exponentially increase the productive capacity of any individual with a high-speed connection.
Taken together, these changes have the potential to break the prevailing orthodoxy since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century and re-assert the connection between population and GDP. If this long expected economic re-ordering were to occur, Indonesia, home to the world’s 4th largest population would be a huge beneficiary. Conclusion Whilst the West rested on its laurels and grew bloated and indebted off the spoils of its past prosperity, the nations of South East Asia, once poor and powerless just a generation ago grew increasingly hungry for the political respect and material success taken for granted by their wealthy peers. Combined with a classic ‘Confucian work ethic’ which places education, effort, family and respect for authority above all else, it is no surprise the ASEAN member states are well on their way to becoming a significant force in world affairs. While significant problems such as corruption still remain, this hunger for advancement amongst the general public, combined with favourable technological trends, is likely to see South East Asia claim the economic edge of the 21st century.
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LOOKING AT THE PROLIFERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA FROM ECONOMIC AND SOCIO-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES WRITTEN BY
NADEEN SAMIRA PHOTO BY
JEFF SHELDON VIA UNSPLASH
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What I’ve learned about the Australian community is that they have pride in consuming and promoting local goods and services.
After living in Australia for three years, I cannot help but notice the rapid growth of local small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Locally owned coffee stalls, cafés, independent clothing brands, and even small consulting firms can be found in almost every corner in the cities, standing and competing neck-to-neck with international chains. Although the definition of what constitutes an SME varies across nations, it is universally acknowledged that SMEs play just as important a role in fostering a nations economic and social prosperity. Australia’s small businesses are on the rise. The Australian and the international communities are looking at positive prospects regarding that particular subject. Dr. Sergio Arzeni - Director of the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development - made an exceptionally optimistic comment during the 2014 G20 SME Conference and stated that ‘Australia can be an example of best practice in SME policies within the OECD’. The statement might have been made based on the Australian Government’s efforts in nurturing local SMEs. Various grants and assistance are widely accessible to those seeking to start their own business. We are all aware that a large percentage of small start-ups often fail due to the lack of understanding regarding marketing and survival know-hows and the inability to compete with deep pockets.
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Upon realising the importance of SMEs, which includes a significant contribution to the Australian economy, representing almost 50 per cent employment in the private industry, improving Australia’s Research and Development program, as well as subscribing approximately 30 per cent of private sector value-add, it is no surprise that the government is eager to tackle the problem of SME failure at such an early stage. As a result, the government has managed to provide a variety of financial and technical assistance programs such as the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS), Small Business Support Line (SBSL), and not least the Grant Finder program that locates grants and assistance most relevant to a specific business. Given these initiatives, there is no doubt that Australia has the potential to become a global leader in terms of SME sector size and vitality. The economic aspect of this issue is indeed very significant. However, I believe that it is a socio-cultural phenomenon as much as an economic one. The government could focus as much effort as they would like to in fostering the growth of sustainable local SME’s, yet the sector would not be successful without support from the broader Australian public. What I’ve learned about the Australian community is that they have pride in consuming and promoting local goods and services. Often, local brands are much more preferred over international ones.
Let’s take a very common example: Australia’s coffee culture. Most people tend to favor a cup of coffee from a small, local coffee shops rather than buying one from internationally known chains such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Gloria Jeans. The same goes for the Australian fashion industry, where local designers whose names are not yet ‘out there’ internationally are still able to attract customers and remain competitive vis-à-vis big, international brands. We would certainly be naïve to say that everyone in Australia neglects international chains and shops for locally produced goods. People still from time to time, if not quite often, drink coffee at Starbucks, dine at TGIF and shop at Zara. But they still manage to find an equilibrium in which they also support local businesses and feel proud of what their fellow countrymen/women can produce and contribute to their national economy.
If we link that back to the related economics benefits, we can say that the success of the Australian SME sector and the continued development of the nation’s economy is the product of the people, and of course some extra assistance from the government. Just like what Arzeni has put forward, I genuinely believe that Australia has set an outstanding example when it comes to encouraging and promoting SMEs. There are many lessons here that we, Indonesians, can learn. Indonesia’s SME sector is something that we should not underestimate. We should all indeed get started by posing a more positive attitude towards our very own small businesses. Doing so should not be difficult. Start by putting more trust in Indonesian-made goods and buying them over international goods. Everything else will follow.
The willingness of Australian consumers to participate in the development of the nation’s SMEs (i.e. through buying Australian products) has certainly incentivised local entrepreneurs to take a risk and start their own business. Therefore if we extrapolate this pattern, the action-reaction chain would lead to an even-more rapid increase of small businesses in Australia.
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ANTI-BRAND JUST ANOTHER BRAND written by
C H EL S EA L AU R EN S
Branding, the universal symbol of capitalism. Or at least that thought is what led to the development of anti-branding. Just as its name suggests, anti-branding is the rejection of marketplace inequality, a stop to the rat race and the greed that surrounds the two things branding supposedly stands for.
So what is anti-branding as a corporate branding effort? A paradoxical notion, but something recently deemed to be an effective strategy nonetheless. Not to be confused with ambi-branding, where a purposefully vague approach to the market broadens a brandâ€™s appeal, anti-branding is definitely a niche marketing approach.
A post-structuralist idea similar to the occupy movement, anti-branding rose as an act of subversion against political and social inequality by attempting to reclaim power from corporations and giving it back to consumers. Organisations such as Adbusters Media Foundation were incorporated based on these beliefs.
Employed by big names in the corporate world such as Red Bull and Ryan Air, antibrands are simply brands that deviate from the traditional mass media approach of branding and instead, seek to directly engage their audience in conversation, letting them decide the meaning of their brand.
An ideal notion, however, as with most things, it was soon re-appropriated as another tool used by those same corporations in order to increase their brand appeal amongst their target audience. Weâ€™ve seen many of their techniques to increase said appeal in the past; mind-share branding, emotional branding, cultural branding and the most recent, anti-branding.
As an anti-brand, the brand is not defined in a one-way street from the higher-ups in the corporate ladder, but rather through a seemingly natural process of conversations, experiences and contestations between the company, the brand and the consumer. In other words, anti-brands are active, they do not sit and wait for mass media messages to be diffused and accepted. Instead, they challenge
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Anti-brands are unassuming. They do not make promises to their consumers, which is part of their appeal.
their audience to experiment with the brand and its offerings, allowing the outcomes of these open interactions to define their brand. Anti-brands are unassuming. They do not make promises to their consumers, which is part of their appeal. In an era with multitudes of choice and readily available information, promises can be the Achilles heel of any brand. Marketing savvy consumers are always eager to beat the traditional notion that they are mere mindless beings acting according to a particular model and believing any lies spouted by giant corporations. For this type of consumer, traditional marketing approaches are ineffective whilst antibrands seem like the perfect solution. On the flip side, anti-brands take branding and marketing actions through the process of homeostasis, whereby the market will eventually self-regulate once a certain variable exceeds balance. In this case, excessive manipulation of consumer’s trust such as corporate anti-branding, may tip the scale by deceiving consumers to think that these brands and their products are their friends and are acting on behalf of their interests. Let’s take an example from the Coke Zero case. As part of efforts to establish brand awareness for a product launch, the Coca-Cola company started what was now (in)famously known as the Zero Movement.
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Phase one? Deceive your customers. That’s right, taking a leaf out of the anti-brand book, the company attempted to create a seemingly ‘organic’ movement by expressing a persona (also known as ‘Z’) who was unhappy with society’s status quo.
And so, just like the process of homeostasis, the excessive hype from the original movement regulates back to normal and in some cases, even lower than the baseline.
It was an interesting tactic. With graffiti artists, radio hosts and seemingly ordinary citizens taking up the movement both physically and digitally, it was bound to get people talking and interested. And it did.
To conclude, though anti-branding may be the current fresh approach to the art (and science) of marketing, this writer believes it truly is just another story, like the rest of them. Anti-branding is not the new branding.
In a generation with multitudes of choice and where information is readily available, promises can be the Achilles heel of a brand.
Then came Phase two, the media launch, A.K.A time to brand the movement with the Coke Zero logo and introduce this new product to the market. And thus, Coke Zero became a branded anti-brand. This is when things started to go wrong. After realising the company had duped them and this movement was no movement at all, there was a huge backlash against Coca Cola and their new product. Consumers took to the Internet, particularly social media and ranted about the Coca-Cola Company, calling them “cynical” and criticising them for “attempting to buy credibility and buzz”. The zero movement became notorious for deceiving the public, all for the sake of lining another big corporate’s pockets.
Despite what marketing romanticist might believe, there is no continuum in the market. Marketers aren’t becoming savvier or more astute in pushing the consumer’s ‘buy’ buttons. Everything is just a concept, a list of compelling stories and tactics told by the company to sell their products and services to the market. After all, what is an anti-brand but a brand itself?
B. COLA IN INDIA
carlos latuff [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
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A. two sides
End The Festivities, Start Being Critical Writer: Gary Evano Daniel
B. down to earth
adela r. saputra
2014 has been a very festive year for Indonesian politics. The general election and also the presidential elections have eaten up most of our excitement, energy, as well as our attention for probably all year long or even more. As for the presidential election, the emergence of Joko Widodo in national politics abruptly changed the course of other candidates that have prepared their campaigns way before 2014. The image of a down-to-earth and humble Joko, topped with some relevant track records in leading local governments proved to be enough for him to get the seat at the Istana. Many people see Joko Widodo as a new hope for Indonesian politics, away from the New Order era. Joko Widodo offers a new, young and fresh alternative to the old names such as Prabowo Subianto, Megawati, Wiranto and Aburizal Bakrie to name a few. However, there is no perfect candidate. Others also feel that Joko Widodo has too few experiences in national politics and handling a city or a province is different from leading a whole nation, furthermore he had not finished his first term as the Governor of Jakarta that he started in 2012. For some, Joko Widodo and Prabowo were clear-cut decisions between democracy and authoritarianism, freedom of speech and an oppressive government, a hard-line Islamist and a tolerant society, an alleged human right abuser and a humanitarian activist. But to be objective, it is not that simple. Personally, I had a cognitive dissonance in choosing between the two. Prabowo had a clear plan laid out on what he is going to do and his focuses in leading Indonesia if he is elected and he has the strength and courage to do it, but Joko Widodo is a great doer and people aggregator.
The image of a down-to-earth and humble Joko, topped with some relevant track records in leading local governments proved to be enough for him to get the seat at the Istana. There are two sides to Jokowi, there are positives but also the negatives and we have to be critical about his leadership. 74
Joko Widodo is a politician with world-class public relations. From what he has been doing with the Esemka car in Solo to the revitalisation of Taman Waduk Pluit in Jakarta, he loves to showcase what he has been doing and he loves symbolic connections of what he does. The branding of the chequered shirt showed that he is young and vibrant: the selection of Sunda Kelapa port as the venue for his victory speech depicts that he is going to focus in the maritime sector, the white shirts with rolled up sleeves for his ministers are also a symbol of hard-work that they promised to give in. Many of such symbols are present, and sadly many also focuses of that and the festivities instead of the substance of the campaign and the policies Joko Widodo and his government is doing. While I personally support the abolishment of illegal fishing ships to strengthen the stance of our sea sovereignty, I question
indonesia in the asean economic community
We need to start being critical citizens all over again. We need to question the logic and motive behind all policies, as we always do ever since.
B. bay trading
the government’s decision to alter their fuel subsidy scheme which President Joko announced in mid-November. Since Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s era, I have always supported fuel subsidy cuts, however it is strange that the economic price of the fuel is actually the same or even lower than the subsidised price – which President Joko realised a little too late, resulting in lowering fuel prices again in less than two months. This raises further questions whether President Joko’s policies made with ample research and thorough understanding about the situations that are occuring. Many believe that Joko Widodo is an independent leader, able to control his own decision for the betterment of the country and the welfare of the Indonesian people. It does seem likely that he is a very sincere leader, however he still has relatively weak political power. With no structural position in his party (Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle - PDIP), Joko Widodo has no firm stance if any political decision is to be made. While people said that the Red-White (Prabowo’s) Coalition is a disturbance for President Joko, the influence of Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Mega and Jokowi supporter and media tycoon Surya Paloh are also hurdles that Joko needs to get over with in any circumstances. This influence appears very clearly in Joko Widodo’s ministers’ appointments as well as his Attorney General appointment.
With all the 2014 political fiasco coming to an end, we need to consciously move on. We need to refrain from this fanaticism to Joko Widodo as it is not healthy. We need to start being critical citizens all over again. We need to question the logic and motive behind all policies, as we always do ever since. We need to start realising that President Joko has flaws, and we need to remain skeptical as time goes by. Just because you chose Joko Widodo, it does not mean that you are obliged to support every single move that he made, but you need to make sure that every decision that he made is in line with what he said during the campaign and also beneficial for the interest of the Indonesian people. An Indonesian artist, Sujiwo Tejo once tweeted ‘An authoritarian leader kills our guts, but a leader that is perceived as a prophet kills our logic.’ This is exactly what we need to watch out for, do not let Joko Widodo fight alone and at the same time do not make him a prophet. Criticise his decisions, question his judgements. That is the best way to support him in making sure that Indonesia is going to the right direction.
f e ne s s a a d i koe s oe m o Formed in 1967, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of 10 member countries whose main responsibility involves improving the social development of that region. One initiative they have formed is the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will commence in 2015. The primary objective of the AEC is to achieve regional economic integration by creating a single-market economy allowing free movement of investment, talent, capital, and goods & services across member countries. By doing so, the AEC will establish a globally competitive economic region that is prosperous and stable. Indonesia, being one of the biggest member countries of ASEAN, plays a pivotal role in the AEC for several reasons. With a population over 250 million, it provides the biggest market for the region. Moreover, Indonesia’s relatively high economic growth despite a global recession has contributed significantly to the overall economic growth in the ASEAN region.
Along with its relatively stable economy, abundance of natural resources, and relatively cheap labour, Indonesia can be said to be one of the most attractive markets globally. But for Indonesia to capitalise on this opportunity, there are several issues it will need to address and improve upon. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is to promote awareness of the AEC domestically. Public awareness is relatively low as most Indonesians do not hold a holistic understanding of the AEC and tend to misunderstand its purpose. This then generates public skepticism and distrust amongst the general population. While some claim the country is not competitive enough, others fear that AEC will hinder opportunities for local businesses. Another concern is that the free movement of skilled labor across ASEAN will pose a threat to local talent and cause higher unemployment rates.
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What’s more surprising is that this lack of understanding and misconception also exists at the governmental level as well.
What’s more surprising is that this lack of understanding and misconception also exists at the governmental level as well, and has led to the lack of action and preparations for AEC’s 2015 implementation.
This begins with proper education to promote better understanding of the AEC as a first step. Should the government succeed in doing this, they will be able to garner more public support and cooperation.
While the laws and regulations currently exist, they overlap or are not implemented properly, making them counterproductive. Areas such as operational effectiveness, or training, performance and retention of talent are slow to develop over the years despite the allocation of government budget into these areas. This is evident through the country’s backward technology and poor logistics and supply chain infrastructure.
The government should harness Indonesia’s large demographic and rising middle class to improve its competitiveness. This can be done through supporting the growth of small-to-medium local enterprises by easing business laws and permits. This works in tandem with the government establishing several barriers to entry for foreign enterprises.
Indonesia also has one of the lowest higher education rates in comparison to its neighboring countries as found by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). This has led to a major obstacle in implementing the national measures necessary for keeping up with regional initiatives. All these sentiments have contributed to the growing anxiety and could potentially hamper effective utilisation of the ASEAN economic community. To dispel the negativity that surrounds the AEC, the government will play a crucial role in creating a better competitive environment, expanding the local infrastructure and improving human resource development as a means of improving national confidence.
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With this, there is greater opportunity for growth in numerous sectors, which allows for investments into Indonesia to expand beyond just a handful concentrated sectors like manufacturing. With the development of other areas, Indonesia’s capacity for export will be enhanced. Improving Indonesia’s competitiveness should also cover the development of infrastructure that can significantly reduce the time and costs of logistics. By removing these bottlenecks, Indonesia can enjoy increased efficiency and productivity, which has always been a problem in the country thus far.
Under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) scheme, unemployment in Indonesia will not be a concern, as there are still some restrictions on the movement of professions across the ASEAN countries. It is agreed that only skilled professionals falling within the agreed categories of the AEC are allowed to freely move across the region.
Both Indonesia’s public and private sectors must work closely to ensure the effective implementation of the AEC in the country. It is important that this initiative is actually followed through, as it has the potential to provide many benefits to the country. Not only will it increase intra-ASEAN trade, investment and tourism, but also create regional resilience on a global scale.
However, that being said, the Indonesian government can still work to strengthen measures to protect the local employees. This begins with the government’s focus on bolstering the education sector and people development programs to improve the local talent pool, with highly skilled employees. With the possibility of AEC opening up even more eventually, the government must collaborate with universities and scholars to create an environment conducive to such a change. Reinforcing human and institutional competence will ensure Indonesia‘s effective alignment of regional agreements with national implementation.
This is evident through the ability of ASEAN member states to recover relatively quickly from the 2008 global financial crisis in comparison to other regions. Thus, Indonesians must remain positive and prepare themselves with the belief that they will not suffer economically as a result of AEC, but instead enjoy its many benefits together with other member countries of ASEAN.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS/
a lvina ursula tjandra I’ve always wanted to go around Indonesia to all the exotic places, far from the hustle and bustle of the city life. However, having parents who often travel for work and three younger brothers who are quite addicted to the internet always creates big debates at home when we try to decide on our family trip. We wanted to go to a place that was near, has awesome beaches where we can relax and do a range of activities, but isn’t too overhyped in the tourism industry, and can still present an authentic experience on the cultural and scenic aspects of the place. We eventually agreed to go to Lombok and after searching through the net, and Jeeva Beloam was the first hotel that we got excited about.
It is situated in a small cove, which sways us city people away from the stress and technology. This convinced us to book for two nights and see what we can do there. Located on Tanjung Ringgit, the furthest south-eastern part of Lombok, it took us around two hours from the airport to get there. It was a cool roller-coaster ride to our destination, as we passed through roads with the scenery of hectares of rice fields, dirt extravaganza and wild monkeys looming at the edge of the forest.
Later on, we were greeted kindly by the manager and that was when we knew that we stayed a ‘berugak’ away from where Jennifer Hawkins, Nathan Buckley, Garry Pert and Steven Cee stayed! As a Melbournian I was stoked! Jeeva Beloam is one of the best accommodations that we have ever stayed in, especially as a beachside hotel. Their food and services are up there. They provided us with three-course Indonesian ‘Sasak’ as well as western meals during lunch and dinner, and offered us breakfast choices that were energy-packed for the activities waiting for us. On the first day, we went snorkelling and sunset catching by ‘Pink Beach’ (the sand had a pink tone to it due to red coloured dead corals) which was ten minutes away by an open truck, and then we trailed by the side of the cliff overlooking the campsite, while eyeing the gorgeous blue waters and shore.
We arrived there only to realise that Jeeva Beloam is located at such a unique landscape position. It is a 55-hectare, private eco-beach camp, surrounded by a lush green forest and tall hill-like structures and cliffs that are pretty much untouched by men. We were also in awe by how neat and tidy the ’berugak’ are (the beach lodges in Lombok language). My mum is a clean freak, but she didn’t complain even once with the facilities provided (which is rare!).
On the next day, we went sunrise watching in a private boat which we then parked by ‘The Lonely Island’ (an island made of only sand which disappears at noon) to eat breakfast and catch starfishes and crabs. which disappears at noon) to eat breakfast and catch starfishes and crabs. We then continued island—and beach— hopping for more snorkelling, On the next day, we went sunrise watching in a private boat which we then parked by ‘The Lonely Island’ (an island made of only sand and finally stargazed by the beach at night surrounding an open fire. We didn’t have time biking around the property and fishing within these two days, but we sure are going to when we come back this coming July. In the end, exploring Lombok proved to be an unforgettable experience. Going there wouldn’t be complete without staying in Jeeva Beloam, and I understand clearly why Harpers Bazaar had listed them in the top ten best beaches in the world!
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T E X T I L E
Wastra Indonesia mulai bangkit, dikenal dan dicari oleh masyarakat Indonesia sendiri sejak Batik dikukuhkan sebagai Warisan Budaya oleh UNESCO dengan masuk dalam kriteria Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. pada bulan Oktober 2009. Tidak hanya Batik masuk dalam kategori warisan budaya Indonesia namun patut dikelompokan dalam warisan yang merupakan asset tak dapat dinilai tersebut adalah teknik pembuatan tekstil tradisional yang dikenal dengan nama teknik Tenun (handmade woven). Kekayaan variasi Tenun terbentang dari Barat hingga Timur Indonesia. Ragam hias , pola dan tekniknya sangat dipengaruhi oleh adat istiadat daerahnya masing-masing. Teknik tenun ada yang dikatakan 1 ikat dan ada yang dikatakan 2 ikat. Kali ini ESSETRA dengan singkatan : Estetika Seni Tekstil Tradisional Nusantara Indonesia (berdiri sejak 2 Februari 1991), mencoba membawa Tenun dari daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) untuk diolah dijadikan Jacket/Coat dengan gaya yang lebih fashionable dan ternyata memang tekstil tradisional tersebut membuat badan menjadi hangat. Hal tersebut dipengaruhi oleh jenis dari benang yang digunakan merupakan benang dari bahan baku kapas.
Ragam Tenun di NTT sangat bervariasi sesuai dengan jumlah dari kabupatennya yang mencapai hingga 22 kabupaten, dan sangat tergantung dari desa asal tenun-tenun tersebut dibuat. Kota Soe adalah salah satunya, merupakan sebuah Kecamatan terbaru di Kabupaten Timor Tengah Selatan yang diresmikan oleh Menteri Dalam Negri Indonesia pada 29 Oktober 2014 yang lalu, dan merupakan pecahan dari Kabupaten Timor Tengah Selatan. Desa yang letaknya sekitar perjalanan dua jam dari Kupang merupakan daerah perbukitan sehingga udara disana relatif dingin dan berangin.
ENRICHING YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
VENUE&DATE 01 Proses pemisahan kapas dengan biji kapasnya
02 Proses penghalusan kapas yang kemudian menjadi benang
03 Proses pemintalan benang Source: Tenun Ikat Tradisional Flores
Motif Tenun diatas dikenal dengan motif Kelang Rempe atau bunga matahari dan bunga-bunga rampai dari kabupaten Sikka, yang berada di pulau seberang sebelah atas dari NTT atau disebut pulau Flores. Orang Sikka terkenal karena tenun ikatnya yang halus memiliki nilai ekonomi dan sosial yang tinggi.
COURTYARD, STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA may 16 th, 2015
Proses produksi tenun (Gambar 04) merupakan sebuah karya seni yang sangat tinggi dan diperlukan kreatifitas dan sangat dipengaruhi oleh lingkungan adat istiadat penenunnya. Sehingga hasil produksi nya tersebut tidak dapat disamakan dengan tekstil modern dengan motif gaya tenun yang dapat dijumpai pada fashion-fashion mass production saat ini.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Lestarikan ketrampilan wastra Indonesia. Jakarta, 03 Febr 2015. ESSETRA Gambar 04. Proses produksi tenun