Page 1


But what is the ‘new normal’ where the normal is not necessarily completely novel, but something that has evolved from the old and is constantly evolving towards the mental precedent of a goal? - Ayu Astrid Maylinda


EDITOR’S WORDS

BIANCA WINATAPUTRI biancawinata@gmail.com

Following the triumph of ‘A New Beginning’, we are

writings in this edition always returns to the inevitable

proud to present our second volume themed ‘The New

question: what truly defines something as normal and

Normal’. With a diverse collection of concepts and ideas,

even more as a ‘new’ kind of normal?

Perspektif has remained true to its mission of providing

3

a platform for individuals of varying backgrounds and

Perhaps the take on the new normal lays its foundation

localities to speak their mind. But more importantly,

on its ambiguity. There remains a cycle in which the only

we aim for readers to be able to soar through the pages

thing normal nowadays is nothing but change itself.

open-mindedly and come out with an array of perspec-

Reflected in the words of this volume’s feature article,

tives in mind.

maybe the new normal is never completely new in the first place. There is always that gap from the past that

The works presented in this edition fits together in the

institutes what is normal today and that space in the

manner of a jigsaw puzzle. Each article takes on differ-

present that will change what becomes normal in the

ent forms and approaches, yet somehow fits together in

future. A mind-twisting framework of how normality is

presenting the entirety of ‘The New Normal’, however

constantly challenged and defended, this second edition

abstract the image may be. Having that in mind, the per-

will bring you to rethink about what has become of the

plexing concepts within this edition have also inspired

word ‘normal’ in modern times.

the dynamic yet simplistic design to which our designers have poured boundless amount of efforts into.

Happy reading!

In this second volume, our writers have sought to challenge and confront trending issues through ways appli-

*The articles published in this edition may contain sen-

cable to the theme. Seeing in the light of asylum seekers,

sitive materials and are highly opinion-based. Perspektif

education reforms, and gender relations are to name a

does not endorse the views of each respective author but

few of the works that tackled the idea of normality in

rather presents them in a manner to which readers can

modern society. Nevertheless, the assorted collection of

engage on their own.


MANAGING EDITOR

FOUNDERS

PUTU DEA KARTIKA PUTRA

MARY RASITA

pdk.putra@gmail.com

maryrasita@gmail.com

EDITORS - POLITICS

fannur21@gmail.com

FAUZIYAH ANNUR

DIRZA PRAKOSO

RAMA ADITYADARMA

dirza.prakoso@gmail.com

adityadarmarama@gmail.com

ANDREW PATTY

HEAD DESIGNER

an.patty@yahoo.com

ADELA R. SAPUTRA

adelasaputra@gmail.com

E D I T O R - A R T S , E D U C AT I O N & C U LT U R E

designers

ANDREAS BUDIMAN

budiman.andrewtan@gmail.com EDITOR - LIFESTYLE

NICOLE HARSONO

nicole.harsono@gmail.com METANIAWATI LIMANTO

STEVANI SUSANTO

metania65@gmail.com

EDITOR - BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

cellyn.josephine@gmail.com

stevani.susanto@gmail.com

CELLYN JOSEPHINE

INDAH CHRISTIAN

indah.cristian@aiesec.net

photo editor

LAVENIA KAZAN

laveniakazan@gmail.com

FELICIA KOK

feliciakok@gmail.com

s p e c i a l t h a n ks t o

PUTERI KOMARUDIN

ELBERT ANGDIKA PERMATA INDWITA

komarudinputeri@gmail.com SUBSCRIBE

PERSPEKTIF is a free independent magazine run by students for students. The best way to support us is by subscribing to our webpage. Please visit our Facebook and webpage:

ppia.unimelb.org/perspektif PPIA Melbourne University submissions

Our magazine is a collaboration of many young voices around the globe resonating current issues happening around us. Each edition will be given a big theme to ground the collection of works published. Stay tuned to our webpage and Facebook page and get involved in our next edition! c o n ta c t u s

perspektif@ppia-unimelb.org

4


5

13

27

HOW NORMAL? LANGUAGE AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

VICTIMISING THE INNOCENT

Nick Jackson

16 THE END OF CERTAINTY: Australia’s Place in the Asian Century Michael Reardon

19 POLITICAL GAMBLING

Paula Aprijanto

30 WHY I STUDY INDONESIAN Amber Tratter

33 REBUT! Asdar Muis R.M.S

Elizabeth Hune

36 20 INDONESIA AND ASEAN IN THE POWER WEB Andrew Nugraha Patty

OUT AND ABOUT: The Bittersweet Queer Lives in Jakarta Mary Rasita

39 STEPPING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Becoming a free figure Rama Adityadarma Reinaldy Cahyo Baskoro


04 EDITOR’S WORDS MEET THE TEAM

08 FEATURED ARTICLE

86

89

CONTRIBUTORS PAGE

PPIA UNIMELB

THE NEW NORMAL Ayu Astrid

43

64

WOMEN IN THE EYE OF ADVERTISING

Evelyn Lovelle

TASMANIA

Adeline Lim

45

71

INDONESIA AS AN EMERGING ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE

THE ART OF PERSONAL BRANDING

Agus D.W. Martowardojo

Nadya Andyrasari Mulya

50

76

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

CROSSING THE BORDER: Thailand’s Third Gender Acceptance

Alda Prawitera

Travis Larcombe

53 SOCIAL MEDIA: MARKETING’S NEW NORMAL

78 AT THE EDGE OF ADULTHOOD

Egadhana Rasyid Satar

Stevani Susanto

57

81

WORKING WITH THE X-MEN

THE RESURGENCE OF VINYL CULTURE

Samuel Pandu Amarta

Putu Dea K. Putra

6


7


by Ayu Astrid Maylinda photo by Abigail Wiantono

8


photo by Abigail Wiantono


Today as I sit in my mother’s bedroom I recall the events of the day: to whom I had owed the pleasure of company during the afternoon, the places we were at and the food we had - a past well lived. Today also marks the fifth day that I have been ‘home’ from Melbourne. Southeast Asian heat is stultifying most months out of the year, perhaps a welcome break from the pernicious cold of the Australian winter also causes one to keel over from the overwhelming humidity. My maladaptation to the equatorial climate signals an all-too-familiar confluence of the life of old and the life of new, the tropical and the temperate, the sun and the biting wind. Essentialised within the psyches of international students such as ourselves is the keenness to integrate both old and new experiences into one cogent story, to tell the people we have left behind, of the new normal in our lives. Vacations are essential disruptions in our vagarious pattern of independent existence in a foreign country. Vices have to be hidden from prying eyes in the name of filial piety. A facade of innocence has to be maintained in order to conceal newly acquired knowledge that is not necessarily socially acceptable in our ‘former’ contexts. Life has to take a backseat to a performance that is, rather ironically, the key to the maintenance of an independent life free from the reins of stifling authority - in essence, this is the life of a smooth operator.

Yet part of wanting to be distinct from the past is to carry into the present the hope of a future that bases its projections on the figures of the past.

10


photo by Steve Haryanto

Photo by: Steve Haryanto


But what is the new normal where the normal is not necessarily completely novel, but something that has evolved from the old and is constantly evolving towards the mental precedent of a goal? We want our lives to be different, and that is why we leave behind the spectres of our past. Yet part of wanting to be distinct from the past is to carry into the present the hope of a future that bases its projections on the figures of the past, whether positive or negative. Some days they are the hopes of our parents, unfulfilled in their own lives and projected onto ours. Other days they are the childhood friends that we see in the people we’ve just met, or the sense of a more nuanced appreciation for the cultural artefacts of our motherland. Familiarity is comforting, yet at times the attempt to reintegrate ourselves with the past discomfits us, makes us feel like strangers in our own homes. We view the same old roads with the eyes of tourists and become one with the excesses

locals reserve for the gullible visitors from whom they will massively profit. Attuned to the ways of the familiar and the local as we are, we desire to perform splintered versions of our newly forged identities. Then change becomes the only normal that we know - the ‘new normal’, if we must call it so. Adaptation is a constant, if it must be in the form of pretences, and we often find ourselves leading two separate lives in the same temporal dimension, between which exist precarious links in the form of dreams and aspirations. Time is no longer a chronology on which we measure the progress of our lives but an arbitrary place and occasional instrument for the perpetuation of a ‘new normal’.

Ayu is an amateur writer and poet who writes casually on her site, eximergencies.wordpress.com.

12


how normal? language and asylum seekers

13

Nick Jackson

The language of political discourse in Australian politics, concerning illegal immigration and asylum seeker has been called harsh and dehumanising. Nick Jackson travelled to Jepara and relived a fraction of the trip that these ‘boat people’ have to go through.


59% o

lieved that fr e s ponden ts be

seeker asyluwm ho arrived s

are not genuine refugees

60%

by b oat s

of respondents

x

felt that Abbot government should INCREAS E the SEVERITY of the treatment of asylum seekers

88-100% OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

..Arriving in Australia by boat over the last being recognized as

4 years genuine refugees

and being granted

protection visas

Infographic source: Recent study conducted by UMR Research 2013 Infographic art: Adela Risha Saputra

The terms ‘boat-people’, ‘illegal immigrant’, and ‘queue jumper’ serve to delegitimise the universal right that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security. These terms so often used by politicians, the media and the general public when talking about asylum seekers aim to justify and normalise successive Australian government’s harsh ‘border-protection’ policies. And, this use of language affects us, a lot. This short piece is simply an appeal not to be indifferent towards the language used by our government, media and friends, and to remember that the term ‘boat-people’—inaccurate, misleading and dehumanising as it is—refers to real people that are making a real and terrifying journey. I am not an asylum seeker and I do not pretend be one, or to know how it feels to be an asylum seeker, but I recently experienced just what may be a very small part of a refugee’s journey by sea might be like. I want to share this experience here. I hope that you will maybe consider my small experience when you hear the term ‘boat people’ being used in public discourse. I recently travelled aboard a small fishing boat from the port of Jepara in central Java, Indonesia, to the holiday destination of Karimun Jawa. We had originally planned to travel via local ferry. Although we had queued from 4 a.m., within ten minutes of the ticket booth opening the tickets were sold out. We were considering making the six-hour journey back home, when we were offered a local fishing boat to travel to Karimun Jawa. We agreed with another 34 people to rent the small boat, similar to the type of boat often used by asylum seekers travelling to Australia from Indonesia.

14


Photo by: Evelyn Lovelle

15

After loading our bags into the hull, around 3 p.m. we boarded the tenmetre fishing skiff. The first hour of the journey as we left the port and skirted the coast was fun and pleasant. But, as we made our way away from the coast of north Java towards the small archipelago the swell began increasing and by the second hour many of the people on-board were sick. The swell got larger and larger, eventually reaching around two metres by the third hour. No longer able to move on the deck, people held on to whatever they could, trying to calm themselves and their families. I sat above the engine room with another ten people. Vomit, petrol and seawater sloshed around the open-air deck. The boat rolled and leaped erratically as waves crashed into the starboard side. By the third hour the sun had set and we continued in darkness. The boat was not equipped with lights or any form of radio or emergency devices. The life jackets that we had been provided with were old, thin and stiff from sun exposure—useless. However, the scene was not one of panic, but acceptance that there was nothing we could do.

By the fourth hour, I could no longer sit up, as I struggled to vomit over the side of the boat, I began shivering. After the sun had set, the continuous sea spray was freezing. Dehydrated, cold and sea sick, I tried to sleep until we arrived at the port in darkness around 9 p.m. that evening. It was only a six-hour boat trip. Only a very small part of the journey asylum seekers travelling to Australia might experience. However, it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I cannot begin to imagine what days aboard one of these boats would be like. I implore you to think about the actual people when you hear the term ‘boat people’ and consider what they have experienced to arrive in Australia, and that there’s nothing ‘normal’ about an inhumane response to asylum seekers. We continue to talk, and moreover allow people to talk about ‘boat people’ as something different, not as real people fleeing very real threats taking enormous risks in the hope of a better life. If we can begin by humanising our language, the way we talk and think about refugees and what they have experienced, perhaps one day we will be able to humanise our responses too.


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

THE END OF CERTAINTY: AUSTRALIA’S PLACE IN THE ASIAN CENTURY Michael Reardon Following 23 years of unbroken economic growth dating back to 1991, the direct result of more than two decades of substantial economic and social reform, the Australia of 2014 stands tall in the eyes of the wider world as one of the most peaceful and prosperous nations on the planet.

But great wealth has also brought great complacency—as evidenced by an apathetic public coupled with an increasingly arrogant, inward-looking political class who live inside the ‘Canberra bubble’ and who fail to grasp the need for Australia to chart its own course for a future where our developing Asian neighbours will form the centre of international economic gravity.

16


‘Poor white trash of Asia’ to ‘Miracle economy’: the Story of the reform era

17

Casting our eyes back towards the early 1980’s and the stunning economic success story we know today, the two are barely recognisable to one another. Just over 30 years ago the latest mining boom had gone bust, pushing the domestic economy into a deep recession in 1982-83, which left double-digit unemployment and a growing budget deficit in its wake. Meanwhile our future prosperity had become thwarted by the increasingly anachronistic ‘Australian Settlement’ of high tariff walls, a government-controlled exchange rate, rampant unionism, unsustainable wage rises, eye-watering inflation and a stifling Anglo-centric sense of geography. The humiliation was all-but complete and our national prospects at their lowest ebb in 1980 when then-Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew described us as in danger of becoming ‘the poor white trash of Asia’. Thankfully our fortunes took a dramatic turn in March 1983 with the election of Prime Minister Bob Hawke and his reformist Labor government, which was driven by the energetic and acid-tongued Treasurer Paul Keating (who would later become Prime Minster himself in December 1991). The tariff walls were soon disbanded, the currency was floated on the open exchange markets and all manner of radical changes were enacted with the effect of freeing the Australian economy from its rusting shackles, so it could compete with the best in the world. But not only was this golden age of reform concerned with just building a competitive, diversified economy—it was also critically concerned with aligning Australia’s sense of place with its physical geography—the Asia Pacific.

Paul Keating and John Howard: the ‘Big Picture’ and beyond Upon assuming office at the end of 1991 and keen to expand his reputation beyond that of a daring and reforming Treasurer, Paul Keating began constructing his ‘Big Picture’ vision of Australia’s future as an independent republic (with its own Prime Minister as head-of-state rather than the Queen), anchored by a successful economy and harmonious, multicultural society at the heart of the Asia Pacific region. Despite suffering the consequences of a severe recession at home throughout 1991-92, Keating proceeded with his grand vision by making improved relations with our closest neighbours, particularly Indonesia, the key focus of his governments’ foreign policy efforts. Forming a close and constrictive relationship with General Suharto, the Prime Minister pushed for the creation of Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum amongst other summits to bring Australia into the centre of Asia-Pacific regional affairs. Keating was replaced at the March 1996 election by the very different political character and personality of Liberal Prime Minister John Howard who many feared had little interest in our region and would revert Australia’s foreign policy to the Anglo-centric days of the past. But despite difficulty dealing with Indonesia in the aftermath of Suharto’s May 1998, the serious troubles of the late 1990’s and the East Timor crisis of 1999, Howard to everyone’s surprise proved a true statesman. Under his 11-year reign our relationships with China, Korea, Japan and most importantly Indonesia were all consolidated (especially the latter part due to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s favourable


disposition towards us). Strong, prosperous and on very good terms with our neighbours in the region, by late 2007 it seemed Australia had finally found its place in the world. So where did we lose our solid footing?

The end of the reform era and the rise of populism Australia today remains an exceptionally prosperous country, and indeed one of the wealthiest on earth when gauged using per-capita income as the chief metric. We are still endowed with a bounty of mineral resources, which our key trading partners China, Korea and Japan would like us to supply them with on an ongoing basis, as they seek to fuel their own developmental ambitions. But since the election of November 2007 and especially since the downfall of Kevin Rudd at the hands of Julia Gillard in June 2010, Australian politics has undoubtedly lost its way. In the ensuing four years, politics has almost entirely triumphed over good public policy, whilst an overwhelming focus on China has seen it become the default proxy for the entirety of Asia, to the detriment of our nearest neighbours, most notably Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. And as the developed world around us fell to pieces during the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis, but are now finally putting themselves back together again, our political class became increasingly focused on their own egotistical party-political ploys. Not ignoring the long-awaited October 2012 release of the

vaunted ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ whitepaper, there is now a sense that Australia faces the real danger of losing its way and with it, its important place within the Asian region itself. But as the economic forces of change gather pace far beyond our control, such as the growing GDP convergence between the rich and fast-developing nations of the world, the disruptive nature of technological development on global labour markets and the consistent growth in wealth inequality, we will be forced one way or another to shift our focus back towards those ‘bread and butter issues’ that determine our collective future.

Conclusion: the ‘New Normal’ is on its way. Is Australia ready? Given the current political malaise affecting this nation and the sense of complacency bred by over two decades of enduring prosperity, we are more vulnerable to external shocks and events beyond our control than we need to be. Whether Australia is ready for it or not, the continual ascendancy of China and our nearest neighbour Indonesia to name just a few of our trading partners, is poised to disrupt our national affairs like few developments in our short history. The end of certainty is upon us and unless we prepare ourselves for this fast approaching ‘new normal’ of a hyper-competitive, increasingly unequal world, we’re set to lose our mantle as the ‘lucky country’ which we’ve always imagined ourselves to be.

18


POLITICAL GAMBLING By Elizabeth Hune

Suppose the A or Z Select A, outcome Z KPU* seems playing Money is the target Better dubbed as Money Politics Commision

Highest mountains, glimpsed Low mountains, trampled Money Resources No longer noise

Two ears as a panic One heart as a stone The people’s voice played We, the victims of political gambling

*General Electoral Comission


indonesia and asean in the

power web

Andrew Nugraha Patty

Indonesia’s increased prominence also raises questions on how influential is Indonesia to its neighbouring Southeast Asian nations, all of which—excluding East Timor—is a member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Association, which maintains the regional relations, is therefore directly relevant to the discussions on the implications of the rise of Indonesia in the region.

20


21

Since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, which harmed Indonesia’s economy and forced President Suharto to step down from his presidency, Indonesia has then rebuilt its name and emerged in the international sphere as the third-largest democracy with a stable political system and growing economy. Its entry into the Group of 20 and its capability to overcome most of its domestic security affairs garnered the archipelagic state international attention. Subsequently, in the regional level, Indonesia’s increased prominence also raises questions on how influential is Indonesia to its neighbouring Southeast Asian nations, all of which—excluding East Timor—is a member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Association, which maintains the regional relations, is therefore directly relevant to the discussions on the implications of the rise of Indonesia in the region. ASEAN has expanded its membership to include most nations in Southeast Asia. By accepting new members, however, it has to face new issues as the politics, economics, and culture in the organisation become more diverse. Nonetheless, according to 1967 Bangkok Declaration, every member state has to adhere to the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference. Thus, the Association restricts its members to interfere in any member’s domestic affair, be it is a democratic or a single-party state. The principles are then observed as a mode of the Asso ciation to maintain peace and harmony by seeking agreement through informal,

consensus-driven decision-making dialogue. The ‘ASEAN Way’, as the approach is usually identified, becomes the basis of understanding for every member state to benefit each other with a pace comfortable to all. In 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will carve a new history since the founding of the Association. Its end goal is to realise a competitive and equitable region that is integrated into the global economy. Learning from past experience, the 1997 Asian financial crisis showed

I believe that Indonesia may lead ASEAN to engage in a more progressive and democratic regional affairs without necessarily violating the ASEAN Way. swiftly and indiscriminately the crisis spreads. ASEAN should be concerned and more prepared to provide a solution for the issue. The rate of success in solving current and future issues is essential to guarantee the realisation of the AEC. Due to the increased attention on Indonesia, I believe that Indonesia may lead ASEAN to engage in a more progressive and democratic regional affairs without necessarily violating the ASEAN Way.


photo by Eka Khoen

22 True to the realist perspective, Indonesia’s increased prominence may disrupt the balance of power in the region. As Southeast Asia’s only genuine democracy, Indonesia is likely to change the Association’s norms of sovereignty and non-interference to become more institutionalised and legally binding. Certainly, such action will contravene the very existence of the Association itself. However, by examining Indonesia’s past foreign policies on the region, it is improbable for the country to remodel the basic structure of ASEAN, let alone imposing its influence to other member countries. Indonesia’s preference for autonomous regional order, free from external intervention, is clearly stated and adopted in the Bangkok Declaration.

Jakarta is assuring its neighbours that Southeast Asia’s largest country is not trying to dominate the region by upholding each nation’s sovereignty. Moreover, promoting a positive regional role is beneficial for Indonesia to fulfil its expectations of becoming the regional leader. As such, Indonesia can pursue a position of primus inter pares or first among equals without being articulated in a hegemonic way. Analysts have stated that Indonesia’s relationship with its neighbours is considered to be most significant of the country’s foreign policy. Likewise, from other members’ perspective, Indonesia’s membership in ASEAN could be seen as restraining Jakarta’s power and influence.


As such, ASEAN Way should always be the guideline to maintain the stability and unity in the region.

photo by Alexander Jonathan Gosal

23


Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, advocated by Indonesia, is further evidence that maintains regional interstate relation as a code of conduct. There is little reason for other Southeast Asian states to fear about the rising Indonesia. The method of ‘enhanced interaction’, introduced by Indonesia’s foreign minister, Ali Alatas, was exercised in dealing with the issue of Myanmar. This was Indonesia’s substantial attempt in preserving peace and implementing the ASEAN Way. Rather than directly intervening the nation, the policy pushes Myanmar to restructure its government in a democratic and diplomatic way. ASEAN was aware that it needed to express its concerns over the regional security anxiety caused by Myanmar’s military regime without scrutinising the nation.

The recent development in the South China Sea, which involves several ASEAN members and the rising China, also needs to adhere to the very principle. Even though Indonesia is not directly tied to the complex problem, nevertheless, Jakarta could start taking the initiative by taking the role as the neutral mediator and proactively deescalate tension with series of peaceful diplomacies that follow the ASEAN Way. Indonesia needs to attest its political and persuasion commitment, continuous affirmation for conflict avoidance and regional consensus building. As such, ASEAN Way should always be the guideline to maintain the stability and unity in the region.

24


As a member of the G20, Indonesia has the opportunity to present itself as an important actor in global economy. Being the only member from Southeast Asia, Indonesia can be entrusted to represent ASEAN. The member states can expect Indonesia to affirm that developing economies now have a greater say. The Association’s members have already taken this opportunity seriously, as they are keen to promote the importance and representation of ASEAN. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s inaugural speech in 2009 clearly emphasises that Indonesia will keep cooperating with ASEAN member countries to ‘render Southeast Asia a peaceful, prosperous and dynamic region’. Therefore, not only does Indonesia’s role in G20 is able to benefit ASEAN’s interest, its standing can also boost the significance of ASEAN Community, which would enhance the peace and stability of the region.

25

photo by Steve Haryanto


However, Indonesia’s increased prominence draws a new economic relationship problem. ASEAN’s expansion indicates that there is also an increase in regional economic interdependence. It implies that this interdependence will contribute to an increase in the total trade between ASEAN member states. Evidently, foreign investors’ also view the region as an interconnected whole. The emergence of a particular state could result to a shift in the economy throughout the rest of the region, but so could the downfall of a country that might bring a collective disturbance. As the largest economy in the region, accounting for approximately 40 per cent of the region’s economy, the recent fluctuation of Indonesia’s rupiah needs to be carefully assessed by its neighbours.

There are fears that Indonesia would exert its influence. Nonetheless, Indonesia is continuously stating that balance of power has been an essential part to both its foreign policy and to ASEAN’s. Meanwhile, the increasing economic interdependence could pose as a challenge. Indonesia’s economic turbulence might cause an economic downfall for the region. Should ASEAN want to resolve this issue quickly, the member countries need to provide a tool for further internal consolidation, thus in some sense promoting the way of democracy. Indeed, Indonesia’s increased prominence does not mean that the country is without flaws. Nevertheless, rather than seen as a threat, ASEAN can utilise Indonesia’s role in the international community in order to strengthen its economic cooperation and integration. Indonesia’s robust democracy and growing economy can present a new and compelling Southeast Asia, which ultimately serves for the purpose of ASEAN’s regional growth.

26


VICTIMISING THE INNOCENT 27

Paula Aprijanto

Trigger warning: sexual harassment


Photo by Agung Yudha Bathara Raharjo

28 This happened just recently. As I was approaching my final year at university, I got myself ready for full-time employment. As such, I obtained an internship in a law firm at Senayan, in the heart of Jakarta. Each morning I would commute by using either the 6:20 train or the 6:40 train from Depok. Both trains are usually equally packed. On that fateful morning, I boarded on the 6:40 train. Surprisingly the train was not so crammed. I could get in effortlessly. I unluckily got into the non-women cars though. At first, I was just standing with occasional swaying here and there due to the course of the rail tracks. I did not notice that there was this big guy standing next to me with his arms crossed.

He seemed like any other ordinary commuter; he even helped me put my handbag up on the baggage rack. Then an odd thing happened. I felt his fingers touching my bra. I quickly assessed the whole situation. Initially, I considered it as an accident so I attempted to move further away from him. Yet he came near me once again and tried to do the same thing. This time he got two of his fingers inside my blouse. I instantly realised it and my first reaction was again to distance myself from him. This time I turned myself around but he followed my response and also turned his big fat body around too. Recognising this, I once again turned around to my original position.


29

It seemed that he had not surrender. He sneaked his hand on my back, trying to unclasp my bra. I was shocked. I was in a dilemma whether to shout or just let it happened. I could have shouted. But making such an accusation would need proof. I felt scared to make such an accusation publicly. Before I even had a chance to make up my mind, he had successfully undone my bra. Oh my God! I was being molested! I glared at him in a flash. Perhaps, he sensed that I knew full well what he had just done. Hence, he was slowly distancing himself further from me. I once again considered my options : should I shout or let him get away? He was definitely a molester. His previous actions were undoubtedly done deliberately. And of course, my bra would not have been undone without any helping hands. I have been on a more packed train before but never did I have my bra unclasped. Now he was going to get off at the next station but strangely, he opted for a further exit door, so I immediately ran after him. I caught his hands just before he got off the train. People were looking at me when I shouted, ‘You are a molester!’ I quickly gathered people’s attention causing other men on the train to help me arrest him. We went to the train station’s security office to report the outrageous young man. However, the guard at Manggarai station took my case so lightly: he didn’t even call the authority despite the fact that this molester was mistreating me and may well be a threat to other female commuters. Instead, this guard gave me lectures on my ‘ludicrous’ and ‘guileless’ acts by choosing to board on the regular cars. His remarks made me furious. The guard’s response was similar to saying that girls get raped because they wear provocative clothes. At present, our society chooses to ignore conflicting situations in order to escape awkward moral situations. While avoiding conflict is normal, this paradigm has sadly shifted in the wrong direction.

Our society would rather pretend that everything is ‘alright’ rather than face the problem head on. That guard, and perhaps many others out there, would have judged the situation the same way. You may be entitled to your own opinion, but such attitudes do not provide solutions to the existing problems for women commuters.

At present, our society chooses to ignore conflicting situations in order to escape awkward moral situations. In cases like mine, people would normally let the culprit slip away. To me, the right thing to do at that moment was to report him to the authority and file a suit against him. This would perhaps prevent the same incident from happening repeatedly. I took the risk to break free from what can be considered the norm, which is silence, for good. I would like to believe that my response to the aforementioned case would make society reflect on itself: the current norm is not always the best. We need to analyse the situations we are in and make our choices accordingly. Opt for the best and least detrimental option, if possible. We should be able to confront the problem—once and for all—rather than evade it. Right now, I am waiting for the courtdate. I hope this offender learned his lesson and ceases harassing people. But even more, I hope that society will reconsider this current norm that pervades in these kinds of social dilemma. If you experienced or witnessed any forms of street harassment, you can try to record the incident and report it to the local authorities. For more information, please head to www.ihollaback.org, an international movement dedicated to end street harassment.


WHY I STUDY Indonesian 30

Amber Tratter

Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal


31

Modern society is just bang on fantastic for developed countries and the wealthy few: the privileged and the advanced. Australia has been prospering over the past decades and the studying generation at present see no critical urgency to learn languages. Instead, it is socially acceptable for many to pursue the Arts in the place of language and follow big idealist dreams. Sure, students enjoy studying languages like Japanese, French, German, and Chinese but there is a decline when it comes to Southeast Asian languages like Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Indonesian. Sadly, our era of being on top is ending. Developing countries will soon overtake USA and Australia and we’ll be severely dependent on resources from neighbouring countries as jobs shift overseas. The International Comparison Program released figures only this year which has shown how in the last three years China had more than triple the growth of USA and Indonesia makes the top 12 in global trade. Money goes further in poorer countries and the emerging markets are growing. This new ‘normal’ for Australians of being relaxed and complacent about our economic position will be a significant disadvantage in the future for those who have neglected studying Asian languages and culture, and a huge advantage for those who haven’t. It is quite common in Australia to hear that a language class has been cancelled due to a lack of students electing the subject. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I study Indonesian, my HECS fee would be non-existent. But when the majority of Australian students who begin studying Indonesian in high school drop the subject before they reach VCE, it’s no wonder that people feel the need to ask the question.

So, why did I begin in the first place and why didn’t I choose the alternative option of French, the ‘sexier language’? Why did I become part of the minority who kept at it for 14 years and counting? The answers are simple, but numerous. I wouldn’t be a real commerce student if I didn’t say that one of my motivations for learning Indonesian was for future job prospects and riches. There are only 50 Indonesian graduates in Australia each year that have the required level of fluency and cultural understanding to take on new Indonesian market opportunities. This statistic never fails to shock me. When I graduate from university this year, 49 others and myself can laugh at the foolishness of those who have ignored Indonesia. We have created an opportunity for ourselves to converse with over 240 million people and a country with the projected GDP growth rate of more than 15 per cent between 2009-2015. Although English is becoming more and more widely spoken in Indonesia, it is not the case for areas beyond the small metropolitan elite. As much as trade and commerce has been a significant motivation to my Indonesian education, it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking about when I first began studying at aged eight. My primary school was one of the institutes that had the foresight and astuteness to offer this language to its students. From the word ‘saya’, I was hooked. This neighbour of ours was so diverse in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, traditional dress and language. The fact that it used the same alphabet made it relatively easy to learn and fast progress was empowering for me as a child. In year nine, the nervousness surrounding this subject was ever-present. You see, our countries approach to dealing with foreign uncertainty is to completely ignore it and let each country sought out


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

their problems for themselves. But the government’s perception about Indonesia being unsafe for travel or continually publishing articles about the corrupt minority sent a message of fear through Australia. This was so extreme that my high school prohibited an educational trip to Indonesia and substituted the location to Malaysia because they used a ‘similar language’. I don’t even need to point out the problems with comparing Indonesia to Malaysia. So again, if I was constantly being indirectly influenced to stop studying, why did I continue? The simple answer is that I stopped listening to what other people said about the country and drew upon my own experiences with Indonesia. The language is pretty easy, the people are friendly and overjoyed with my efforts to study their language and culture, the islands and sights are beautiful, the prospective commerce opportunities are exceptionally

favourable when you think about supply and demand of those with the skill to converse with Indonesians in Australia. Furthermore, the culture is steeped in tradition and human growth, Indonesia’s need for help to advance into a developed democratic country exists and the optimism of the Indonesian people to rise above their problems even after a history of crisis, terror and corruption is evermore inspiring. That is why I study Indonesian. But more importantly, that is why I am proud to say that I study Indonesia, its culture, history, politics, language, religion and people. I am currently studying my fourth year of a Diploma of Languages at The University of Melbourne. My 14 years of study consist of: seven years of language study, Indonesian Literature, Analysing Indonesia: Concepts and Issues, Popular Cultures of Indonesia, Javanese Gamelan, The Kecak Dance, Unity: Evolving Indonesian Nationhood.

32


REBUT! 33

Asdar Muis RMS

Asdar Muis RMS reflects upon the perplexity of nationalism, politics and freedom in his short story ‘Rebut!’ as he dedicates his short piece in commemoration of Indonesia’s 69th anniversary of independence. The author was born in Pangkep, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, on August 13th 1963 and have written numerous literary works, to name a few: Sepatu Tuhan (God’s Shoes) 2003, Eksekusi Menjelang Subuh (The Execution Before Dawn) 2009, and Tuhan Masih Pidato (God’s Speech) 2011. Asdar Muis received his Masters of Sociology Degree in 2009 from the University of Hassanudin and has been active as a radio news director in Makassar’s arts scene.


Batang pinang itu masih menjulang tinggi di tanah kosong depan rumahku. Usai magrib, aku duduk di depan pintu pagar. Sisa cahaya mentari ditambah biasan lampu jalan, memberiku kenikmatan tersendiri meresapinya. Di batang itu, satu pekan sebelumnya: duapuluh tiga remaja dan lelaki tanggung berupaya menaklukkan batang yang dipenuhi gemuk pelumas dan oli. Namun ... tak satu pun yang meraih. Tak ada yang mampu merebut lambaian amplop bernomor yang berhadiah. Akhirnya, si empunya kenduri menyepakati agar hadiah dibagi kepada semua orang yang telah berupaya keras di batang pinang tapi tetap saja meluncur turun. Esoknya, malam: seorang remaja datang mengetuk pintu pagarku. Dia berteriak-teriak ingin bertemu denganku. Anak lelakiku meladeninya. Tapi, anak itu hanya mau bertemu aku. Saat kutemui di balik pagar, dia menuntut hadiah. ‘Hadiahku mana?’ – ujarnya seraya menunjukkan kertas berupa amplop. Ternyata, dia melempar-lempar lambaian amplop di ujung batang pinang. Dan aku segera menampiknya setelah beberapa temannya datang lalu memberi tanda ‘silang sinting’ di dahi. *** Sebelum malam, aku menyempatkan duduk di pangkalan ojek. Anak remaja ‘sinting’ itu duduk diam tak jauh dari tempatku duduk. Ketua RW yang berdiri di dekatku, kutanya: ‘Siapa anak itu?’ Pun dijelaskan bila anak itu pernah dirawat di rumah sakit jiwa dan tinggal di perumahan yang berdekatan perumahan kami. ‘Dia pernah datang minta hadiah di rumahku,’ ujarku. Ketua RW tersenyum. ‘Dia juga pernah datang pada saya,’ tuturnya seraya

menambahkan, ‘Saya tuntun dia agar minta pada si empunya hajat. Dia langsung diberi 10.000 rupiah. Tapi tak lama, dia datang lagi lalu minta amplop hadiah itu dan mengembalikan uang yang diberikan padanya.’ Aku hanya manggut-manggut. Ada penyesalan di batin, ‘Apa susahnya memberi uang malam itu?’ Tapi aku memang agak terganggu saat itu sehingga ‘mengusirnya’. Aku lebih tertarik melanjutkan pengetikan naskah buku yang harus segera rampung. *** Aku masih duduk di ujung depan pagar beralas batu kali yang menjadi penghias depan rumah. Mataku masih menikmati batang pinang yang bendera ‘merah-putih’-nya terkulai. Gelap. Tak lagi samar. Tiba-tiba ... seorang lelaki tua mendekatiku. Aku sangat mengenalnya. Dia kerap menggunakan lambang-lambang militer masa silam. Dia suka bicara sendiri dan mengklaim dirinya sebagai pejuang kemerdekaan. Dia sehari-hari menjadi petugas sampah di RT yang bersebelahan RT-ku. Entah dari mana saja, sudah sangat lama aku tidak melihatnya. Malah sempat tersirat di benak: ‘Kok orang ini masih hidup?’ Tanpa tedeng aling-aling, dia langsung berujar dalam bahasa Bugis, minta pembeli rokok. Biasanya, aku hanya menunjuk warung kelontong yang tak jauh dari rumah. Tapi ... aku masih ingat, beberapa tahun silam, dia memakiku karena kutunjuk warung itu. Dia mau tunai! Dan kantongku segera kurogoh. Kukeluarkan selembar uang yang cukup membeli lebih dari dua bungkus rokok. Dan dia segera meraihnya. Tiga langkah menjauh pergi, lelaki tua yang kutaksir berusia lebih 70 tahun

34


namun tetap gesit itu, berhenti lalu membalik tubuh. Dia menyebut calon gubernur pilihannya. Aku hanya mengangguk-angguk. Dan dia menuju warung. ***

35

Aku masih saja menikmati batang pinang. Ada perasaan bersalah, mengapa tidak ikut menyumbang agar lebih ramai. Padahal, beberapa tahun sebelumnya, aku pernah aktif menyeponsori acara peringatan proklamasi. Namun sejak perayaan selalu jatuh di bulan suci ramadhan, aku tak merespon. Apalagi, aku makin jauh dengan tetangga sebagai dampak pemilu dan pilkada. Aku merasa, pertemanan tak berarti ketika mereka lebih mengutamakan pilihan. Mereka berbeda denganku. Walau kerap aku mengundangnya ke rumah, tetap saja ada sekat. Kami tak lagi seperti dulu. Pemilu dan pilkada telah membuat kami saling jauh. Pun ujung mataku sekonyongkonyong menangkap kedatangan lelaki tua itu kembali. Kakinya terseret ke arahku. Dia langsung mendekatiku. Hanya berjarak sekitar 15 centimeter. Hidungku menangkap bau sarung, baju, celana, dan tubuhnya agak pesing. Aku tak mungkin mengusirnya. Dia bisa saja tiba-tiba marah. Dia bisa mengamuk. Toh, dia pernah juga marah pada pilkada gubernur sebelumnya. Dia menuntut aku memberinya buku, tapi kutepis. ‘Minta uangmu lagi. Saya mau beli sarung. Tadi uangmu tidak cukup beli sarung.’ Aku terdesak. Tak mungkin lagi aku menjauh. Segera kantong kurogoh. Pikiranku, adalah beberapa uang receh. Tanpa khawatir, aku cabut beberapa lembar. Aku tercekat. Tak ada receh. Dan dia sangat cekatan mengambil uang di telapak tanganku.

Tanpa jeda, dia langsung memelukku. Dia menciumi pipiku. Mulutnya kemudian mendarat di kepalaku. Dia nikmati. Aku sungguh bingung. Bau dan bingung menyatu. Mulutnya komat-kamit mendoakanku – tepat di kepalaku. Dan aku pasrah terkungkung di pelukannya. *** Tubuhku lunglai. Dia pergi penuh kemenangan. Aku? Masih saja terdiam di batu. Mataku mencoba menelisik bayang batang pinang. Pun kuberpikir: ‘Betulkah dia pejuang jika negara kita sudah lebih 67 tahun merdeka? Umurnya berapa saat era perjuangan?’ Duh, aku tak berani mencari jawab. Kuingin rasanya memanjat batang pinang yang tak lagi ber-gemuk pelumas. Aku ingin rebut semua amplop yang tersisa dan hadiahnya akan kuminta di dalam rumah, pada istriku yang sedang menyiapkan makan malam. Malam kian gelap. Batang pinang itu tetap saja menjulang. Dan aku tak punya jawab tentang nilai rebut di kekinian yang kerap dipenuhi dendam.

Makassar, 16 September 2012


Out and About: The Bittersweet Queer Lives in Jakarta

Mary Anugrah Rasita

36


Photo by Najla Sekar

37 It was late at night in the city of Jakarta as Finnegan rushed to get to his gig at the local Jaya Pub, having just finished his work at a public relations agency. He held his breath and look forward to the day he departs for Melbourne to live with his boyfriend, for good. With a sleek haircut and geeky spectacles, he did not look like the stereotypical image of gay men that the people in Jakarta often perceive. Finnegan lives as a marketing manager, a freelance writer, and as a prominent singer in Jakarta’s independent music scene. But despite of all the fortune, Finnegan still finds it hard to look back into his past. ‘I was a really bitter kid growing up because I would always feel like I was missing out on many things as a result of staying in the closet,’ he explained.

He recited Tori Amos’ quote over and over again in his head during most of his struggle, ‘You have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.’ Finnegan knew in his heart that he could only go so far until it is time to let go. While growing up alone in Singapore and Sydney, Finnegan began to seek into his soul. As soon as he found the reason to make peace with his true self, Finnegan broke the chain. ‘I had to stop being the victim, being everybody else’s boy,’ he recalled. Years later, even after being openly gay for a long time, Finnegan still fights the prejudice in Jakarta’s social scene. ‘Besides being perceived as having AIDS, people always think that you would sleep with any guy the moment you make eye contact with them,’ Finnegan explained.


However, in the same spectrum that Finnegan is in, lies a recently launched YouTube web-series dedicated to portray the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) individuals in Jakarta entitled CONQ, a shortened Indonesian term for queer. ‘Very often the media displayed predatory and negative image on LGBT, and CONQ aims to challenge that perspective without banging the audience in their head,’ said Kuswandi, the director of CONQ and one of Indonesia’s most promising young filmmakers. ‘We will go as far as discussing stereotypes, marriage, HIV, and sexual habits.’ Speaking directly from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Kuswandi explained, ‘The web-series has been well received by people, and the number of subscribers has risen steadily.’ Kuswandi, on the other hand, noted that regardless of the web-series’ success, Jakarta still falls prey to prejudice and anti-gay abuses when the topic of LGBT arises. Although most regions in Indonesia do not legally ban homosexuality, its strong religious values created negative stigma to LGBT individuals, even in the metropolitan city of Jakarta. ‘Jakarta may seem to be a very forward thinking city, but only in its surface. Their perception towards homosexuality remains primitive,’ Kuswandi explained. As he spent most of his time socializing with Jakarta’s community of public figures, Kuswandi longs for an Indonesian version of Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres, as they stood up for who they are, and in turn, loved by plenty. ‘I know various public figures in Jakarta who are gay yet remain in the closet for fear of a ruined career. Some even con-

sider a heterosexual marriage because of their religious values, thinking that being gay is just a phase,’ Kuswandi grinned. Nevertheless, Kuswandi displayed a brighter optimism in his desire to step up the game in Jakarta’s perception towards homosexuality. ‘Through CONQ, I want to reach out to the gay people in positive and truthful ways, because we need them to come out, to inspire, and to change, because they have the power to.’ For Finnegan, despite being out of the closet for a long time, he has no idea about which kind of people would spare him a sense of tolerance when he displays his sexuality.

You have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin. ‘People tend to avoid saying it to your face and rather keep it as a gossip to rave about behind your back,’ he pointed. ‘You have no idea how homophobic Jakarta’s independent music scene is. And I’m talking about Brooklyn equivalence of scene, only this one is homophobic.’ As he is now finishing things up before leaving his footprints in Jakarta, Finnegan thinks of Jakarta as a city that has never really made it to its accomplishment phase, both physically and socially. ‘So my hope for the city is really to get its infrastructure sorted out first, at least,’ Finnegan stated, ‘It is a long way to go for the city to get its people to accept homosexuality without thinking of it as a crime, a choice, and hardcore pornography.’

38


Photo by: Rama Adityadarma

39

stepping outside the box: becoming a free figure Rama Adityadarma & Reinaldy Cahyo Baskoro

Sir Ken Robinson, a highly respected educationalist once said: Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not—because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized. Thanks to the industrial revolution, education has become one of the biggest and most important priorities for people to pursue. With the promise of financial security, education gave hope of a decent

standard of living for many people who struggle at the time. With many machineries and inventions requiring deep knowledge of engineering, mechanics, mathematics, and even economics, people during this period were demanded to develop a certain level of knowledge to secure a place in an industry that can bring them promising positions in these fields. Mercifully, in the midst of this rising job opportunities and competition among workers, education promised higher chance for people to get these jobs.


The implication is that at the time, people need to conform to the limited number of skills and knowledge to be able to survive in the world. Since then, many other forms of skill such as arts, literature, music, drama, and even sports become abandoned (or put into the so called ‘optional extracurricular activity’) for this sense of security. People were forced to give up their passion on these ‘extracurricular’ activities in favour of securing office or industrial jobs. Sadly, somewhere along the way, as the industry has advanced further and the job market started to decrease, we are still stuck in this current educational mentality. With such a high level of competition involved, the room for educationally qualified people gets tighter in the job market. Yet, we are still forced to stay in this odd, unnecessary competition by preferring economics, engineering, or science degrees.

So why do we have to give up the things that fascinates us in favour of the uncertain odds that might or might not provide us with this ‘secure’ life?

As of today, there are more than one million enrolled students in Australia alone. 20 per cent of which are international students. These numbers of students will have to compete with not only each other but also millions of adults that have more experience in the workforce. In other words, getting a degree is no longer enough to enter the job market. It does not mean that the current education system and mentality is bad for your future, it just becomes increasingly irrelevant with the current societal needs. We seem to be lacking the old creative imaginations and courage to pursue personal passion that Da Vinci and Tesla used to have. An imaginative thought that what they do can make a difference without worrying it being improbable based on some theories. They invented these theories and creations not because they have to study it but because they were fascinated by it. So why do we have to give up the things that fascinates us in favour of the uncertain odds that might or might not provide us with this ‘secure’ life? The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions. – Sir Ken Robinson

40


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

The Real Case

41

While this mentality is still an epidemic within the public’s mind, it has also contributed a series of conflicts to the system of the society. One of which is perfectly exemplified by Indonesia, a country that ranks among the top 20 economic powerhouses in the world, but has more than 11 per cent of its population living under the poverty line. That is roughly 24 million people still living with less than $2.50 a day, a number that is bigger than the entire population of Australia. Currently, Indonesian education system has derived from a socialist view of education where the government pushes the people to become engineers, doctors and economist to boost massive development on infrastructure, technology and maintain prosperity and welfare. In addition, most Indonesian parents often share the same thought of sending their kids to take courses with heavy quantitative sub-

jects that are specifically designed as pathways to become doctors, engineers, economist and other ‘mainstream’ promising jobs that promotes ‘financial security’. With such mentality still existing in Indonesia, numbers of other vital fields of work are abandoned. On the other hand, while other ‘mainstream’ jobs are more preferred, they are now flooded with too much supply of new graduates every year. And every year, these graduates often cannot get their hands on the job they prefer. Generally speaking, some believe that the world works as a system. Like a set of gears, each of them turns one another. And what happens when there is one gear that is out of place or is simply not turning? Obviously, the system will collapse. If there is just too much people who wanted to be engineers, then who will become the other ‘set of gears’ who keeps the system running?


Photo by: Kemal Caesar Sutama

At this state, Indonesia’s education system is partially to blame. With limited availability of education in Indonesia—almost 60 per cent of the total population cannot reach high school year—the quality of the education is also alarming. Following the national, often conventional, curriculum, schools often teach values and truths that are absolute, often with no room for creativity and innovation, creating a generation of children who are docile and easy to control. And on their secondary level of education, most students in public and private schools who follow the national curriculum can only choose between natural or social science major, each with more than ten subjects to cover. Thus, Indonesian students are not happy. Especially, when the standardised national exam has an increasing failure and cheating rate every year, often sparking up controversies. Then, what could be improved? Firstly, the education system should be reformed to be able to cater each student’s ability, talent and passion. We should provide more schools for arts, design, environment, agriculture, tourism, and lesser-known fields of studies.

Furthermore, the system should align the needs of each region, tailored using the regional autonomy to fulfill the needs of that specific region. For example, Maluku and Nusa Tenggara regions should pay more attention to fields of marine studies and tourism, Kalimantan should focus on the environment and agriculture, and Java would be leaning towards commerce and business. In addition, we should not encourage the idea that having a bachelor’s degree is the only pathway to success. We should shed more light on opportunities for students who wish to enter vocational schools. One cannot expect all layers of society to become white-collar workers because we also need highly skilled, specialised blue-collar workers to drive the wheels of the economy. If everyone wants to be the boss, who will work for the boss? Like Ki Hajar Dewantara once claimed: Memayu hayuning sariro, memayu hayuning bangsa, memayu hayuning bawan (Do it for yourself, do it for your country, do it for the betterment).

42


Photo by: Najla Sekar

43

Women in the eye of advertising Adeline Lim

The fifteen-time Emmy-winning drama series Mad Men reveals a glimpse of advertising industry’s dark history to its loyal audience since the premiere in 2007. Apart from being embellished with intense drama and scandal, the story successfully portrayed the beguiling atmosphere of advertising industry in what was believed as the US golden years—the game was called advertising, the decade was 1960s, the street was Madison Avenue, and the dark side was sexism.

Despite the major feminism movement that was initiated in early 1960s, mid-century advertising industry still revolved heavily on sexism. It was deemed ‘normal’ at that time for advertising agencies to pitch concepts that were highly derogatory towards women. Some of the lines implied that women were stupid, born only to please their husbands, and did not belong in a men’s world.


Take a vintage Volkswagen poster for example. To lure customers to buy its car due to the competitive advantages of cheap spare parts and low maintenance cost, Volkswagen came up with a tagline: ‘Sooner or later your wife will drive home one of the best reasons of owning a Volkswagen’. The ads contained an illustration of crashed VW Beetle and a few paragraphs that insinuated that women were reckless drivers and were expected to crash the cars. You can find sentences like ‘Women are soft and gentle but they hit things’, also ‘She can jab the hood. Graze the door. Or bump off the bumper. It may make you furious, but not poor.’ Women all over the world today can be grateful for the fact that these kinds of insulting ideas had long been left by advertising industry. Apart from being given a wake-up call by female emancipation, the modern advertising industry is also reined by ethics regarding what not to do in marketing products. However, the legal restriction does not—and probably never will—succeed in keeping this industry free of controversy. In this field where fitting in will be a death toll, there will always be a blurry line in what is deemed as normal and what is not. Thus, while straightforward sexism was no longer on the table, it is probable that another form of psychological attack towards women still prevails in the modern world of advertising industry. Amidst the plethora of technological savvies, creating elusive ideal beauty image is now a piece of cake. This intoxicating notion that beauty means skinny body, flawless face, and radiant complexion is feared as an assault that is even more hostile than blatant sexism, and our advertisers pleaded guilty. Post-production enhancement with Photoshop is the norm for

creating a desired look in marketing beauty products, although it has drawn debate from the ethics perspective. It is true that women are no longer accused of being stupid or completely domestic, but the danger of falling into endless insecurity due to deceiving beauty that does not even exist is also, if not more, disrespectful. Although this issue is a subtle one, awareness has begun to rise. On 2013, Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) banned L’Oréal-owned brands’, Lancôme’s and Maybelline’s magazine campaign featuring actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington from further publication. The pictures of these women, which were designed to promote anti-ageing foundation, were enhanced digitally in order to create flawless complexion and have breached the advertising standards code for exaggeration and being misleading. This call of action is something that ASA has named as ‘a powerful message to advertisers—calling them to get back to reality’. On the advertiser’s game of thrones, creativity would be the sabre. From the era of Mad Men to the modern days of Internet, their controversial ideas would keep bursting out and when you think you have seen their best, you are going to be surprised. In an industry spinning this fast, what lies between normal and abnormal is a thin line that keeps shifting in time. People in 1960s could casually take a morning walk past a billboard that promoted ketchup while stating that women are stupid, yet this would bring uproar today. This morning you can flip a magazine displaying an overly manipulated, flawless skinny girl and think that it is normal, however who knows what normal means in advertising 10 years from now? I would say it is going to be a wild guess.

44


Expert talk

Indonesia as an Emerg ing Economic Powerhouse: C h a ll e n g e s an d H ow t o M o ve Fo r war d

45

Agus D.W. Martowardojo Governor, Bank Indonesia Opening Address at Indonesian Career Expo (ICarE), 16 May 2014 (Content is modified for the purpose of this magazine)

Indonesia is a unique country in many ways; as a country of approximately 250 million people, as the biggest archipelago in the world, as the world’s third largest democracy, as a leading exporter of numerous high value commodities, and as the largest of the ten members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).


Indonesia’s distinct characteristics are now coupled with political and macroeconomic stability, robust economic growth and self-reliance. The combination of these factors shielded the nation’s economy from the 2008/2009 global economic crisis. Over the past five years, Indonesia has successfully maintained a continuous economic growth on average of 5.9 per cent per year, one of the highest in the world as only a few countries experienced a positive and stable growth during 20082009’s crisis. Indonesia received appraisal from overseas investors and was considered as a strong contender to join the BRICs group, hence attracting huge capital inflows.

consciousness about the relevance of fiscal discipline and the preservation of public debt sustainability; and (iv) the restructuring of the banks that began two decades ago, which now produced much healthier financial sector balance sheets. All things considered, Indonesia has sailed through the global financial crisis relatively well. Required policy responses have been implemented on a timely basis in most cases, and the underlying fundamentals are still strong. With such strong economic resilience and fundamental strengths, Indonesia was rewarded with an upgrade that took the sovereign rating to investment grade in early 2012. Now the debate is about whether or not Indonesia realises its huge potential.

THE NEW NORMAL OF INDONESIAN ECONOMY

INDONESIA AND THE MIDDLE INCOME TRAP

The vigorous economic progress has been achieved on the backdrop of fundamental strengths, which was attributable to wide-ranging fundamental reforms following the devastating ‘1997 Crisis’ that caused considerable economic, social and political costs. These are some of the concrete examples of the fundamental reform; (i) the establishment of flexible exchange rate regimes (ii) the enhancement of the degree of autonomy of central banks, with primary mandate of price stability, (iii) the

Given the vigorous economic progress has been observed, it is not all rosy. Under the surface, problems were looming where some indicators depicted the economic expansion (demand side) was not sufficiently backed by adequate domestic capacity (supply side). Since early 2012, commodity prices has shown a declining trend and therefore adversely impacted our exports, amidst strong import to meet burgeoning domestic demand. This has resulted in growing current account deficits, which in turn deteriorates our balance of payment posture.

46


47

Such development has raised concerns to the sustainability of our economy. Despite the relatively low level of inflation, current account deficit has been widening and induced slow economic growth. There have been repeated warnings about Indonesia being a victim of ‘middle-income trap’ which occurs when a rapidly growing economy stagnates at middle-income level and fails to maintain their growth momentum to graduate into the ranks of high-income countries. As we moved further into 2013, some of the global headwinds contributing to macro and financial instability did indeed materialise. The U.S. Fed’s statements related to exit of monetary stimulus provoked a tumble in asset prices in emerging market economies alike, which also had a profound impact on Indonesia’s financial markets. Given the shallow domestic financial market, during June 2013 we witnessed a net outflow of USD 4.1 billion causing Indonesian Rupiah to weaken, yields on fixed income instruments spiked, and the equity markets sold off. In responses, Bank Indonesia and the government geared a policy mix to put priority on the stabilisation over the growth. We increased the policy rate by 175 bps to the level of 7.50 per cent, in stages starting from June 2013. This was an upfront, bold decision to address the macro instability and was taken place when most other emerging markets were not in contraction mode.

tion rate and rebuilt international reserve as a buffer as well as acknowledgment by many outside observers and investors on the progress made by Indonesia. MOVING FORWARD From a political economy point of view, taking a perspective that goes beyond the domain of central banks, the future challenge for Indonesian economy boils down to ‘how to stimulate growth without compromising macro and financial stability, facing at the same time uncertainties in global environment’. The question then is, ‘How to move forward?’ Drawing on a theoretical framework provided by Dani Rodrik in his paper entitled ‘The past, present and future of economic growth’, he argues that for countries to raise incomes and living standards, they need to build fundamental capabilities and to undertake structural transformation. Therefore, I suggest that a three-building block approach for the economy should be followed.

...that for countries to raise incomes and living standards, they need to build fundamental capabilities and to undertake structural transformation.


Photo by: Kemal Caesar Sutama

Second building block. It is very important to have a healthy and strong balance of payments posture. First building block. Strong macro-fundamentals and policy settings are of the essence. There should be no room for poor fundamentals. Prudent fiscal policies and monetary policy should be focused in keeping inflation under control, since this is a prerequisite for the flexible exchange rate to be able to perform as a shock absorber. Fundamentally, we should use aggregate demand management to avoid unsustainable current account deficits.

For Bank Indonesia, flexibility in interest and exchange rates, anchored by strong fundamentals should be part of the adjustment process. However, given the sheer size of capital inflows to Indonesia so far, this might not be sufficient. Therefore, to obtain large international reserves and other forms of backstops such as Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) with other central banks are highly essential. Also, the public and private sectors should pursue proactive debt management strategies, avoiding bunching of maturities, lengthening durations, and keeping an eye on foreign exchange rate mismatches.

48 Third building block. Promote economic growth by making the economy more competitive, increasing total factor productivity and thus potential GDP growth. This takes us down the road of structural reforms, which have huge potential in Indonesia. Whether or not we can seize these potential depends critically on our infrastructure. Indeed, building infrastructure; physical, financial, institutional and human capital, is the difficult way for Indonesia to grow and break into the high-income level bracket, but is necessary to avoid the middle income trap.


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

THE FUTURE OF INDONESIA

49 Nevertheless, when referring to our past experience with infrastructure, one must admit that Indonesia is still falling short in many areas. Most policy responses so far have been focused on demand-side management through monetary or fiscal policy, while the real lift of potential growth of the economy must essentially come from supply-side progress. Without a flexible supply side, an external shock would always require substantial adjustment in the demand side that will only intensify boom-and-bust cycle in the economy. Therefore, serious consideration has to be given on the need to address structural issues to be very pressing.

In summary, the first and second pillars are meant to guarantee macro and financial stability, not necessarily inhibiting economic growth. The real lever for a sustainable long term growth lies in the third pillar. It’s my firm belief that the next administration will ensure quality public policy that can enhance the country’s competitiveness and sustain long-term growth. I am indeed an optimist, even though my words might not visualise that. Central bankers are accustomed to be overly cautious. While our domestic demand is set to grow strongly, we will need to lift our rate of productivity growth substantially if we are to continue to enjoy increases in our living standard.

*Dani Rodrik is Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

Women in Leadership Alda Prawitera

The world we live in today is a world where the idea of individuals, businesses and nations that strive to eliminate discrimination against women (including in the context of business and leadership) is considered normal. However, should this be socially acceptable?

T H EN : | Women < Men |

We all know the story. Once upon a time, men were considered superior to women, especially in patriarchal cultures. In Indonesia for instance, there was a common saying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;perempuan ojo kakean ngomongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

50

which suggests that women should not talk much. This kind of social norm has resulted in uneven opportunities for women, keeping them away from enjoying their own freedom to exercise their willingness to do anything, let alone to become a leader. It was this kind of phenomenon along with events of similar nature in other nations that marked the start of gender discrimination. It was not until later on that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia finally got committed to empower Indonesian women.


This was shown in Article 27 (1) of the 1945 National Constitution which states: ‘...all citizens shall have equal status before the law and the government and hold without exemption the law and the government in esteem.’

51

N OW: | Wom e n = M en |?

Throughout the years, despite the dominance of patriarchal culture that remains in more remote areas, the empowerment of women became an emerging issue in the general society. As the people in Indonesia became more educated, they became aware that no discrimination should exist between men and women. This new norm was supported by different institutions that fought for gender equity & equality, as stated in the Presidential Instruction No. 9/2000. Gender discrimination in workplaces particularly, such as female workers are being paid lower wages although performing the same or higher work qualities than their male colleagues, has often been reported and addressed on. The Indonesian Ministry started cooperating with various NGOs, religious institutions, foundations, and many organisations to build awareness that women are equal to men. Women slowly became liberated from traditional roles in the household and were treated with greater respect in the public arena. As a result, in the 20th century, women leaders started emerging as national entrepreneurs, journalists, teachers & educators, scholars in universities, poets, artists, and religious women leaders.

The New ‘Normal’ Having said this, the problem of discrimination against women has not completely gone away. Rather, it exists in a subtle manner. For example, Indonesian politician Yenny Wahid once mentioned: ‘If women are ambitious, it is considered unusual. But when it comes to men, it is normal.’ Moreover, consider the following headlines: ‘Company A to implement affirmative action.’ ‘Tony Abbott to invest $650,000 into the Board Diversity Scholarship Program.’ ‘Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini wins the Globe Asia Women Award.’ If these do not sound strange to you, it is probably because they seem completely normal nowadays. However, if so many institutions attempt to eliminate discrimination against women by introducing such programs, the big question is: ‘Why does this discrimination still exist?’ The answer lies in the perception of our society. What we don’t realise here is that society— including the government, firms, feminist organisations and any other institutions—is so determined to break the glass ceiling by engaging in ways to propel women onto a higher place without realising that this has subconsciously reshaped our perception that women are in fact different from men. This in turn solidifies certain stereotypes. For instance, they believe that women inherently use their hearts (feelings) more than their brains (intelligence), making them more loving and caring when it comes to their leader-


ship styles. So the fight for gender equality reinforces the difference between men and women. But are we really different? More importantly, should this mindset be socially acceptable?

T im e for a Ch a n ge --> Women = Men In this era, men and women can share both masculine and feminine qualities. Men can be empathetic (a quality usually considered as feminine) just as women can be controlling (masculine) in their leadership styles. This is supported by Guida Jackson, author of ‘Women Rulers Throughout the Age’ who has examined the issue for 30 years. Initially thinking that women would rule differently from men, she found out that women are no different. So the habit of having to differentiate between men and women should no longer be valid or justified. The new normal should not differentiate between men and women at all. Leadership is genderless, even in corporate or any other environments. Positions in the boardroom should be filled with people for their qualities, not for their gender; awards should go for the people who deserve them regardless of their gender; and institutions should change the way they deliver their message. Although this new perception is not common yet, it can be seen how it is starting to emerge globally. For instance, the New York Times often portrays India’s Indira

Gandhi repetitively saying: ‘I am not a woman prime minister. I am a prime minister.’ Sri Hartono, Astra International’s Chief of Corporate Human Resources (HR), his company does not support affirmative action. He says: ‘If we wanted to find suitable female leaders, they will be assessed through our HR programs, and it should be done in that natural way.’ The time has now come where empowerment for leadership excellence should not involve gender differences. Gender equality is not about creating headlines of ‘% of Women in the Boardroom’ or building feminist groups called ‘Women in Power’ or having TED Talks about ‘Women & Leadership’, because these only show and emphasise how the society still differs women from men. I am not against these institutions. What I am trying to say is that the message should change. If you really want to fight for gender equality, then treat both genders in the same way by giving them the same opportunity and awarding them in the same way. Whatever position it may be, whether leading as a board member, CEO, politician or any other roles, when it comes to leadership specifically, at the end of the day the qualities of a good leader are the same: the ability to influence people. We need to combat this existing perception that should not be socially acceptable.

52


Social media – marketing’s new normal

53

Egadhana Rasyid Satar

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube… Surely no introduction needed, as I am sure that most readers are active users of those social media services.


In this Web 2.0 era, traditional marketing efforts (for instance, purchasing advertisement spots in print and electronic media), have been challenged by the rise of social media. Increasingly, businesses have started to explore social media platforms to engage with customers, market their products and improve brand image. The use of social media is now regarded as a normal method to use in marketing as previous platforms are abandoned, including online-based ones. During Internet browsing sessions, have you ever clicked on a banner ad (if you haven’t blocked them)? I don’t think so. Indeed, a research by Solve Media, an advertising agency in 2011 has found that you are more likely to survive a plane crash than to click a banner ad. Social media is often praised for its ability to spread message to a larger audience using word-of-mouth. Another benefit it offers is its low cost. As most social media platforms do not require payment, it enables smaller firms or organisations with limited marketing budgets to advertise across various means and channels. Traditional marketing communications, such as print and electronic media, typically involve high costs needed to purchase an advertisement spot at a prominent newspaper or a popular prime-time television program. Social media enables the creation of low-cost campaigns with a large return-on-investment.

Assisted with these following key factors; the increased use of mobile devices and a very rapid uptake of social media services by all levels of people, social media is getting more mainstream than ever and has helped marketers to reach their targets quickly and rapidly. Regardless, the very wide reach of social media is only one of its numerous benefits and not the sole objective of marketers. The true benefit of social media is the opportunity for one-to-one interactions with customers, and the resulting ability to build personal relationships that last. When it first emerged, organisations that used social media prioritise a large number of Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter followers and bombard them with untargeted messages, a mere focus on quantity instead of quality. This is not any different from the one-way communication mentality prevalent in mass media marketing. Only recently do brands realise the importance of delivering individualised messages and personalised attention– this act can be as simple as answering an individual query posted on the brand’s Facebook page. Automated posts can be a blunder. Supermarket Tesco which sold affected products during the UK horse meat scandal, used the automated message ‘It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay!’ in response to an enquiry. Automatic communications can be regarded as cold, especially during crisis times where concerned customers may engage in social platforms to seek clarification and assistance.

54


55

Furthermore, note that social media marketing is not confined to marketers. Customers would want to interact with other individuals within the company that can make a difference to their product experience, such as designers, technicians and customer service. For instance, an organisation whose product requires technical skill, such as Microsoft, must have a technician access to its Facebook page, so he can field questions from customers wishing assistance and support. The rapid response would increase satisfaction. The most major paradigm shift brought by social media is the notion that customers, not marketers, now have the control of the message. Social media has redistributed power from selling firms to customers, who can create, share and spread information through blog posts, videos, tweets and other social media means. Customers Photo by: Najla Sekar

only need to tweet a firm or post in its Facebook page to complain to a firm. Their feedbacks will be seen by other customers as well, which will pressure firms to issue quick responses. This was the case with Woolworth’s supermarkets, where last year, a customer who found a frog in her salad complained to Woolworth’s at its Facebook page, whilst uploading a photograph of it. Other customers commented and shared the photograph to their friends, which dented Woolworth’s’ reputation, at least in the shortterm. If at times word-of-mouth are used by customers to spread positive messages, they can also spread negative messages that will harm brand equity. In order to prevent damage to brand reputation when such situation occurs, Leslie GainesRoss, a public relations consultant at Weber Shandwick, provided six points that need to be remembered

by firms. First, firms should not exert disproportionate force towards the party precipitating the crisis, as it can generate public sympathy towards them and strengthen animosity towards the firm. Second, responses have to be issued immediately, or the window of opportunity would close. As a result, social media staff needs to be trained in using social media tools quickly. Third, firms should allow staff to respond and issue their opinions in social media to help the firm present an ‘insider’s voice’ during crises, as long as it is conducted in accordance to the firm’s social media policy. Fourth, the CEO should respond to the offence in the same manner in which the offence was committed. This is because there is a high chance that people exposed to the catalyst will also be exposed to the firm’s response.


Fifth, the firm should expose support and backing from non-related third parties, in order to balance the firm’s negative portrayal and influence public opinion. Lastly, to restore the firm’s credibility, customers should be reminded of past accolades and awards, particularly ones that relate to the crisis’ nature. Another risk of engaging audiences with social media is the probability of backlash if the timing is incorrect or current public opinion of the firm is low. As responses to social media campaigns cannot be directly influenced, there is no guarantee that the campaign will be received positively. Backlashes are embarrassing as it may lead to unwanted attention in the mainstream media, which will then result in bad publicity. If public opinion is relatively low, firms should not launch high-risk engagement campaigns. In October 2012, Starbucks’ UK subsidiary was accused of tax evasion when it was revealed that it only paid £8.5 million in taxes, despite its considerable sales of £3 billion. This damaged Starbucks’ brand image in the UK. Merely two months later, Starbucks attempted a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #spreadthecheer to commemorate Christmas and to spread holiday wishes. Instead, the hashtag was hijacked by disgruntled Britons, who severely criticised Starbucks’ tax-evasion attempts. Backlashes often occur due to the firm being unaware of public opinion and perception in social media. Firms need to monitor social media to leverage information on how the firm is perceived among social media users. This can be done with social media monitoring platforms, IT-

based tools that monitor conversation about your firm in the Internet. A typical platform’s tasks are to monitor the brand across social channels and the web, schedule and publish updates, manage online conversations, and measure their campaign efforts. Monitoring platforms are effective to learn the current tone of the public regarding the firm, which can be used to assist in deciding the correct time of launching a social media campaign. Launching cause-marketing campaigns on social media is possible, but during disasters, wording is crucial. Happy and playful tones project a selfish image. Instead, firms should express their concern towards victims and use more compassionate tones. We can see that social media has redefined the very idea of marketing. In the past, marketers used to control the audience. Now the audience can also have a say- and not necessarily in a way favourable to the company. Though the risks outlined previously are real and may lead to damaged brand equity, the probability of those risks happening can be minimised if the correct remedies and steps are applied. I believe that social media deliver benefits that cannot be achieved using traditional efforts. Word-of-mouth and viral marketing are not possible with television or printed advertisements, as they cannot be shared easily. Two-way community engagement in a quick and global way is only possible with social media platforms, not to mention that with social media, organisations can achieve astounding results with low initial investments!

56


When x-men work with aliens

57

Samuel Pandu Amarta

The very first challenge for Gen Y in the working industry is to prove that their â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;controversialâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ways of doing things are not entirely bad. Some of the negative perceptions harboured towards Gen Y are merely myths.


After I completed my university degree four years ago, I started my career path as a recruiter in one of the biggest banks in Indonesia. My job requires me to hire approximately 400 graduates every year. Given this opportunity, I was able to interact with many fresh graduates, not only from the universities in Indonesia, but also those who studied abroad. Moreover, I had to work closely with HR practitioners regarding fresh graduate career preferences. From this experience, I noticed a rather interesting fact: older generation, including baby boomers (born between 1946-1979), which I will refer to as Gen X in this article, have diverse perceptions about the younger generation (born between 1980-2000), called Gen Y or Millennials. To illustrate, some consider Gen Y as a generation with huge potentials, while others might see Gen Y as threatening ‘Aliens’ with their weird idealism and unusual ways of interaction. With the increasing need of working with the younger generation, Gen Y’s lifestyle and working potentials are often discussed by various sources. ‘Today’s Young People Aren’t Ambitious, Care Less About Their Jobs, And Want More Vacation.’ Saranya Kapur, Business Insider, September 25, 2013. ‘Generation Y’s Goal? Wealth and Fame.’ Sharon Jayson, USA Today, January 10, 2007.

‘Job Hopping is the ‘New Normal’ for Millennials: Three Ways to Prevent a Human Resource Nightmare.’ Jeanne Meister, Forbes, August 14, 2012. ‘Millennials Tech-Dependent, But Not Necessarily Tech-Savvy.’ Millennial Marketing.

Looking at the headlines, recent studies about Gen Y, and my own experience as an interviewer, I came to the conclusion that they are a unique generation with potentials that other generations don’t have. Unfortunately, society might not share the same view. The increasing studies about ‘How Gen Y should prepare themselves in today’s working environment’, ‘Managing Gen Y’ or ‘Working with Gen Y’ begs the question: if Gen Y is the current ‘normal’ then to what extent would their lifestyle and working behavior be considered socially acceptable? The very first challenge for Gen Y in the working industry is to prove that their ‘controversial’ ways of doing things are not entirely bad. Some of the negative perceptions harboured towards Gen Y are merely myths—even if these are proven, they don’t happen exclusively in Gen Y era, as suggested by a study conducted by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in 1999, where the majority of Gen X were 20-29 year olds at that time, just like Gen Y’s age

58


MYTH or FAC T?

59

Myth #1: Gen Y lacks organisational loyalty; organisation hopping is the new ‘normal’ for this generation.

Myth #2: Work life balance is an essential factor for Gen Y, while compensation is less important.

Fact: From a recent survey by HR professionals around the world, 55 per cent of them show their concern about Gen Y’s loyalty to their own respective company. I would agree to some extent, but it is important to note that this is not a new phenomenon. A survey conducted in 1999 indicates that 39 per cent of Gen X has higher intentions to leave their organization, while a survey in 2013 suggests that 36 per cent of Gen Y do not feel obliged to stay, however 43 per cent of Gen X also feels the same way. This indicates that loyalty is a problem across every passing generation and is not exclusive to Gen Y. Moreover, research undertaken by CEB in 2014 emphasizes the fact that Gen Y is not looking for organisational hopping, but rather experience hopping. This means that Gen Y is willing to stay in an organization as long as it has a dynamic and diverse career path

Fact: 66 per cent of HR professionals hold on to this belief, however research in this area has proven otherwise: compensation and future career opportunities are the top two career priorities for Gen Y, similar to those of the ‘X-Men’ back in 1999. This shows that there is no significant difference in goal preferences between X-Men and the Aliens. In fact, both generations share a similar drive when they are at the same age.


Myth #3: Using technology as a main platform of communication is justified to be normal for Gen Y. Fact: Gen Y is being dubbed as the ‘hightechnology’ generation. The myth claimed that Gen Y prefers internet-based learning and they feel more comfortable to communicate through high-tech platforms. However, the statistics prove differently. Even though it is true that Gen Y uses smartphones more than previous generations, 40.3 per cent of Gen Y loves practical learning while only 22.1 per cent prefer web-based learning. In fact, Gen Y relies on conventional communication channels such as e-mail and direct contact while interacting with their superordinate or peers. The research shows consistency across generations.

Illustrations by: Laras Andari

Myth #4: Gen Y expects a higher salary and they believe that fast career promotion is ‘normal’. Fact: Yes, it’s true! A global labor market survey in 2014 argued that Gen Y expected a merit increase by 3 per cent higher than other generation and 68 per cent Gen Y is hoping to be promoted within 2 years, while only 53 per cent of Gen X feels the same.

Myth #5: Gen Y is more collaborative than competitive. Fact: The other way around! Gen Y is more driven by relative performance than absolute performance. 58 per cent of Gen Y highlights this point by agreeing that they compare their individual performance to their peers, while only 48 per cent of Gen X does the same. Thus, a visible performance comparison can boost Gen Y’s performance, indicating their sense of competitiveness.

60


2. Be tech-savvy! Gen Y has grown up with technology. This is an advantage to increase network, productivity, and accuracy for work-related activities. Give feedback or ideas about technology implementation at work, and don’t hesitate to help the X-Men during business operations. 3. High tech will not replace high touch. Balance your interaction between technology and a more ‘human’ touch: learn how to approach X-Men directly and show respect by not using smartphones during conversations or meetings.

61 Based on the similarities above, the new ‘normal’ brought by Gen Y has challenged the perception of society. However, coming from a different generation, the Aliens can always maximise their potentials while working with the X-Men through various ways: 1. Gen Y seeks experience. Express your career aspirations before you get exhausted with your job! Talk to someone who cares about your career development, have some knowledge about the organisation you’re coming into and be willing to escalate your aspirations to the management. This might open up opportunities of obtaining a diverse job within the same organisation.


4. Expect career acceleration, but appreciate the process. Nothing is instant, you might be able to learn new skills and absorb knowledge faster than others, but leadership and character building require time and experience. 5. Prove then ask, not the other way round. Ask for rewards or greater responsibility after you have proven that you could do more than what is expected. Be aware of your â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;priceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the market, read an updated salary survey, ask friends who work in a similar job. Asking for an increase in benefit without clear justifications will only make you look materialistic. 6. Brand yourself on the right social media. As you enter the working industry, present yourself amongst professionals through LinkedIn platform. Share your meaningful thoughts, connect with other professionals and follow companies that you are interested in. Your next career opportunity might start right there.

By comparing the research in the past to the most recent ones, this article has supported my view about how the Aliens can excel in their professional careers, despite having to work with the X-Men in the same time frame. Above all, your success is not determined by what generation you are from. The older generation is not a barrier in workplace; the real challenge is our own selves. Aliens could see X-Men as a threat to their career, or they could learn from their predecessors to create differences, redefining what is perceived as normal in the workplace according to their own style. Will you make use of this opportunity? You choose!

Samuel Pandu Amarta, part of Gen X, is currently working in Permata Bank as Employer Branding Manager. He gained his knowledge about people development and learnt leadership skills through AIESEC in Indonesia. He started off as an activation-marketing planner in marketing agency before proceeding as a recruiter in Permata Bank in 2010. Illustrations by: Laras Andari

62


63


TASMANIA

Evelyn Lovelle 64

If you think Australia is the land down under, Tasmania is further down south and away from its common colonial mainland. From the city centers and to the wilderness, my partner in crime and I completed 2100 kilometers, conquering the whole island. Tasmania was said to be beautiful in all seasons and for me, my Tasmanian journey began in the beginning of winter. Taking our car on board in the Spirit of Tasmania ferries from Melbourne port, we disembarked at Devonport (North Tasmania). Driving was relatively easy even for us who are GPS-reliant. Road signs were clear and straightforward. All you have to be wary of really is just to avoid roadkills. We have seen far too many dead bodies on the road, but praise the Lord we did not kill a single soul. Here is a list of some places we explored that highlights my Tasmanian trip.


65

NORTH We enjoyed a quick scenic drive to the northwest to Stanley, passing by small towns called Burnie and Wynyard to take a look at an old volcanic plug, The Nut. A small town of population not more than 500 stays underneath The Nut. If you want to go on top of the mountain, you could take a chairlift. Personally, I love seeing it from afar.

We had a sweet breakfast at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, one of the places I had strong affinity with. All menu items were infused with the raspberry fruit, they even have raspberry hot chocolate and raspberry sausages! Close to the Raspberry farm, you could savour yourself with cheese tasting at Ashgrove Cheese Farm.


66

WEST Strahan is a small town and its survival is reliant on its fishing port and cruise ferries. Many travellers looked past the west coast region of Tasmania, as the most worthy attraction was seemingly only a 6 to 8 hour cruise to Gordon River. Every chance I get to see a slice of heaven I would take it. A family owned business World Heritage Cruises provides a guided tour along Hellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gate (convicts pathway entry to Sarah Island), Liberty Point (a pen where

the rearing of thousands of Atlantic salmons and Ocean trouts take place), Sarah Island (British convict settlement), Heritage Landing (ancient forest) and last but not least, the Gordon River. The Gordon River is a stretch of still waters where we travel through a narrow river. The most beautiful instances were water reflections enraptured through reflecting the mountainous rug of green, pink, orange trees.


67


CE NTRAL If there is one sole purpose to make my way to Tasmania, it would be to be charmed by the beautiful Cradle Mountain. The first time we came by to trek the scenic Dove Lake Circuit, the pinnacles were fully covered in mist. The whole time it refused to brush clear and luck was not on our side that day. On our very last day, we were determined to come back, which I was glad we did. We witnessed the most magical, serene and pristine illustration of landscapes. The mountain was the perfect storybook picture, showcasing its mighty alps with clear baby blue sky backdrop. It was as though two sisters proudly stand on the grounds of their kingdom, and we visitors bow upon them. It was majestically alluring.

Less than two hours drive away from Cradle Mountain, we made our way to Mount Field National Park for a trek in the forest. You could take a slow walk, picnic, bird watch, or even ride on a ski during winter. The most common reason to be here was to experience the tranquility of Tasmaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most loved waterfalls. Russell Falls sits on several tiers standing more than fifty meters from the ground. Another, named horseshoe is an elegant cascade of a peaceful geological formation. Those gushes of roar when water hits the grounds of the earth from the waterfall summit seemed to have put my mind at a stand still.

68


69

SO U T H The city of Hobart is the liveliest town in Tasmania. Its city center offers a street-level view of Mount Wellington and it takes you less than half an hour to drive all the way to the pinnacle. Each tenth of a kilometer upwards brings the temperature to a drop of one degree. Eventually we ended up throwing snowballs at each other when we arrived at the peak. We also visited MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) to take a look at the iconic building. Paying a ticket entitles you to take a look at eccentric art pieces and invites for controversial opinions derived from historical events around the world. We

did not have time to visit, but I would still recommend experiencing the buzzing crowd at Salamanca Sunday Market trying out food, buying crafts and other knick-knacks. We took a detour to Tasman Peninsula to take a good view of beautiful rock formations. It is pleasing to know how nature allows rocks to erode artistically. Not far from here, we spent the rest of the day in a convict settlement named Port Arthur. It was an eye opening experience taking you back to when the early settlers came to the island.


70

EAST Taking the coastal drive on east Tasmania was under the bucket list of mine. On a sunny day, be enthralled by the fiery granites: they call it the Bay of Fires. Contemporary alternative mixes on the radio, moist sand, and wind in my hair, I love them with all my senses. We even went seashell picking and I ended up bringing about fifty of them home. In the quiet evening we took a bushwalk at Freycinet Peninsula Park to overview a stretch of conjoining plateaus and eyewitness the touristic Wineglass Bay.

There is no denying the fact that the best time to travel is during your twenties. I am constantly trying to explore region by regions, people to places, culture to histories, and endorse myself the beauty of all surroundings. No doubt that Tasmania would have a lasting memory in a mind palace of mine.

For more pictures from Tasmania, visit my website www.evelovelle.blogspot.com or on Instagram @evelovelle


Photo by: Bianca Winata

71

The art of personal branding Nadya Andyrasari Mulya

They say the first year of university is often the most remarkable because it is the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It is a period of discovery, a time to find your true identity and as if adolescence has not been stigmatised enough, there’s also a due date to become more mature. Though we seem to avoid saying this one explicitly, the first year of university is essentially the starting point of an overall three or four year process of beautifying your curriculum vitae – a time to not only discover who you are, but also how you would stand out in comparison to the hundreds or thousands other appli-

I remember being told at the start of my orientation week in August 2013 that ‘a high GPA won’t necessarily cut it. Each year there are thousands of fresh law graduates and only a few jobs available. How are you going to differentiate yourself from others?’ Now that was evidently a myriad of inspirational words, and even if the only responses to it were the gulps and gawking faces of us fresh high school graduates, I could see its truth. It is important to work on attaining the image you want to display to the public, or to create a personal brand.


Personal branding describes the activities whereby one tries to look their most presentable and attractive in order to appeal to a certain audience, whether it is by displaying their status, interests or talents. The term takes form in many ways, a notable and recent one being the campaigns of the 2014 presidential elections candidates, Prabowo Subianto alongside partner Hatta Rajasa, and Joko Widodo with partner Jusuf Kalla. This political form may be an obvious point, yet as the school year went on I noticed that personal branding is not only present in politics or in our job applications, but also in our daily life. We constantly engage in pencitraan – the Indonesian word for the term – and most of the time we’re not even aware of it. Funnily enough however, although the word pencitraan is on par with personal branding in terms of their meaning, the former seems to hold a negative connotation. Hitching a taxi to a rendezvous because you refuse to be seen in a tram? Pencitraan. Posting your views on the 2014 elections as your Facebook status? Pencitraan. Sharing your experience of volunteering at a local soup kitchen? Whoa there, please kindly tone down your pencitraan. Here’s to hoping that sarcasm translates in writing, but the point I stand with is that our constant usage of the term has modified its meaning. There seems to be a thin line between personal branding and showing off, and this brings a room of discussion as to just how often we cross

it. Is personal branding inherently good? If not, how do we tell when our personal branding is positive or negative? One argument against personal branding is that it hinders the audience from attaining the truth about a person. Since personal branding only showcases certain things you want others to see, it allows you to display both actual facts and false claims. This can be problematic because if the latter is the entire basis of your brand, then you are essentially deceiving your audience. Further, even when you choose to only display facts, people may question your sincerity. Say, sure, you visited an orphanage last Saturday – your Facebook album is concrete proof of that – but how can you assure that your voluntourism is sincere and not a narcissistic attempt of creating a benevolent image? Moreover, the current norm is people being more concerned with trying to capture that they had a good time or did a good deed, rather than actually enjoying themselves. People think you’re good when you do good stuff, so the question then arises as to why you would bother showing it off. Additionally, personal branding may pose a negative impact not only to the audience, but also to the person doing it. Though we probably refuse to admit it, the main catalyst of personal branding is really the dissatisfaction of oneself. You feel that abiding to the cliché of ‘staying true to yourself ’ just won’t cut it, so you resort to adding, fixing and modifying some of your characteristics.

72


Photo by: Evelyn Lovelle

73

Now you may have concealed your insecurities, but as the dependence on your personal brand grows you may get torn between the two versions of yourself: one that you project in public and one behind closed doors. Oddly enough, though your self-esteem increases when you are satisfied with your personal brand, the awareness that you’re actually not happy with your true self makes it drop. Aren’t we humans such a walking paradox? On the other hand, we live in a world where personal branding is practically inevitable. It is undeniable that our society has defined the standards of every aspect of life, from an individual’s physical appearance to areas of knowledge. Even though the society provides so much room for insecurity and self-loathing, we still find ourselves conforming and submitting to its standards. At times we also try to overcome these standards and be distinguishable with the use of personal brands. Incidentally, the inevitability of personal branding increases depending on its scale. In the case of the aforementioned presidential elections for example, the candidates needed to appeal to a massive audience and this required effective per-

sonal branding as part of their campaigns. Further, the activity itself is not entirely negative as it is usually harmless. Yes, personal branding is pretty much emphasising aspects of life you want others to see and omitting the ones that you don’t, but that does not make it bad per se. Not everyone needs to know every aspect of our lives and besides, are we even willing, let alone ready, to strip our brand or image down and go au naturel in our current society? I think not. In short, the key to keep your personal branding positive is to know when and how to maintain a reasonable amount of it. Trying to distinguish yourself from others is fine—good even—so long as you don’t resort to false truth. It is human nature to get so consumed with the aim of impressing others and putting on personal brands that we think are appealing. What is intriguing though is the fact that we know we don’t always view things the same way as each other, so my question is: when we try to impress others aren’t we really just trying to impress ourselves? I ask myself this question often and seeing as I still get thrown off each time, it’s probably time to take a nap.


crossing the border: thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third gender acceptance

Travis Larcombe 74

Photo by: Bianca Winata


75

It is an overcast and rainy day as our tour bus winds through the low, forested mountains north of Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. We are on our way to Elephant Nature Park, a refuge for rescued Thai elephants, and our young, pretty and enthusiastic tour guide stands at the front of the tour bus and introduces herself. ‘Hello everyone!’ she yells. ‘Good morning, my name is Ruby Minaj, and I am your tour guide for today’. Some of my fellow tourists, all Westerners, let out a nervous giggle. This is the first time that many of them have had a chance to meet a ‘thirdsex’ Thai woman, or ‘ladyboy’, in person. Almost every foreigner who travels to Thailand has heard about the worldfamous Thai ladyboys, and seedy tales abound of confused or intoxicated tourists seducing a beautiful Thai woman, only to find out that she is ‘really a man’. Such tales are likely apocryphal and at any rate, reveal much more about society’s prejudices in large against transgendered women than they say about the women themselves. Unlike many tourists, local Thais do not regard ladyboys (sometimes referred to as kathoey, or third-sex), as particularly exotic. Rather it seems to be foreigners who find the concept of ladyboys intriguing. But in Thailand, transgendered people are much more visible and accepted compared to their counterparts in other countries. Until very recently in Australia, individuals who were obviously transgendered were seldom seen outside of drag shows or the infamous Les Girls cabaret in Sydney’s

King’s Cross. And the ever-present threat of discrimination or violence still keeps many transgendered women in the closet. In Thailand, by contrast, transgender men and women are much more an accepted and normal part of the social fabric. While some ‘third-sex’ or transgender Thais do experience street-based violence, and some end up working in the entertainment industry (like the famous Calypso cabaret show in Bangkok), many also work regular jobs, and I would often find myself at a café or in a clothes store being served by a transgender shop assistant. The greater acceptance of transgenderism in Thai culture is also reflected in the language. Thai language has pronouns not only for male and female but also for ‘third-sex’/’thirdgender’. Many phrases - including the standard greeting – ‘Sawaddee-‘ end, with a gendered particle ‘-ka’ for women, ‘-krup’ for men, and ‘-ha’ for third-gender. Personally, I found the Thai lack of concern over the gender binary to be liberating. As someone who doesn’t fit very easily into either the traditional gender identities of male or female, I was concerned that I might encounter trouble while travelling overseas. There were certainly some moments of confusion, but by and large, I did not find that the people I encountered were worried. No matter which gendered particle I used, for example, no one questioned my right to use that particular particle. Another frequent issue for transgendered people – the ‘toilet problem’, was also a lot easier to handle.


76

Illustration by: Jessica Margareta Budimartono


77

In Thailand, both women and transgendered people (male and female) use the women’s bathroom, while maleborn men use the men’s bathroom. By contrast, in Australia many venues still have only male and female toilets and transgender people who are afraid that they do not ‘pass’ as their identified gender may often avoid using public restrooms for fear of discrimination. Such a basic right as being able to use the bathroom becomes a challenge for transgendered individuals in Australia, and many other countries over the world. The perceived difference in the level of acceptance of transgendered people in Thai culture, as compared to many other nations, has been supported by research in this area. In one study, transgendered women in Thailand reported receiving higher levels of parental support from a young age, and were often able to start hormone treatment earlier than their peers in the United States. This doesn’t mean that transgendered men and women in Thailand do not face any discrimination – in fact, they are legally prohibited from entering certain professions such as teaching. However, looking at the moderate social acceptance and visibility of the LGBT community in Thailand, there is a lot less stigma facing transgendered Thais. Many attribute Thailand’s history and Buddhist values as contributing to this acceptance. This is quite the contrary to

Western culture, for example, which has been largely influenced by Christianity, and relies on the physical body to determine an individual’s sex. Transgenderism is often seen as a disorder of the mind – where the mind has deviated from the gender identity that the body has dictated. Buddhism, by contrast, teaches that ‘reality’ exists on at least five different levels, of which the physical world, including our bodies, is only one dimension. Thus in Buddhist teaching, an individual’s conscious or thought perception of their gender is equally as real as their physical sex. As we who are located in other countries and other cultures move through our own journey towards understanding and acceptance of gender diversity, hopefully we too will begin to treat transgendered people as being a normal variation of the human species. Recently there have been encouraging signs in many countries, such as the legal recognition of a ‘third sex’ category in India, and increasing prevalence of ‘gender neutral’ spaces. As our society becomes more accepting of transgendered people, we are likely to see more gender diverse people emerge, hopefully to become happy and valued members of our communities. Travelling in Thailand was an eye-opening experience for me in that regard, and I look forward to a day when Australian society is just as, if not more, tolerant of transgendered people.


At The Edge Of Adulthood

Stevani Susanto

78

There are no set rules on how to become an adult, and the big decisions in life that would shape you into one are yours to make.

Photo by: Najla Sekar


79

Being financially independent, having life completely figured out, talking about ‘grown-up’ things. All these common markers of adulthood used to be classified under the secret world of the grownups, in which you’d get an automatic entry once you reach a certain age. Like many others, I used to think that growing up is a straightforward, linear process with particular milestones such as the abovementioned (along with graduating high school, entering university, etc.) as stepping-stones to guide you along. However, I eventually realised that one does not simply reach an epiphany and wake up on his or her 18th birthday thinking, ‘Wow, I am an adult now.’ More often than not, it’s ‘Wow, I can FINALLY drink legally,’ or something along those lines. You get what I mean. For those of you who’ve got this grown-up thing figured out, good on you. For the rest of us who haven’t, fret not! When it comes to personal growth, there’s a massive grey area where we consider ourselves as neither adolescents nor adults. This transition period may take shorter or longer, depending on each individual’s pace. A little over a decade ago, sociologist Jeffrey Arnett proposed the term ‘emerging adulthood’ as another stage of life between adolescence and adulthood to ‘capture the lengthening of youth.’ It states that people between the ages of 19 to mid or late 20s are still in the search for the ‘right’ identity.

Somehow, this idea of extended growing up period comforts me. It gives the illusion of time and space where we’re still able to catch up on the experiences that we may have missed or have yet to do, giving us a greater freedom to delve deeper into various identities than ever before. During this period of exploration, we may make mistakes and learn from them, but sometimes we may feel that we haven’t rectified enough mistakes to prove that we’re ready to take on the responsibilities of full-fledged adults. This subjectivity of reaching the point of adulthood probably explains why people from the past generations view the prolonged adolescence as a reluctance to grow up. The fact is: growing up has become something that’s no longer as socially defined, since we are now expected to build our own life trajectory. Due to this, many rites of passage that were used to usher our parents into adulthood, for instance, high school graduation or getting a first job, are not necessarily stepping-stones to adulthood anymore. Also, since entering tertiary education is becoming the conventional pathway for many high school graduates, many of us emergent adults are still financially reliant on our parents due to the skyrocketing cost of education. Here’s the catch: the qualifications that we obtain from studying years beyond compulsory education may not even guarantee us stable jobs in this ever-changing economy. Hence explains the job-hopping trend that many associate with today’s youth.


Photo by: Alexander Jonathan Gosal

You see, circumstances like the above are precisely why we seem to be taking our own sweet time to become the adults that we thought we wanted to be when we were little. People from the older generation who think we ‘failed to launch’ need to calm down and perhaps stop diagnosing us with the Peter Pan syndrome just because we don’t follow their road to adulthood. Becoming an adult today is different than becoming one years ago. Raising costs of living/education combined with a plethora of changing ideals of what it means or what it takes to be an adult translates to this: you don’t simply grow into adulthood anymore.

80

The qualifications that we obtain from studying years beyond compulsory education may not even guarantee us stable jobs in this ever-changing economy.

There are no set rules on how to become an adult, and the big decisions in life that would shape you into one are yours to make. My friends, this is the new normal.


The Resurgence of the vinyl culture

81

Putu Dea K. Putra

Unlike the modern, plug-and-play system, listening to a record demands its own ritual. When you hear that familiar whir, sit down, open the cover on your lapâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;like a book. Look and scour the artwork, all the lyrics thoroughly. Flip the record over, place the needle, repeat. It demands all of your attention.


During the Easter Saturday, I decided that I would spend that gloomy afternoon searching for records, an activity commonly known as ‘crate-digging’. As I stepped out of the 112 tram and entered Polyester Records (a.k.a. the poster boy for record stores in Melbourne), it was uncommonly jam-packed with people in trendy denim jackets, carefully ironed shirts, and black-rimmed glasses. They were digging at columns of records meticulously, pulling out titles and examining the pressing, hoping to lay their hands on coveted releases. Well, I thought to myself, the Record Store Day is in full swing. Let’s take a step back and ask ourselves: why, in this day and age, where the zeitgeist is undoubtedly the rise and reign of technology, would anyone want to spend their life savings on an expensive record player and shelves full of LPs and 7” vinyl records? Analogue’s not dead, apparently. Although the digital format is still the strongest contender out there, the 2013 Nielsen Soundscan report showed that LP sales are increasing at the largest rate since the early ‘90s. More interestingly, the majority of the people who dig vinyl these days aren’t just grey-haired pensioners chanting the ‘good ol’ days’ mantra; they look like the standard Joes and Janes you see at typical uni classes. Most of them, at least.

Jordan Leekspin is a full-time science student at Australian National University and part-time collector of vinyl. Sporting a bowl haircut and colour-coordinated outfits, he picked up this interest during his VCE years, despite the ridicule coming from his peers. Now, with over 700 records in possession, he won’t stop expanding his collection anytime soon. Talking about his affinity with vinyl, Jordan enthusiastically echoed classic reasons why people fell for the idea in the first place. ‘The final product, the personal nature of a vinyl record, the experience of sitting down and watching the music play right in front of you, the limited nature… I could go on for hours!’

Why, in this day and age, where the zeitgeist is undoubtedly the rise and reign of technology, would anyone want to spend their life savings on an expensive record player and shelves full of LPs and 7” vinyl records?

Yeah, I still don’t get it. It took me another trip to a record store to unveil the mystery behind this newfound obsession. This time, I strolled into Polyester’s neighbouring record store, Poison City.

82


83

Tucked neatly in the bustling Brunswick Street, this store is a mecca for fans of skateboarding and alternative music. An eclectic blend of paraphernalia plastered the walls: past and upcoming tour posters, newly released LP covers, and rows of vibrant-coloured skate decks. 3 PM on a Wednesday afternoon, I witnessed different generations coming in to check out the store. Poison City started out as an independent label catering for mostly Australian punk and alternative rock bands. All the bands in the roster have had releases on vinyl, many of which are displayed proudly on the store wall. The brain behind the label, Andy Hayden, has run this label for 10 years. Yet, he still adopts a hands-on approach in doing his work, from booking tours to manning the counter at the store, which has been enjoying a steady increase from vinyl sales in the last three years. ‘It’s a more true format, you can argue about the sound quality, but vinyl record is a more pure form of music,’ he explained. Seeing as my setup is an entrylevel record player and subpar Logitech speakers, I needed to understand why people think it’s that much better. ‘For people who really like the sound, the warmth that you get attracts a lot of people.’ That, and the very physical nature of records—something that vinyl enthusiasts would call the ‘proper’ way of listening to music.

Unlike the modern, plug-andplay system, listening to a record demands its own ritual. When you hear that familiar whir, sit down, open the cover on your lap—like a book. Look and scour the artwork, all the lyrics thoroughly. Flip the record over, place the needle, repeat. It demands all of your attention. Seeing people my age coming in and out of the store, I asked him if it’s just another fad. He agreed that there is a resurgence of younger people picking up vinyl for the past few years. Some collect records even when they don’t have a record player yet. But the niche that they cater to plays a part as well. ‘I think the people who are into those kinds of music still want to buy physical copies, and that just happens to be vinyl at the moment, instead of CDs.’ Compared to records, CDs just seem like a cheap chunk of plastic—they all look the same, with no artistic edge whatsoever. Yawn. With vinyl, you could collect all available colours of a particular release (some are very pretty too), and compete to find the earliest possible pressings. There’s a sense of satisfaction from collecting records that beats, say, showing off your massive iTunes library. Besides, nowadays records also come with its digital downloads, so it’s a win-win situation for the youth of today.


Andy lamented the fact that many people don’t have the passion or emotional connection to support artists, as piracy has become a norm in acquiring music. Records then might also help reduce the harmful impacts that come along with it, especially for independent labels. ‘If they’re passionate enough about the band, or the album, that’s when they might buy a vinyl copy,’ he said. ‘Illegal downloading is here to stay, but we’re lucky enough our customers do understand that by buying physical copies, it keeps our labels alive and bands touring.’ Talking about Record Store Day, Andy was happy that it has helped keep the culture of independent record stores alive, and he is optimistic about the future in vinyl. ‘It’s still got a long way to go. This revival is definitely a good thing. It might plateau out a little bit… Maybe [the next younger generation] really just want to consume music in a digital manner. But for people who are really passionate about music, attached to the music scene, they’re still going to buy records’. This vinyl revival surely seems like a paradox in this digital age, yet I was swept under the wave. I could have all the music I ever wanted for free—but I still feel a tinge of regret every time I walk out of a record store empty-handed. Some could say this is just materialism, kitsch, madness, nostalgia, or a passing fad; we can’t be too sure. But for the sake of musicians and the whole community trying to make the scene what it is today, hopefully this would be here to stay.

Illegal downloading is here to stay, but we’re lucky enough our customers do understand that by buying physical copies, it keeps our labels alive and bands touring.

84

Photo by: Putu Dea K. Putra


WRITERS TRAVIS LARCOMBE Master of Global Media Communications University of Melbourne NADYA ANDYRASARI MULYA Faculty of Law University of Pelita Harapan EVELYN LOVELLE Bachelor of Commerce University of Melbourne REINALDY CAHYO BASKORO Bachelor of Commerce University of Melbourne SAMUEL PANDU AMARTA Employer Branding Manager Permata Bank

AGUS D.W. MARTOWARDOJO Governor of Bank Indonesia PAULA APRIJANTO Faculty of Law University of Indonesia ASDAR MUIS R.M.S Master of Sociology University of Hasanuddin

ADELINE LIM Bachelor of Business Prasetiya Mulya Business School AMBER TRATTER Bachelor of Commerce Diploma of Languages in Indonesian ALDA PRAWITERA Master of Commerce, Marketing With Specialisation in Consulting

85

Photo by: Reagan Kurniadwiputra Susanto


EGADHANA RASYID SATAR Master of Commerce, Marketing University of Melbourne NICK JACKSON Bachelor of Arts Monash University Educator in University of Ahmad Dahlan, Jogja MICHAEL REARDON Master of Management University of Melbourne

ELIZABETH HUNE Law Studies University of Parahyangan

ILLUSTRATORS JESSICA MARGARETA BUDIMARTONO Bachelor of Science University of Melbourne LARAS ANDARI Bachelor of Fine Arts Lasalle College Singapore

PHOTOGRAPHERS ABIGAIL WIANTONO AGUNG YUDHA BATHARA RAHARJO ALEXANDER JONATHAN GOSAL EKA KHOEN KEMAL CAESAR SUTAMA NAJLA SEKAR REAGAN KURNIADWIPUTRA SUSANTO STEVE HARYANTO

We would like to thank our wonderful writers, photographers and illustrators for their contributions in Perspektif ’s ‘The New Normal'.

86


FRIENDS OF MUISA Enjoy the benefits from Friends of MUISA by becoming a PPIA Unimelb Member! Terms and Conditions: *Show your Melbourne University Student Card *Make sure it has the PPIA sticker on it

87


88

Volume 2: The New Normal  

Published August 2014