Rekindling the spirit of resistance in Ludruk folk art
Indonesian artist-activist Moelyono and arts worker Riksa Afiaty engage in a deep conversation focusing
on the East Javanese folk performance called ludruk. Ludruk is a medium of art that voices the
resistance and struggles of the lower classes through humour, improvisation and popular narratives.
This Javanese traditional cultural expression has survived through the dark history of Indonesian
genocide followed by decades under an oppressive military regime. Ludruk has been historically
elevating gender pluralism and galvanising community participation in attaining self-sustainability,
including during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this dialogue, Afiaty and Moelyono reflect on how art is
intertwined with social movements, self-organising, independence, and sustainability, and how art
workers’ are increasingly challenged in traversing their roles as facilitator, agitator, innovator,
motivator, curator, and networker.
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