House of the Unsilenced

Design by Stella Katherine.

Design by Stella Katherine.

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, House of the Unsilenced produces and showcases new artworks, writings, and performances by artists and sexual abuse survivors, about surviving, healing, speaking up, seeking justice, living and loving as a survivor, and fighting for gender equality.

In this space, survivors can tell their stories using various creative mediums and find a community where they feel supported and at home.

The first House of the Unsilenced took place on 15 July-2 September 2018 in Cemara 6 Galeri-Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia.

More than 20 artists, writers, and performers participated, including Molly Crabapple (artist and writer), Dewi Candraningrum (academic and painter), Dyantini Adeline (video artist), Naomi Srikandi (actor and director), Ratu Saraswati (art performer), Yacko (rapper), Sakdiyah Ma'ruf (comedian), Musdah Mulia (Muslim feminist and intellectual), Rani P. Collaborations (artists and performance makers), Bisik-bisik Kembang Goyang (artists and activists), Salima Hakim (artist), Fahrul Piliang (artist and actor), Bonita (singer-songwriter), Tunggal Pawestri (activist), Margaret Agusta (journalist), Magdalena Sitorus (writer and commissioner for the National Commission on Violence against Women), and many others.

Collaborating with survivors, they created artworks that were exhibited in the house, music that was performed in the house, they held discussions, and wrote stories that were read in the house as well.

Themes explored also varied: media's treatment of sexual abuse cases, body shaming, our willingness to listen to survivors’ stories, the 1998 mass rapes in Indonesia, lack of access to safe abortion, discrimination faced by gender and sexual minority groups, and many more.

More than 50 survivors took part. They came from greater Jakarta, East Java, Yogyakarta, Makassar, Singapore, Australia, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other places, of all genders, young and old, and from various walks of life. Survivors participated by attending workshops or working with artists. We also provided psychological first aids during all our events.

Many survivors in Indonesia, the majority of whom are women, still find it very hard to get their voices heard. Society often stigmatize, blame, and punish victims of sexual abuse, and excuse perpetrators' actions. House of the Unsilenced offered survivors an opportunity to use various literary and artistic means to speak up and help tear down rape culture. In this house, we sang, danced, cried, hugged one another, roared and celebrated the wonderful voices of survivors and women.

The first House of the Unsilenced was part of the Creative Freedom Festival 2018, organized by InterSastra, supported by the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian Arts Coalition, and Cemara 6 Galeri-Museum. Event partners are LBH Apik, Yayasan Pulih, Lentera Sintas Indonesia, Hollaback! Jakarta, Arus Pelangi, and Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association. Our media partners were Magdalene, Femina, Harper's BAZAAR Indonesia, CASA Indonesia, Womantalk, and Opini.id.


ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Creator and Artistic Director: Eliza Vitri Handayani

Curator: Ika Vantiani

Documentation Officer: Jin Panji and team

Graphic Designer: Stella Katherine

Executive Assistant: Citra Benazir Adityawarman

Accounting: Nur Ika and Yana

Art handling: Arief Atto Widiarso, PT Serrum

Media Officer: Stephanie Mamonto


THE EXHIBITION

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“Power Girls” by Dewi Candraningrum

DEWI CANDRANINGRUM is the founder of Jejer Wadon and lecturer in the study of literature, gender, and ecology. She earned her degrees from Monash University and Muenster Universitaet. In her spare time, she painted with her autistic son Ivan Ufuq Isfahan.

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“Seven portraits of women who’ve had abortions” and “Four portraits of refugees in Jakarta”

by Molly Crabapple with Akynos, Leigh Alexander, Chelsea G. Summers, Eliza, Clara, Elizabeth, Nadya M., Farida, Amina, Jafar, and Lolo

MOLLY CRABAPPLE is an artist and writer in New York. Her memoir, Drawing Blood, was published by HarperCollins in 2015. Brothers of the Gun, her illustrated collaboration with Syrian war journalist Marwan Hisham, was published by One World/Penguin Random House in May 2018. Her art is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the United States Library of Congress and the New York Historical Society.

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“Menjumpai Saudari” by Bisik-bisik Kembang Goyang with Luluk Kusnia and Kanza Vina

KEMBANG BISIK-BISIK GOYANG is made up of Kania Mamonto, Ellena Ekarahendy, and Yolandri Simanjuntak. They produce zines, stickers, and podcasts, and they experiment with other forms and languages to showcase issues such as gender, politics, and everyday concerns.

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“She hears, see here” by Dyantini Adeline with Lilin, V., and C.

DYANTINI ADELINE is an audio visual worker, artist and filmmaker. In 2012, she founded the collective The Youngrrr. Together with the collective, she has produced a number of videos and documentary films. Her work with The Youngrrr was presented at EMAF, Berlinale and Jakarta Biennale.

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“Hurt, Rise, Forgive” by Salima Hakim with Shera Rindra and AL

SALIMA HAKIM is a designer, curator, and lecturer at Pelita Harapan University, Jakarta, and Multimedia Nusantara University, Jakarta. Her works in the form of mix-media installations have been included in Jogja Artweeks 2015. As a person of Batak-Betawi and Javanese-Chinese descent, Salima was raised to appreciate and love differences.

SHERA RINDRA is a survivor, a social worker, and an activist for gender equality.

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”Lindung” (“Protection”) by Ratu Saraswati and Ningrum Syaukat

RATU SARASWATI is an Indonesia Art Award 2013 finalist. In 2015, she did an art residency for 6 months at San Art, Saigon, Vietnam. Saraswati has worked on several projects related to body and social oppression.

NINGRUM SYAUKAT is a dancer, personal trainer, stage acting coach, and part-time make-up artist. Ningrum also has a fashion line that she makes by modifying vintage clothes and fabrics.

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“Don’t Call Me Flower!” by Fahrul Piliang with three collaborators

FAHRUL PILIANG is a pharmacist who also knits and makes crafts. “Backbone” is the result of his collaboration with Turc-ID activists, who campaign for the welfare of women workers.



WEEKEND EVENTS

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“Chinese Whispers”, film screening, with Rani P Collaborations

RANI PRAMESTI is a performance maker, an intercultural producer, and an advocate for the arts. As founder of Rani P Collaborations, she leads the creation of performances that inspire conversations, self-reflection and social change. Her most recent performance work, Sedih // Sunno, premiered at Next Wave Festival 2016 and Metro Arts.

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An evening of rap music and launch of the single “FYBV” by Yacko

Also introducing new versions of “Hands Off” and “FYBV” with lyrics written by Ayu Permata Sari, Sutina Hapsari, Malika, and Citra Benazir.

YACKO is a lecturer by day and rapper by fate. She has released the albums Refleksi (2005) and Mendua (2008). In 2017 she released the single and started the campaign "Hands Off" to fight against sexual harassment and violence on the streets.

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Dramatic readings and open mic night with Naomi Srikandi, Sakdiyah Ma’ruf, Artasya Sudirman, Mian Tiara, Kartika Jahja, Paduan Suara Dialita, and many, many more.


WORKSHOPS

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Decoupage with Randurini

RANDURINI is one of the founders of WEWO Weekend Workshop, which is a communication and workshop platform that teaches various skills in arts, crafts, culinary, and technology.

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Zinemaking and Bookbinding with Tarlen Handayani
TARLEN HANDAYANI is a bookbinder, manager and founder of Tobucil & Klabs, and a freelance writer.

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Journaling with Margaret Agusta

MARGARET ROSE AGUSTA is a journalist, writer, and visual artist. She actively speaks for women's rights and campaigns to eliminate violence against women.

Fiction writing with Eliza Vitri Handayani

ELIZA VITRI HANDAYANI is an internationally published writer of fiction and nonfiction. She writes in English and Indonesian. Her novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different was launched at Frankfurt Book Fair. At the Oslo and Jakarta launches, Eliza wore a dress that she’d designed and made herself from the novel's proofs. She has appeared at festivals, such as Melbourne Writers Festival.

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3D Collage with Kiswinar
ARIO KISWINAR TEGUH is a paper artist and CEO of PEPA, a social entrepreneurship that produces handcrafted notebooks and sketchbooks. PEPA empowers marginal communities as artisans.

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Self-care Body Movements with Ningrum Syaukat

NINGRUM SYAUKAT is a dancer, personal trainer, stage acting coach, and part-time make-up artist. Ningrum also has a fashion line that she makes by modifying vintage clothes and fabrics.



DISCUSSIONS

“Islamic perspectives on violence against women” with Prof. Dr. Musdah Mulia and moderator Feby Indirani

“Intimate Partner Violence” with Anindya Vivi of Hollaback! Jakarta

“Breaking the Silence” with Arus Pelangi

“Slut Shaming” with Dea Safira and Trinzi

“Beyond the House: Next Steps in the Fight to End Sexual Abuse” with Magdalena Sitorus, Tunggal Pawestri, Shera Rindra, and Bonita

Artists’ Talk with House of the Unsilenced’s participating artists


PRE-EVENTS

“Ethics in Reporting Sexual Abuse Cases” with Devi Asmarani, co-founder of The Magdalene

Psychological first-aid training with Pulih Foundation


WHAT PARTICIPANTS AND VISITORS SAID

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"You can find writing workshops everywhere, but one specifically for survivors, that you can’t find easily. Here I feel safe, more confident, and brave enough to write the stories that I have never been able to tell others."
~ Eka Wulandari, fiction writing workshop participant

"Slowly I’m regaining my confidence after meeting new friends in House of the Unsilenced, who believe my story, even my closest friends didn't believe me. This art project is important to make more people understand how survivors struggle to survive and continue to live. "
~ Anonymous, 3D collage and self-care body movements workshop participant

“I feel happy and very lucky to be able to participate in House of Unsilenced. I met other survivors whose hugs were warm and amazing. The teachers of the workshops I attended were very kind, understanding, patient, and full of positive energy.”
~ Poppy, journaling workshop participant

"House of the Unsilenced provides an opportunity to discuss issues that are still very much feared, and for me personally it can expand my knowledge about the fear and shame I harbor in myself."
~ Salima Hakim, artist

"Thank you, House of Unsilenced, for trusting me and helping me achieve my life's purpose: be useful for others, especially fellow survivors."
~ Ningrum Syaukat, dancer and choreographer

Eliza HandayaniComment