Can art be used as a tool to fight corruption? A group of artists in Jakarta says yes.Friday, 06 March 2015 14:53:17 | Headline, Keep Hoping, News | (0 view)
At a public event called Art to Combat Corruption (Seni Lawan Korupsi), dozens of artists are showcasing paintings, photographs and comics with anticorruption messages. The event’s chairman, Abduh Aziz, said the goal is to use art to raise support for anticorruption efforts in Indonesia, a country that ranked 107 out of 175 countries on Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perception Index.
Art has the power to make people ponder, said Mr. Aziz, and it can help send a message to a large audience that corruption doesn’t pay.
The comics, for example, bear lines that read, “It’s no use showing off if you’re a corruptor’s wife,” or “A good father wouldn’t dare let his family live off corrupted money.” The words are drawn over blank faces, but the characters’ riches are made clear by their clothing and accessories.
Those types of images, “can spark dialogue and let audiences draw their own conclusions,” said Mr. Aziz.
The art comes from the Indonesian Art Coalition and 14 art institutes around Jakarta. Mr. Aziz, a board member of the Indonesian Art Coalition, said artists in other cities will also hold similar events to spread their anticorruption art to the people.
He said the idea for the Art to Combat Corruption event came about because of a feud between Indonesia’s anticorruption agency, or KPK, and its police. Antigraft activists say the dispute has seriously weakened the KPK’s ability to combat graft.
They point to the police’s move to name two KPK leaders suspects in two separate criminal cases, and a recent decision by the KPK to hand over a corruption case involving President Joko Widodo’s nominee for police chief to the attorney general’s office.
Mr. Aziz said those moves have raised concerns that the KPK is being stripped of its corruption-busting abilities.
National Police spokesman Ronny Sompie responded to those concerns to say the police don’t have any intention of weakening the anticorruption commission or setting back corruption eradication efforts.
Activists, nevertheless, remain cautious.
“So we will use our art [as a tool] to make sure that corruption eradication efforts will continue,” said Mr. Aziz.
Around 40 works will be displayed through Saturday as part of Seni Lawan Korupsi. For more information, visit Teater Kecil Taman Ismail Marzuki in Jakarta or check out senilawankorupsi.org.