Senin, 23 Juni 2014

The Multiple Identities of Jakarta in "The Raid 2"

According to place and identity theory, a global sense of place, I would like to analyze about Jakarta in “The Raid 2” film. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It is located in the northwest part of Java Island. Jakarta only has 2 seasons, rainy and dry, because Indonesia is a tropical country. Geographically, Jakarta has many rivers because it locates at the mouth of Jakarta Bay. The daily average temperature of Jakarta is 27.6° C (with the highest average is 33° C and the lowest average is 24.2° C). By seeing those conditions, it can be concluded that Jakarta is quite hot and humid.

“The Raid 2” is a film by Gareth Evans in 2014. It is the sequel of “The Raid” that had been released on 2011. The story told about the young police officer who got a mission to arrest the drug mafia. It was not easy to do, because he has to act as a member of the club. At the first he was sent to the jail to enclose himself with the boss’ son. Then after he went out, the boss recruited him. During his mission, he fought with many people in many places. The film ended with the successful of the young police to clear the problem. He destroyed the club and its network completely until it did not exist.

As Doreen Massey said, place can have multiple identities. The multiple identities of Jakarta appeared when it was used as a setting in “The Raid 2”. Many hyper identities were created by the director to give a special taste in the film. The first identity is Jakarta was snowy. There is a scene that show the snow felt in Jakarta. And there were thick snows laid on the land. I was surprised and murmured “are you kidding me?” I just thought maybe it was a miracle or the result of global warming. The second is Jakarta got MRT. There is a scene which the young police officer had fought with his two opponents, hammer girl and baseball bat boy. I know that is a MRT, not train, because it is similar with MRT in Hong Kong or Singapore.

The third identity is the old and modern Jakarta. In many scenes film Jakarta was shown as a very old town. Some of the buildings and the prison were old and seems like haunted. The furniture inside those building is old style. But at the other scenes, Jakarta was amazingly modern. Many new and modern cars were used. The technology in the mafia’s apartment was really sophisticated and up to date. So the different image of Jakarta was often being changed.

By watching this film, I can prove that a place can has different identities. The cultural background of the viewer is important for creating the Jakarta’s identity and image. Actually there are many identities that had built the image of Jakarta. But I only give three kinds of identity to show. My cultural background becomes a main point to see Jakarta (in the film). For the first identity I can said that was silly. As an Indonesian, I definitely know about the weather there. I have been many times going to Jakarta. So if the snow comes to Jakarta, I conclude that it is the end of the world.

I categorize the second identity as a hope, because the MRT system in Jakarta is still being built. No problem if the director show there was an MRT in Jakarta. I can identify if that is a MRT, not train, because I ever rode MRT. But for those who are not familiar, they did not know. For the third identity, I have no idea about that. Maybe the director created those images of Jakarta due to “internationalize” Jakarta. “The Raid 2” was released at the same time in Indonesia and United States. The director knew that the film will be watched worldwide. By doing that, the director might want to standardize Jakarta and hope that the viewers (which have a totally different cultural background) can enjoy the film easily.

Rabu, 14 Mei 2014

Panoptic Mechanism

This time I want to share about the panoptic mechanism. Panoptic mechanism is profoundly symptomatic of a historical shift, from the eighteenth century onwards, in methods of social control. This is a movement from punishment (enforcing norms of behaviour through spectacular displays of power: public hangings and torture, etc.) to discipline (enforcing norms of behaviour through surveillance); a shift from ‘exceptional discipline to one of generalized surveillance the formation of what might be called in general the disciplinary society’ (Foucault, 1979).

Panoptic mechanism appears and exists everywhere and every time. It also applies to everyone. Due to that, we have to obey both written and unwritten rules and values in daily life. Society has an important role of this. To prove whether it works or not (for me), I have done a small experiment.

Usually people who are attending wedding party or ceremony will dress up. At least they will wear shirt, shoes and non-jeans pant (for men). Last month I have received a wedding invitation. The invitation was on May. I used that moment to try and prove whether the “panoptic mechanism” still exists or not. I had decided to wear t-shirt, jeans and slipper when I attended. I have many reasons why were I so “brave” to do that. First, it was not my first individually invitation. I hope that I could act very well. Second, she was my workmate then I will meet many same people in the party like a usual. Third, I did not close to and know her parents so much. In order not to disappoint her, I have called her also told her about my planning. I explained why I would do this. Fortunately she could understand and let me to do this.

The day came. I did not ask my girlfriend to accompany me this time because I worried she will be very shy. I came by myself. When I went out from the car I was really nervous. I have never did (like) this before. I took many deep breathes. I was walking calmly from my car into the building. I wore sunglasses just to increase my confident. I arrived at the first stop, the place where I should write my name in the guest book. People there were looking at me with glance. I did not care; I still put my sunglasses on. After I put my gift, I directly moved inside. I walked slowly and many pager bagus and pager ayu were watching at me with the ruthless in their eyes. Before I went to the altar, the bride had already known my arrival. She was looking at me with a smile in her face. After greeting the groom and bride and their parents, I went down from the altar. I saw my friends were looking at me seriously. They wanted to stop me. But I went back to my car and changed my clothes. Then i went back to the building to meet and greet my friends.

Many of them were asking “what the **** did you do?” They were scolding me. I was laughing and ignored them for a while because I was hungry. While eating, I explained them clearly. Fortunately they understood even they still thought that I was crazy. I was not crazy; I just want to be a “cynosure”. At the end of the wedding party, the bride’s parents came to me and asked about the same question. They felt that I did not respect them because of my outfit. Then they accepted my reasons. I did apologize to them if I was annoying but they have forgiven.

According to my experience, I can conclude that the panoptic mechanism works well. In my society, it is impolite if attending a wedding party with the outfit like that. At least we should wear shirt, pant and shoes. Even it is not compulsory, we have to follow it. An outfit will effect the first impression. And outfit can show how we respect the host of the wedding party (or someone who invited us).

Minggu, 30 Maret 2014

"Concert, entertaining or hypnotizing"

Concert is a musical performance given in public, typically by several performers or of several separate composition. Concert becomes a tool of artists, especially musician and or singer, to exist themselves. They can use it to entertain people, to have fun with their and to serve many people who had already support and adore them. Musician or singer can be categorized as a successful artist when they can sell many alum copies and held their own concert. That is why concert became an important part of musician or artist career.

In Indonesia, concert is a common thing because there were many Indonesian musician and singer that often already held concert. But time by time, Indonesian people felt a little bit boring with the local artist. International music has come in Indonesia since long time ago. With the following globalization era, Indonesian people had a chance to be closer with international music. For example, they can easily listening and purchasing the albums, watching the music video and etc. This condition makes the international musician and or singer see there was a chance to come and greet the fans in Indonesia by holding concert.

For example, in 2000, Westlife held a successfully concert in Indonesia. On May 15th, they had "East Meets Weslife" tour concert in Jakarta and the number of the spectators reached more than 15.000. It was so totally amazing. The next success was followed by the Taiwanese boy band, F4. In January 10-11th 2003, they held a concert in Jakarta. There was no trusted data about the viewers (more than 5000 thousands) but the others facts about the concert was so unbelievable. The budget of the concert was more than IDR 20 billion. It was a very huge amount at that time.

On the last 10 years, concert has become hegemony. It is not only becoming a lifestyle today but also a way to show a social class. Many international artists had already done many concerts in Indonesia such as Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, Pitbull, Maroon 5 and many more. There were also many successful music events that invited more than two of international artists (in every single event) such as Java Rockingland, Djakarta Warehouse Project (DWP), Java Jazz and many more. These facts shown that concert in Indonesia have brought many advantages to the artists, spectators and promoters. Imagine how much many that had been invested and got from those concerts.

The crazy facts about concert happened in the last 3 years. There were two Korean boy bands, Big Bang and Super Junior, which added one more day of their concert in Indonesia. The adding of the show has announced only few moments after the ticket sales were opened. The promoters added one more day because the tickets were sold out and of course they want to get more and more profit. The other fantastic thing was about Taylor Swift's concert in Jakarta next June. The 1000 pre-sale tickets were sold out in less than 4 minutes. On the next day, the other 90 percent tickets were also sold in less than 30 minutes. It was faster than a Formula One car.

Many people came to a concert with different purposes. They came because they love the artists, they want to be refreshing and entertained, and some of them want to show off. The ticket prices of every single concert are not cheap. The prices were IDR 500.000 to 6.000.000. Many people believe that only high class people who came to a concert. But it is not totally true. The real fans of the artists will do anything to get much money in order to buy the concert's ticket (if the fans are from intermediate or low class). In the promoters' side, they do not care from where do the fans or spectators come from. They just want to hold a successful concert and earn much much money.

From this phenomena, concert has a different "meaning" now. It is not a pure art nowadays. Many hidden things appeared behind concert. The main thing is about bussines. Concert is a really good way to earn money (by the promoters). By having a deal with many artists, promoters can paralyzed people to give their money easily to them. This condition may be only exist temporary but there is no guarantee how does it will end. Maybe just time or new coming era that would change the meaning of concert again.