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TRANS LOCAL AND TRANS-HISTORICAL: Biennale Jogja Equator Second Round (2023 – 2027)

The idea of Global South and Equator as the stepping stone in the First Round of BJ Equator would be developed into a more diverse spirit, by establishing a relationship with countries in other regions having intersecting histories or contexts. In the Second Round, the BJE aspires to build partnerships with other regions. We are trying to build the concept of Equator as a collective imagination for art and culture communities in order to create an art scene which is equal for many. Respecting the rights of marginalized groups, re-invoking local wisdom and knowledge. We believe that we need to underline the issues related to the politics of location in order to uncover the power gap and to conduct an experiments that may take us to the idea or experience of equality.

Organizing the First Round of BJE showed us the importance of maintaining local beliefs and wisdom, expertise built upon the philosophy of nature and life, as well as the sovereignty of indigenous society. With the concept of translocality, the BJE attempts to connect the knowledge in one locality with another, the systems of art and culture based on specific indigenous situations, and the articulation of knowledge which is rooted in the local languages. We dream about bringing together indigenous artists, communities, and scientists from all over the world.

Meanwhile, the idea of transhistoricity refers to the course of history that inspires civil movements to contribute to the change of power constellation in the art world. The First Round of BJE was inspired by the Asian-African Conference (AAC) movement, later manifesting into the Bandung Spirit. After the AAC, the movement grew into the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement in early 60s. We believe that the timeline of history is a fundamental stepping stone for preserving the spirit of decolonization underlying our endeavour. It also leads us in advancing past endeavours to shape the possibility of the future. Connecting historical narratives with the contextualization of various localities will be our adventure for next few years.


The Equator Symposium is one of the main programs of Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation. The symposium is international in scale, involving specialists and practitioners from various nations which can be included in the breadth and scope of the equatorial line. Within the framework of an expert and knowledgeable discourse, the Equator Symposium will be cross-disciplinary, although its focus of attention is contemporary art. In this way the practice and discourse of contemporary art requires an open space, inclusive and ready to accept various critical studies that are relevant and sourced from a variety of disciplines and fields of expertise. The Equator Symposium will also function as an effort to develop networks amongst individuals and institutions who can activate the role of experts and practitioners of Indonesian contemporary art at an international scale.

Biennale Jogja XVI

Biennale Jogja XVI proudly announces programmes for opening week, held from 5th October to 10th October 2021. We gather performances and projects from various area of Indonesian archipelago to highlight the theme of identity, locality, decentralization and decolonization that captured in the title “Roots < > Routes”.

We present Mother Bank Band (Jatiwangi/West Java), Nova Ruth (singer/Arka Kinari Project) and Asep Nayak (Electronic Musician from Papua) to perform on 6th October 2021, 7pm (Indonesia time) through our website.

MAIN EXHIBITION Curated by Elia Nurvista & Ayos Purwoaji

The main exhibition of Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 entitled “Roots < > Routes” raises a lot of issues regarding the relationship between Indonesia, which is an archipelagic country and the Oceania region. This connection is not only about a long history that occurs through migration routes, traces of language and cultural mixing, numerous religious missions and colonialism, but also though its association to contemporary socio-political situations. With many movements and efforts seek to decolonize and reclaim sovereignty over both culture, living spaces and resources, there are plenty of dialogue that can be reflected, such as between the indigenous people in Indonesia and Oceania.

Through this long bond, the Main Exhibition of BJ XVI Equator #6 invited 34 artists and art collectives to present ideas that sprung from various problems and concerns both in Indonesia and Oceania: from Papua to New Caledonia, from Banda to Samoa, and the crossover of diaspora identity. As one of the highlights, we collaborate with Museum MACAN in Jakarta with support of Project Eleven to present works by Collective Udeido, one of the most progressive artist collective in Indonesia from Papua where they discuss the complexity of Papuan issue today particularly within the discourse of political stand in looking into environmental issues and their relationship with spirituality.


Biennale Jogja’s equator series has been in its tenth year with the aim of contributing to the art discourse in the southern hemisphere and looking at how countries on the equator have specific history and culture, which then make up a part of the world’s heritage. In addition to presenting visually-engineered archives and documents, the exhibition gives emphasis on the speculative method of reading history, bearing in mind that there is direct connection between the past and the future. Curators invited a number of artists with different backgrounds to create artworks related to a broad spectrum of the exhibition theme, including examination of maps and of speech scripts, imagination on borders and migration, or a fictitious world in virtual realm. By employing the idea of playground, we would like to see this exhibition as a platform to demonstrate the mimicry and simulation of power contestation in the world today—between the north and the south, the local and the global, the traditional and the modern—in a joyous and lively atmosphere, which is also the typical characteristic and vibe of the southern communities.

This program is supported by International Relief Fund for Organizations in Culture and Education 2021 by German Federal Foreign Office, The Goethe Institute and other partners:


One of the country pavilions in Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 is the Korea–ASEAN Pavillion organized by curators Alia Swastika (Indonesia) and Jongeun Lim (South Korea). This booth exhibition specifically focuses on the relationship between the women’s movement, art, and women’s knowledge/experience. Seven artists from South Korea and Southeast Asian countries took part in the discussion platform to talk about their experiences related to landscapes, trauma, violence, etc. The artists involved were Agnes Christina (Indonesia), Ampannee Satoh (Thailand), Chang Jia (South Korea), Etza Meisyara (Indonesia), Fitri DK (Indonesia), Siren Eun Young Jung (South Korea), and Sao Sreymao (Cambodia).

This program is fully supported by KONNECT – ASEAN, an ASEAN Foundation arts and culture programme, supported by ASEAN Korean Cooperation Fund (AKCF).


“Pan-Austro-Nesian” embodies broader perspectives and possibilities of the past Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts’ focus on indigenous culture. It departs from solely focusing on Austronesian cultures and also challenges the public to become more flexible in interpreting the world from perspectives other than the dominant western narrative. What we care about is how contemporary ideas may mingle and intersect with memories, beliefs and traditions of the local land, including the use of ocean as a metaphor to create linkages and foster communications. Taking a southern perspective that reflects upon linearity and centralization, we attempt to build new paradigms that are no longer dominated by modern consumption and industrial civilization. Meanwhile, we pay close attention to the encounters, contacts and conflicts of different scenarios and possibilities, as well as the exchanges of pluralistic cultures. The Bilik Taiwan present the works of Rahic Talif, ChihChung Chang, and C&G Art Group (Chieh-Sen Chiu & Margot Gullemot).

Bilik Taiwan is a joint program with The National Culture and Art Foundation, Taiwan and Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Art.


Jogja National Museum

8, 9, 10 October 2021

Biennale Forum is a platform that brings together artists, curators, researchers, practitioners, and academics to share their experiences to the public or with other experts from various disciplines. This program will be conducted both offline and online to reach as wide of audiences as possible.

The Biennale Forum aims to carry the discourse of artists through art and it is expandable to be discussed in different lights and possibilities. Some of the highlighted themes of this series of discussions including the inheritance of local knowledge in literature and music culture, curatorial practices and cultural archiving that was developed from local knowledge and decolonization perspectives, along with the problem of representation of indigenous peoples in art discourse and their urgency from a regional aspect. We invited Aaron Seto, Mella Jaarsma (artists), Badan Kajian Pertanahan, Greg Dvorak, and many others.

The Biennale Forum helds in partnership with Goethe Institute Indonesien.


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