My last stop on this first visit to Java was to the c20 Library and Collabtive, yet another interesting variation on these places I have visited in Java which combine art, social research, and political engagement. It actually is an independent collective library:
Established in mid-2008 in the centre of Surabaya, C2O library & collabtive is an independent library and collaborative lab-space for people to learn, interact and create. Founded initially in response to the problem of inadequate, fragmented information & library system and infrastructure in Indonesia, C2O mission is to facilitate knowledge production, the formation of new possibilities and innovations, founded on open, critical, empowered knowledge and action.
Among their project are guided walks in Surabaya, both for tourists but also for locals. Amazingly, no one walks in most Southeast Asian cities. Colonialism left them without public transportation, and now it is all cars and motorbikes. c20 believes that if you want to know your city, whether sociologically, anthropologically, or just as a resident and citizen, you must walk. This may sound odd to people elsewhere but it walking is a kind of militant act here. Many of the friends of the c20 organizers simply don’t believe they actually do it.
c2o is now raising funds to send one of their organizers to next year’s international walking conference in Hong Kong, a gathering for walking activists.
If you find yourself in Surabaya (an unlikely event I suspect), please do go walking with them!
Special thanks to Anitha Silvia, my concert, lecture, and walking host from c20 Library and Collabtiv.
Walking with Anitha in Surabaya:
The other side of Indonesia: with Anitha in the rich people’s uber-plastic hotel and a giant Christmas tree made entirely of Teddy Bears: