Yogyakarta: Jalan

The film Jalan (2015) was realised first in the series of four. Jalan is about ingenuity, everyday design and resourcefulness within the informal economy in the streets of the Indonesian city Yogyakarta. The word ‘jalan’ has many meanings: street, work, walk, method, means, behaviour. All these meanings are in relation to the street vendors and their businesses in the 30 minutes film.

Improvisation, a talent for presenting the merchandise, and physical and mental flexibility characterise the traders, and are necessities to make a living. Vendors arrange their street stalls and products in an inventive or remarkable way. These arrangements are often functional solutions to practical difficulties, such as lack of space, or attracting attention in a visually polluted world. People show inventiveness by using materials from their surroundings to generate income, and through their use of public space: vendors claim sidewalks or move to the streets on a daily basis.

Visual stories about vendors and their street stalls, materials and tools intermingle in Jalan. The film describes a fictional day from 5 pm till next day 7 pm. A cyclic story is told by the linear medium of film. The rhythm of the day and the film is determined by the weather: the heat in the late morning and early afternoon, just as the rain showers slow down the editing. The audio follows this rhythm as well.

Streets stalls are built up with band-aid solutions and broken down again after the work is done. Materials such as used cardboard boxes, worn tyres, empty plastic cups and bottles are collected, sorted, arranged, selected, repaired, re-used, stripped, bundled and carried. The film shows the repetitive activities without explaining them and without having dialogues in it. The audience gradually gets acquainted with the daily repetition of situations in public space in Yogyakarta.

Su Tomesen worked on Jalan in the years 2012-2015: researching the theme, writing, trying to get funding, and finally filming and editing. The film was realised in 2015. The realisation of Jalan has been made possible by grants of the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Tijlfonds / Cultuurfonds. The research was supported by Dutch Film Fund.

The film has been edited by Vava Stojadinovic and Su Tomesen, and the soundtrack has been composed by Charly van Rest.

More information: http://www.sutomesen.nl/visual-arts/videos/466-jalan-
Watch the movie: https://vimeo.com/138608834

The film has been screened and exhibited at:

Metro Movies Festival, Amsterdam – screening and preview
Centrum Beeldende Kunst Zuidoost, Amsterdam – exhibition ‘Meanwhile’ and premiere

Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Yogyakarta – screening and Indonesian premiere

Erasmus Huis, Jakarta – solo exhibition ‘Jejak, hidden creativity in public space’
Polis University, Tirana – screening
Cityscapes Gallery Amsterdam – group exhibition ‘Circular City’
Provinciehuis Limburg, Maastricht – group exhibition ’Naar mate de mens’

Duta Wacana University, Yogyakarta – screening

Sesama Art Space, Yogyakarta – screening
Pop-in expo, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam – solo exhibition
IndoFilmCafé in LUX-Nijmegen – screening
The soundtrack of ‘Jalan’ was heard in the work ’SUPER SALE’, Parklicht, Oosterpark Amsterdam

Framer Framed, Amsterdam – screening

COMING UP: Jalan being part of the video installation Calle-Rruga-Street-Jalan! MORE NEWS SOON

Jalan is used during lectures at Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam