On Lumbung Assembly 2020 Day I

IT IS LIKE in a twinkling of eyes, the end of this year is getting closer. It is also within this time of the year 2020 all lumbung members virtually gathered to see the streams of ideas travels and are connected from one place to another. As preparation for the next Documenta 15, all were gathering for assembly in which each of them introduced themselves, shared their stories, ideas, as well as their preliminary projections for the next two years—or even more.

The session takes four days started from October 20. Everybody was familiarizing to deal with the physical restriction through Zoom. There was a short entertaining check-in as an icebreaker. On the screen you could see jovial faces appeared with smiles. “Welcome everyone. Could you see the slides? On one of the squares was a couple whose hair were flying like being in the windy beach. They are from Britto Arts’ based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

More than six thousand kilometers from Dhaka, we virtually move to Kenya where we stories from Wajuuku, a collective of visual artists working with a community in Nairobi walk in our minds. Pictures of children playing appeared on the screen. “We make workshop and mentorship for kids, to help have better self-esteem and good at decision making”. Said Ngugi, representing the squad.

Still on the same screen, from Nairobi our minds traveled to Jakarta in which we saw a man with expressive face standing inside hand-made frame looked like a large television. He’s a popular storyteller who uses daily household items to trigger imagination combined with comical and hilarious saga. He narrated a story of lumbung and rice farms by using inverted broom as metaphor for green and yellow paddy. His name is Agus PTMOH and he is going to tell stories of lumbung process for all of us.

In another square on the screen, a group of youth sit together in the corner of the room. Some of them were musicians who kindly played music for ice breaking and relaxation. The song was about mango seasons. It was such a charming song that each joyfully followed the rhythm with small dancing. It was ended by a lively applause. They are from Jatiwangi Art Factory, a collective based in Indonesia. They shared their introductory ideas.

“Together with lumbung we want to create a new development model for our future collaboration. We imagine of having communal land and collective factory and bulog, storage, kind of lumbung. It is kind of lumbung but more in institutional. This time we imagine it is how to distribute products.”

From Jatiwangi in West Java we took another virtual travel to Germany to have conversation with ZK/U, Center for Art and Urbanistic based in Berlin. Matthew told the issue of space. There are two spaces in ZK/U, one is common space and another is studio apartments. In the near future the common space would be gone as it is being renovated for other use. It means they no longer have common space for gathering.  “We would like to carry this practice. … To move with making our residency in Kassel, and see how we can develop together. To transform our past, maybe broader idea than Kassel,” Mathew explained.