Indonesian Agency Tries to Flex Soft Power Through Art

Indonesia is rich in commodities such as oil, gas, gold and tin, but a handful of government officials think its most powerful resources are cultural.  They belong to a dynamic young body called the Creative Economy Agency, or BEKRAF (an acronym derived from its Indonesian name) that was created in 2015 by President Joko Widodo to promote Indonesia’s cultural output both at home and abroad. “Oil and gas are finite resources. The only thing that lasts forever is creativity,” said Boni Pudjianto, BEKRAF’s director for international markets.  BEKRAF’s staff was appointed meritocratically through an open call to government officers, regardless of background. Boni, for instance, has a doctorate in engineering and was posted at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology before he joined BEKRAF.  “It’s an experimental agency,” he said. “It’s a new model for a governmental body.”  BEKRAF wants to promote the arts of the world’s fourth largest country more effectively to a global audience. The agency was behind Indonesia’s acclaimed pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, called “Sunyata: The Poetics of Emptiness.” It was Indonesia’s second time at the biennale, following a debut effort in 2014. This entry was overseen from start to finish by BEKRAF, from the selection of six curators to the opening ceremony on May 25.  “Indonesia is trying to put our architecture at the same level as [that of] other countries,” said Boni, in Venice last month. “And we want to leverage this exposure on the international stage to promote the field back home.” Key industries BEKRAF is a “quasi-governmental institution,” according to Boni, that combines representatives of the private sector with competitively chosen government officials.  It supports Indonesian exhibits at international fairs like Venice’s art and architecture biennales, as well as sundry fashion weeks, expos and film festivals. BEKRAF also backs... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Indonesian Agency Tries to Flex Soft Power Through Art, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Indonesian Agency Tries to Flex Soft Power Through Art





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 12 June, 2018



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