The Biennale features everything from stage performances, movies, statues and games created by children. Held from Jan. 15 through Jan. 22, the festival seeks to give a chance for creative children to express themselves.
Organized at the Taman Budaya culture park, where the 2009 Biennale was held, the program offers painting, doll, and comic book exhibitions, as well as screenings of videos shot by children.
“[The program] has three elements: education, child independence and art. Art was actually the last focus,” program director Yuswantoro said.
The elements were chosen in light of modern misconceptions in education.
“Many children are unwittingly bogged in formality through their parents’ wishes. With the Biennale, we want them to be themselves,” Yuswantoro said.
To promote children’s independence, a playground called Wonderland Happy Town was built in Taman Budaya, where children could play at working in a bank, being a police officer, or other adult jobs.
“All the players — both the officials and town residents — are children. No adult is allowed into the area,” Yuswantoro said.
The event targets children aged 4 to 14, who can participate in workshops to learn to tie-dye, work with clay, paint kites, make patchwork dolls and paint with plaster.
There was even a workshop on journalism for elementary school children, where children were tasked to do interviews and write reports. Coming out of the workshop, the children had turned into veritable journalists, so much so that Yuswantoro had to ask national media members to wait while he responded to the students’ queries.
The head of Yogyakarta’s tourism office, M Tazbir, said the government would continue to support such events.
“Of course we support it, because the program can promote Yogya’s advantage as a city of culture, art and education,” he said, adding that he hoped more events of a similar nature will be held in the city.
“We are planning to have more art and cultural events in Yogyakarta this year. Every month there should be at least one art festival. This is very important for Yogyakarta,” Tazbir said.
Taken from The Jakarta Globe.