17 Augustus, the day on which Indonesians try to spend time with their loved ones. On this so called Independence day the people celebrate, play games and reminisce. The bad news is, it’s never done, you have to keep fighting for your independence. Days like this usually go by as a cliche. Nostalgic moments, dwelling on the old days. It’s good to look back, but do you learn from it? You need to… in order to move forward. The people in charge with different agendas can’t answer what we’re supposed to do for this country, which most people see as a paradise, not only the tourists… Don’t take it for granted this paradise we live in.
Keep checking in with yourself if you think what’s happening right now is for the good, and if it is sustainable. We love this country and we don’t want to sell it to the highest bidder. Celebrate this independence not only today, but everyday and think about how we can help and educate each other in creating a better place not only in Indonesia, but around the world. For this occasion we present to you a t-shirt which uses “Mooi Indië” paintings as it’s backdrop. Something Michiel Sekan (@jiwajiwarecords) is very familiar with. You see them all around the houses of Indischen in Holland. He himself as a Indisch descent is all familiar with seeing things from different angles. You have you’re Indonesian or Indische side and your Dutch side which are in constant conflict with each other. He wrote a little something on how this mix came together and what it represents.
My good friend Ryan Ady Putra (@domestikdeomestik) asked me to do a mixtape for Indonesian Independence Day which was declared by Sukarno (Soekarno) on the 17th of august 1945 at 10am. Now this is a very delicate subject to which I and I think other Indische people like me tread very lightly. Because it’s a independence from a country we reside in, but also because at school we are mostly thought in history class from the side we were on, the Dutch side. But for me what mostly makes it hard to see what’s right and wrong because our grand parents were not happy with the proclamation and independence of a country they felt was their home. Be it a segregated one, but I guess that was, and still is the case in many countries today unfortunately. Why this is quite hard for me to explain is because we are very respectful to our ancestors as most people are, and a lot of things were not spoken about until more recent years. In this case for me with Jiwa Jiwa I’m doing a lot of reading, studying, talking and educating myself on our shared colonial history. I find it hard to define what is wrong and what is right. Because a lot of parties were to blame. Soekarno is the one who brought freedom to Indonesia. But also the one that made my grandparents and family flee from the country they lived because they were working for a Dutch company and were catholic. I tried to portray the different feelings people from Indonesia (from all sides) went through throughout history in a sort of chronological order. With the proclamation of independence as the start, I mostly tried to do this by track titles and vibes in songs. Moving from the proclamation of independence towards a feeling of “Freedom” and hope which shift towards a more darker perspective. I hope I did it justice and please educate me historically but also personally, emotionally on how it’s seen from different points of view. (Michael Sekan)