“If Indonesian music wants to be recognized internationally, musicians need to undergo intensive training.”
So says Hari Sungkari, deputy of infrastructure at the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). If he was making an official statement, then he was surely exceeding his brief.
Infrastructure is not about “training”, but about the easing of the paths of creative people. The eradication of petty bureaucratic procedures and corruption would be a good start.
Emotion, exploration, imagination, initiative, innovation, inspiration, intuition, trial and error, the willingness to take risks: these are among the characteristics of creative folk.
Can any of them be applied to government officials?
“The world is fascinated at present by what Korea has done with K-Pop. Korean artists are going global, making millions of dollars, and they are surviving the internet era, while musicians in Indonesia are still confused about how to deal with piracy.”
What a confused statement!
Since when is a heavily choreographed pop group, picked for their looks by an avaricious Svengali, ‘creative’?
And of course musicians and film makers are confused about piracy: the government has done little to curb it. And it is not unknown for bureaucrats from the ministry to leach off the efforts of creative people.
The creative economy has existed since long before SBY’s administration picked Mari Pangestu to head up the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. She became a laughing stock abroad when she declared nasi goreng to be an iconic Indonesian food and sent a recipe (maybe her grandmother’s) to every Indonesian embassy overseas.
There are as many varieties of fried rice as there are kitchens. By the same token, the number of folk engaged in making a living from their creativity is uncountable.
So, lets hear less omong-kosong from non-elected officials.
Co-ordinate with embassies abroad so that musicians don’t have to plan for up a year ahead in order to promote an album. Furthermore, don’t just work with the “top tier”: they already have their networks and can pay for themselves to go abroad.
There is some truly world class music being made here in Indonesia, yet it doesn’t get heard outside the country without the committed work and support of members of their ‘community’. They know that they can only expect hindrance rather than help from officials such as Hari Sungkari, and they deserve better appreciation.
This is not IndoJazzia’s Video of the Week. We are posting it as an example of creativity made in the moment, and it is all the better for it.
However, Hari did “voice his doubts that military training for musicians could be as successful in Indonesia, saying Indonesians lacked discipline.”
So if Indo-Pop is a non-starter, the answer is simple: give the Indonesian armed forces something useful to do, just as the Americans have.