ANTARA photo exhibit turns spotlight to Indonesia's 'founding mother'

ANTARA photo exhibit turns spotlight to Indonesia's 'founding mother'

Screen capture: A photograph displayed at 'Indonesia on the move: 1900-1942' virtual photo exhibition, organized by the ANTARA news agency, ANTARA Museum of Photojournalism, the National Archives of Indonesia (ANRI), the National Library of Indonesia, Balai Pustaka, and KITLV Jakarta. (ANTARA/Genta Tenri Mawangi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s state-owned ANTARA news agency launched a virtual photography exhibition here on Monday  for the second time this year, featuring individuals and institutions that rarely show up in records of the country’s nationalist movement (1900-1942).


Some of the archives, photographs, sketches, and paintings displayed in the 75 collections at the ANTARA Museum of Photojournalism (GFJA) in Jakarta highlight the role of women in the country’s historical moments.


“Today’s exhibition is important for us as it displays some important figures, but they’re rarely cited in our historical records. One of them is Kartini. She is widely known as a heroine for women’s emancipation, but she is also an inspirational figure as she is also one of the founding mothers of Indonesia’s nationalist movement,” said Bondan Kanumoyoso, a historian at the University of Indonesia, on Monday.


Kartini’s critical ideas on women’s status under Dutch colonial rule paved the way for the nationalist movement, Kanumoyoso explained.


Besides Kartini, the exhibit also features Soerastri Karma Trimurti and pictures of the first women’s congress in 1928, said Ismar Patrizki, a senior photojournalist with ANTARA who helped curate the exhibition.


Trimurti was a journalist and an author who took part in the country's independence movement, he added.


Other collections featured at the 'Indonesia Bergerak: 1900-1942' (loosely translated as 'Indonesia on the Move: 1900-1942’) include archives of the first Indonesian newspaper published by Tirto Adho Soerjo, a staunch critic of Dutch colonial rule; and, the establishment of Boedi Oetomo in 1908 and Sarekat Islam in 1911, as well as Pleidoi Indonesia Menggugat in 1930.


“This exhibition aims to highlight the country’s intellectual records under the nationalist movement,” Patrizki remarked, adding the struggle was not concentrated to Java and Sumatra islands, but also in the eastern regions of Indonesia, such as Boven Digoel, Ende, and Banda Neira.


During the launch ceremony, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko praised the exhibition, saying it would expand knowledge on the country’s nationalist movement among young generations.


“We should thank LKBN ANTARA for its hard work in collecting all these valuable archives, working hand-in-hand with the National Archives (ANRI), Balai Pustaka, and the National Library. It’s clearly not easy (to launch an exhibition) during (the COVID-19) pandemic,” Moeldoko reiterated.


The exhibition, which also features collections from KITLV Jakarta, a unit of Leiden University’s library, can be accessed via ANTARA news and ANTARA FOTO official websites from September 7 to October 7, 2020.

Related news: Armenia, Antara launch photo book entitled Armenia: Land of Legend
Related news: Japanese ambassador amazed at ANTARA News Agency`s photo archive