The Swatantra Festival collaboration concert entitled “A Visit to The Unseen” was held on November 5, 2022, at Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada. Carrying the spirit of creating inclusivity, freedom, and independence in art, Master students of Performing Arts and Visual Arts Studies, Graduate School, Universitas Gadjah Mada 2021 collaborated with the Jogja Disability Arts foundation to organize a series of community service events called the Swatantra Festival. Jogja Disability Arts is an arts organization with the mission of creating full participation and equality for people with disabilities in the field of arts and culture, both at the national and international levels. Furthermore, the Swatantra Festival collaboration concert title is expected to be an accessible art space for people with disabilities and create public concern and awareness through art as a media of socialization.
In line with the vision, the head of the Jogja Disability Arts Foundation, Sukri Budi Dharma, said that implementing the Swatantra Festival collaboration concert title is an excellent first step for creating inclusivity in the, especially performing arts.
“Inclusivity in the realm of art should not be just a discourse. We must work together to create inclusivity in art, one of which is through the title of this concert,” said Sukri Budi Dharma while attending the title of this concert.
Through the theme of A Visit to The Unseen, the title of this collaborative concert seeks to answer the struggle that occurs in the realm of art and disability. This collaboration concert was held to answer a question that is quite difficult when talking about art and disability: is it still necessary and relevant for them to bear the predicate or identity as a disabled group when they are in the realm of art?
To answer these questions, the visitors were taken on an adventure to immerse themselves in the collaborative works of Jogja Disability Arts and PSPSR UGM students of the class of 2021 through several installations and performing arts. From the entrance of the concert venue, visitors are invited to open the curtain of “the unseen” through a fabric installation made with the suminagashi art (marble painting) technique. The works presented result from the Suminagashi Art Workshop held on October 30, with the main instructor, Widji Astuti (Serodja Widji Batik) and attended by 30 participants from the general public. Furthermore, there are various collaborative art performances featured in the concert titled A Visit to The Unseen by the following performers:
1. Tami Aulia & Friends
3. Dian B Art
4. Endang Sundayani
6. Ista Band
Looking at it from the audience’s perspective, overall, the organization of the Swatantra Festival, which was held online again, became a cure for the community’s longing after two years of the title being able only to be enjoyed online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, many culinary tenants are selling at this festival, thus complementing the music festival atmosphere that has been missing for a long time. Finally, the Swatantra Festival Collaboration Concert: A Visit to The Unseen is a witness to the struggles experienced by fellow artists with disabilities in art. The battle is still there today, but now we can see a new ray of light. A sign of the birth of new hope, which we want to explore with all our friends through the medium of performing arts. (NF)