Interview with Lily Yulianti Farid

Interview with Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid is a published author and art event producer with expertise in cultural links between Australia and Indonesia.

Lily is co-founder of Makassar art centre Rumata Art Space and serves as the current Director of the Makassar International Writers Festival, a position held since 2011. Starting her career as a journalist for Kompas, a leading newspaper in Indonesia in 1995, Lily later expanded her career into academic and creative fields, teaching Indonesian literature (on a casual basis) as well as working for academic research projects and publications at the University of Melbourne from 2014-2019. Lily is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre.

Before pursuing her PhD, Lily worked as a journalist with a focus on gender issues. She worked for leading media companies including Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Australia and Online News, Indonesian Service), Radio Japan, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and Morning Daily Kompas, Indonesia. Lily has focused her research on the representations of gender in Indonesian media for her MA and PhD, however, during her time at the University of Melbourne and as a creative writer she has expanded her interest in women’s positions in politics and in Indonesian society as portrayed in contemporary literature and the historical relationship between Makassar and Indigenous Australia.

Lily has been a supportive force for our project for a couple of years now, she is partly the reason we all connected in the first place. She plays a pivotal role in the existing artistic relationship between Makassar and Melbourne (indeed Australia as a whole) as an instigator, a facilitator and a tireless advocate. So, it stands to reason that we would seek to tap into her wisdom and learn as much from her as possible. 

Lily is one of the founders of the Makassar International Writers Festival, an annual event that aims to foster emerging literary voices and promote writers from Eastern Indonesia, a region of the archipelago long neglected in national literary circles. She tells us of the importance of encouraging and platforming local storytelling, and how this diversity adds to the richness of the social and cultural fabric. 

Whilst recounting the founding of Rumata and the evolution of its structures and mission, Lily details her own role as cross-cultural researcher and facilitator. For Lily, the platform she has built comes with a great deal of social responsibility, and should be used to empower the voiceless and the marginalised. Positionality as a researcher and arts facilitator must be acknowledged and taken into account when developing a project, making sure that each project benefits those that it concerns, that access, consultation and follow-through are central to any community focussed practice.

Her experiences and advice speak directly to our current project, and have prompted much discussion amongst the Sipakatuo team. Questions about who is benefitting from this project, what happens after this project wraps up and ultimately what the fundamental intentions are of Sipakatuo are raised, the kinds of questions that we should always be coming back to. It’s important for us to continually ask ourselves questions of intentionality and positionality, for the sake of a harmonious and constantly evolving collaboration.

We sincerely thank Lily for her time and ongoing support of our activities and projects. Her advice and wisdom have been, and will likely continue to be, incredibly valuable.

Sam: Thanks for meeting today to talk with us about your experiences working on cultural projects between Indonesia and Australia, you have worked with Asialink Arts before?


Lily: I was invited as one of the speakers for a panel organized by Asialink, to talk about the historical relationships with Australia through the trepang [sea cucumber] trade before 1770 before colonisation, a long relationship was already established between Makassar trepangers and the First Nations people in the Northern Territory. Have you heard about this history?


Afifah: My family told me a bit because I came from Bugis descendants, so I know about the trepang history. I know very little about it, but I am aware of it.


Afifah: That’s good, because not many people are aware of it.


Sam: I saw that film.


Lily: Oh yes, Trading Cultures


Sam: I know mostly just what I learnt from the film and the few articles that I've read about it. We'd really love to hear about your work with Rumata Artspace and the history of the Artspace.

Using local languages contributes to the diversity of the national language.

Lily: It’s a long story! Riri Riza and I started to envision a cultural house and art space when we first met in 2008. Back then I lived and worked in Tokyo as a journalist and broadcaster for Radio Japan, Japanese Broadcasting Company NHK. I worked for the broadcaster for five years and live in Tokyo. Although I started my career as a journalist, I used to work for Kompas Daily, my number one passion is creative writing. That's how the story goes, I was always planning to publish my short story collections, my first collection was published in 2008, and we had several events to launch and discuss the book. One of the launches took place in Jakarta in 2008, and we met a group of Makassan writers in Jakarta. We started to discuss the possibility of giving back to Makassar in the fields of culture and arts. 

Riri shared this story about a childhood memory of a very old house in Makassar. We began thinking about how to develop the idea and started a crowdfunding model, which was a very new model back then, to build a gallery and an art organisation. We introduced the idea firstly to our families. My family really gave me a support system to think about the best possible model for two people who aren’t always living in Makassar but would like to do something for the city, that's the spirit. Two people who are into arts and culture, we believe that through art and culture, we could contribute to human development in Makassar. 

People who talk about the development of East Indonesia, and Indonesia in general, tend to talk about physical development, like building a new landmark. In Makassar, we've got lots of ugly landmarks, without history or without any consultation with stakeholders. We suddenly see something already erected or built, and we’re never warned. How do we relate with these landmarks? That's their idea of the modern city while for us, for me, the modern city has to be something that has a more comprehensive vision or concept of a city with strong and vibrant cultural events. Not just a one or two day festival, that’s not our number one priority. That's another tendency of the government, they really love to see a grand festival organised for one or two days. But there's no long-lasting impact. 

These are the kind of things that we started to consider and develop together, but it was a very slow process back then, 2008 and 2009,


Sam: Did you have any models for the space? Did you have any spaces that you had visited that you wanted to emulate?


Lily: Yes! Riri studied in London for his masters, and visited a lot of small galleries in European cities, I visited a lot of small to medium galleries in Japan and Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. So we found models in what we saw in Asia through our different networks. And of course, in Australia, we really love the idea of having a small gallery like there are in Brunswick or Fitzroy, very down to earth. You can relate to it and the community. In the early stages of the concept development, we had a lot of discussions with our friends in design and architecture, we got lots of input from people in these circles. It has to follow a grassroots model, community driven. Although we have quite a big plot of land, 900m2, the facility is one thing, the concept for the organisation is another thing. We needed to work and develop these two concepts differently but at the same time.  


Sam: Can you tell us a bit about the organisational concept?


Lily: So, for the first five years we needed to cement the foundations, meaning that both of us had to work voluntarily, of course beside our main jobs, he’s a film director and I was a professional broadcaster. I shifted my career from media into university. I studied for my Ph.D. after I resigned from my previous job, I'm still now doing research with the university. The model that we developed was quite unique, it's one of a kind, we started in quite unique circumstances, because both of us as founders, we were not there, we were seeing Makassar from a distance. 

First we needed to get to know the locals, so that's where we met with Adbi [Adbi Karya, Makassan artist] who at the time was working at the Watermill Centre in New York with the artist exchange programme. So the three of us started cooking things up together, then we hired part time staff to help us with the administration and finance. 

From the first year, when we started the crowd funding to develop the facility, we also kicked off our pitching. We did a lot of pitching with foreign cultural agencies and organisations in Jakarta, in Australia and in Japan. The networks that we tried to make the best of. By 2011, we had a clear picture about the grand design, the roadmap of the first five year programme and the second five year plan. So, we've got this vision for ourselves from year one to year ten. 

That's when we came up with the Makassar International Writers Festival in 2011 and then Riri launched the Makassar South East Asia Screen Academy in 2012. We established our long term sponsors in the Japan Foundation, British Consulate and the Australian consulate from four years ago so long term and mid- term partnerships. The model itself, it's not ideal. I think it's quite impossible to replicate this model, because I think the way we did the first five years to cement the foundation was thanks to our personal circumstances, and we were able to give each other guarantees for meeting deadlines. 

People attended our pitches and followed up our emails because they know us, they knew what we did before. 2010 was the crucial time for both of us to spend time talking to as many people as possible, potential sponsors, stakeholders, and the locals supported our dream! I mean the vision was very simple. You can check out the Rumata website. We have short stories there and you can subscribe. to our monthly newsletter, which has an archive section and there are lots of interviews with my personal perspective about the Rumata project.

 The writers festival and Rumata realised that our function is to provide and build a bridge for these aspiring and emerging writers from different places, small towns and regencies in Eastern Indonesia.

Afifah: I would like to ask about your cross-cultural exchanges. How do you feel the two cities, Melbourne and Makassar, affect you differently as a creative person? How do you compare your creative experience in Makassar and Melbourne?


Lily: Of course, both cities inspire me and provide a lot of information and insight. There are similarities but of course there are quite distinctive differences and highlights. Melbourne is the art and cultural capital of Australia. I get a lot of inspirational moments here, not to mention the networks I developed, and the people that have been helping me for the last 20 years. For the projects that I've done in Makassar, we understand that working with people in Melbourne and in other cities in Australia has helped Rumata and myself to learn about how to run a small community art organisation professionally, and we also learnt about the structures of funding opportunities. 

That's one of the positive points about living in Melbourne whilst doing a lot of projects in Indonesia, we’ve learnt a lot here and people are very helpful. Especially those who are keen to connect and start collaborations with Indonesian artists or art practitioners outside of Java. In the last 10 or 15 years there are more and more, especially emerging local artists who are keen to experience Indonesia, but not through Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bali and Bandung, not through these well-established cultural pockets. 

When we started to think about alternative stories, alternative platforms outside Jakarta, outside Java, Rumata needed to build a strong online presence. You need to build your own website with enough information. If people Google you, like art organisations outside Java, for example, they can find you online. I've been attending a lot of art events, not only in Melbourne, but in different places around Australia and we slowly developed our own networks. This is really a blessing. 

I've learnt a lot through capacity building workshops for how to run your organisation effectively, how to write a really convincing structural proposal to find funding, how to pitch your ideas and all that stuff. And of course, because you've got world class events taking place in Melbourne, every year, we're talking about pre-pandemic, the opportunities to bump into other people who are doing similar projects and are keen to listen to your stories and your projects in Indonesia. This helps us to sharpen our focus, to find the right focus for Rumata. 

Our two main focuses right now are literature and film, because the founders are writers and filmmakers. As for Makassar, our role has been evolving in the last 10 years. We function as a gateway for international collaborations between Makassar and the rest of the world. For the writers' exchange, for example, we’ve already had exchange programmes between poets from East Indonesia and the UK. We also had the Indonesian Female Writers Exchange programme specifically between East Indonesia and Western Australia, this was a two year programme funded by DFAT and the Australia Indonesia Institute, and collaborated with the Centre for Stories in Perth. 

Now we are having our first online residency for deaf people, sponsored by the British Consulate. We connected a group of writers, emerging writers from deaf communities in Wales and in Makassar and we’re running a six month online residency project. We’re also connected with the circle of Southeast Asian filmmakers. So, although it wasn’t on our agenda, but it happened because of the pandemic, we started some collaborations to celebrate one hundred years of Usmar Ismail.

So, I get inspiration from Melbourne. I've learnt a lot about how to build an ecosystem, but from a position in civil society, not as a part of a bureaucracy, because in Melbourne you deal with a really good ecosystem. There is a calendar for funding. I know Sam is applying for funding every month for Dogmilk, because there’s the calendar. While in Indonesia, you don't have that kind of thing yet. Not yet, but we're getting there. From this really good calendar in Australia, we try to find opportunities for collaborations and then how we reach Macassar and Eastern Indonesia with these well-established opportunities in Australia. That's how I would describe the uniqueness of the situation, that I'm here in Melbourne but I'm doing my projects in Makassar.


Afifah: You mentioned the emergence of local artists in Makassar. Since the founding of Rumata Artspace and the Makassar International Writers and SEAScreens, how much do you think they have impacted the local arts community?


Lily: We’ve done a survey which showed the way that we designed project opportunities for emerging artists is quite unique. For the International Writers Festival, for example, every year we make a selection inviting five or six, this year we invited seven, emerging writers from Eastern Indonesia to join the festival. We provide a small amount of money to cover travel expenses, living allowance etc. like small scholarships to support their writing projects. And similar to this emerging writers support model, SEAScreens also replicate this model, selecting young and aspiring filmmakers every year and inviting them to participate in a series of workshops and capacity building projects. That’s how they make their own networks! 

Every year since 2011, we've seen these communities of writers have a lot more confidence in terms of connecting with others and introducing themselves to major publishing houses in Jakarta, like Gramedia Pustaka Utama or Bintang. Not only talking about or to publish their literary works or creative writings, or just working with small or independent publishing houses, but now they have national networks after attending the festival. The writers are the first beneficiaries, then they return to their respective cities and towns and set up their own communities and transfer their knowledge and networks, and do their own things with more confidence. 

From 2011 to 2019 we've seen writers from eastern Indonesia become part of the national literary circle, invited to other literary festivals and joining the Indonesian delegations to important international events. For example in 2015 for the Frankfurt Book Fair or 2018 for the London Book Fair and 2017 for Europalia in Brussels. In the early 2000s, whenever Indonesia set up a delegation to attend an international event, we never saw any representatives from Eastern Indonesia. But now because we have Rumata, we have this festival that takes place every year, people know we are, we are now on the radar. People in Jakarta are now aware that there is something happening in Eastern Indonesia, that they have their own uniqueness to have their own themes, their own stories to craft and different approaches. 

This diversity in theme, localities, stories and storytelling models have now become a part of a national awareness whenever we talk about the national literary scene. When people want to observe the life of Indonesian society through literature, they now have this available. 

We've also seen the emergence of local libraries; community libraries are such a new phenomenon. We don't want to take all the credit and say that’s because of the Makassar International Writers Festival, but we’ve played our role as a hub, our yearly event where people get together. It's like a film festival when everyone's looking forward to join in, to come to fly to Makassar and build networks. It's a qualitative impact that we’ve noticed from focus group discussions.


Sam: I wonder if you could comment on the distinctive Eastern Indonesian voice at all? Please tell us a bit more about the Makassar literary style?


Lily: First, the language itself. Using local languages contributes to the diversity of the national language. The way the writers express themselves and how they actually craft stories using local languages from Eastern Indonesia is one strategy. 

When we pitched this idea to Gramedia Pustaka Utama, the leading publishing house in Indonesia, we set up a three-year programme together to publish a collection of short stories and poetry from Eastern Indonesia, we have three volumes. In the past, it was very difficult for people from Eastern Indonesia to pitch such ideas to a major publishing house, because firstly, if it's serious literature, economically, no one was really interested in publishing or sponsoring that kind of volume. We have seven hundred languages and I think half of them are in the eastern part of Indonesia. If you have five writers every year, starting their own initiative to look into their own languages and see them as a creative tool to craft the story is already something. Then you have the local language printed, documented, used, and reaching people outside the community. 

We've published three volumes so far. All the stories are published in Bahasa Indonesia of course, but you have these specific experiences, the names of plants, the names of the local foods, the names of collective memories. Even the names of the characters, they’re not Javanese names, but local names. We just need this opportunity to sell these ideas and convince people in Jakarta of why we need these volumes, why we need this project to be implemented, that this is how cultural organisations should work. This is our long-term project. We want to imagine and see the concept of Indonesia through culture, through art, through literature, through films like what you are doing in Toraja. 

That's how we imagine Indonesia. In terms of topics and themes, it’s very interesting to look at how aspiring writers and emerging writers look into the relationships and the social constructs, the constant tension between the questions “are we going to stay forever in our village or do we need to move to the city?” Stories from the small farmer, stories from people living in villages full of empty houses because everyone has moved to Makassar. Family businesses stranded in the regencies, between Nusa Tenggara Timur or Nusa Tenggara Barat. These stories reveal such rich localities. 

The writers festival and Rumata realised that our function is to provide and build a bridge for these aspiring and emerging writers from different places, small towns and regencies in Eastern Indonesia. During the pandemic, we've been working with writers from Papua and through virtual events, I learnt for the first time about the realities of West and East Papua. When we say, let's have a zoom meeting, they don't have this network, they need to travel. Not like us, we are so privileged, you send me the zoom invitation, and I can join you in the room. I couldn't do this with my partners and fellows in Papua. We needed to rearrange the schedule on a weekly or monthly basis, we needed to ensure that they had money to travel to the neighbouring village with hills, so they could climb the hills and get stronger networks to connect. 

One of the more memorable events was one of our virtual webinars that we had last year with our friends in Papua. They needed to travel from the village of Mappi for two days and two nights to the neighbouring village, sleeping at a friend's house, preparing themselves for the webinar the next day. But we needed to have a backup plan, so I called them on an international call from Melbourne, recording for a backup. The next day, what happened was when we needed to go live for the webinar, blackout, no electricity. No laptop, no internet, only one mobile phone available with 50% battery. So, what happened? The show must go on, right. Again, using an international call, I called them, I changed my profile picture in Zoom using the writer's profile picture and I put my mobile phone close to the laptop, this is behind the scenes and no one knows, during the virtual event. 

This is how you tell a story about Eastern Indonesia. I need to be careful when telling the story of Papua and Maluku because I don't want to take the credit for these stories, or as if I am the representative of their stories. What I'm trying to tell you is what role Rumata and myself have played and what’s the best possible role I can play here in Melbourne to help Indonesia, through art, culture and literature. That's my journey, to navigate what actually are the best possible positions for me. If it's a puzzle, I need to know what is the best puzzle piece for me to be. I believe it is a collaborative process, not a one man show. Everyone has their own contributions, everyone needs to collaborate, everyone needs to work together to make it happen or to bring impact. Great things don’t come from just one person. Great things come from collaboration. During the pandemic, we learnt a lot, we have been taking notes, we listen to people's stories from Papua, post-disaster stories from Nusa Tenggara (cyclones from a few months back). And after the disaster in West Sulawesi, we’re working with a local library there to slowly rebuild the community, because the infrastructure is really bad there.

 Whenever we are inspired by or get ideas from indigenous communities, we need to ensure that we have representatives from the communities as an active member in our team.

Afifah: You mentioned not wanting to be representative of issues in Papua. I think the sentiment is pretty similar to me and Sam for this programme, because as we take part in this exchange programme, we have this opportunity to exchange on the topic of archiving and digitalisation for two cultures, indigenous people in Australia and people in Indonesia and myself who doesn't feel like I should represent both of those two cultures because I don't come from these cultures. I feel like I'm experiencing them through a looking glass, and I sometimes feel a sense of inadequacy when discussing cultures with deeply rooted histories. As a writer and a researcher too, what is your take on an effective approach to communicating with and understanding other cultures and then doing research based on other cultures?


Lily: Maybe I can share what I've been doing for the last 16 months. My research now has been dealing with indigenous communities in Australia, and I've just finished a workshop with a professor dealing with indigenous communities in Australia for 40 years. First, we need to connect ourselves with the community, you have to ensure that they are the number one beneficiary of your project or your research. You don't use them for the sake of your career or for your project. You need to have a really well-structured design of how you can bring back all your activities, projects and research back to the community, they are not your object. That's number one. 

Number two, they are our active partners in research. The way we see this project with the Indigenous Studies Centre, is that we’re building a platform to empower them. In Australia, many researchers still have culturally incorrect methods. They use Indigenous issues, rights, and health to attract funding. Even before we started our project we had a deep conversation amongst ourselves, the researchers, about why we are doing this now. There are three “whys” here; why this, why us and number why now. Otherwise, you may continue the wrongdoing from the past, just like during colonisation, when explorers came to the east, came to Australia, came to Nusantara, they took everything they identified as exotic and brought them back to Europe leaving nothing to us. They developed very sophisticated theories, but us, we were not included. We were never the beneficiaries of the project of these explorations. 

You are doing your project in the middle of decolonisation. You need to read about it, you need to really understand. We are the privileged group conducting this project on behalf of those less privileged. You need to bring this back to them. If the outcome or the final output of your project is archives, make sure you provide access, access is not enough if you don’t follow up with outreach programmes after. You need to really think about that, otherwise we’re conducting this research just for our own profit. I receive a big grant, I secure my position, my job, but this life-changing workshop with the team before we started this project is, I think, the most critical part of the research itself. 

These interviews, this conversation, it's important, but it's not the most critical part. You need to talk about how you empower other people through your project. If it's not too late, you need to revisit your proposal and how your project is designed and make a checklist. Be sure to know what the positions of the targeted audience are, and who the beneficiaries are when you develop a project. I used to conduct my research like you guys; write a proposal and come up with some research questions, conduct my interviews and then do the analysis after the interviews. But something’s missing there. We need to ask ourselves why we are doing this and why we do it now. 

This is where you place your beneficiaries, while conducting the research, you might develop a network of beneficiaries. You also need to consider the sustainability of your project. One of the things that I’ve learnt from working with the local communities in Makassar and Indonesia is that they're really excited doing the project whenever we invite or ask them to get involved. But then there's a lack of commitment to documentation, post-project evaluation and analysis and then archiving, so they cannot see the continuity of their activities. You always need to remember that they're the backbone, big picture of your project.


Afifah: That’s very insightful.


Sam: And very valuable as well, we've got a lot of reflecting and talking to do.

For me, it's all about access. We say that we need to see more people from Eastern Indonesia joining exchange programmes in Australia or in other countries, but there's no follow up about how to address why there are not many eastern Indonesian participants or why they are not successful in their applications.

Lily: Just make sure that you include the beneficiaries in your research and make sure these communities can access the final outcome of this research. This is the number one question when we conduct research with indigenous communities. We never take a traditional approach like other academics. What we want to see in the future is that these indigenous communities in Australia could have better lives and better access. In art and cultural circles, we really want to challenge research and production models. Whenever we are inspired by or get ideas from indigenous communities, we need to ensure that we have representatives from the communities as an active member in our team. The only way to transfer knowledge is through the leaders of the communities. 

New information, new knowledge, new perspective that they gain during research activities build new bridges. That's how we perceive emerging writers and emerging filmmakers models that we've been building in the last 10 years. We invited them every year and built a bridge with them, then when they returned to their villages and towns they built bridges with their own community. If we are all on the same page about this model, this is how we can imagine a better world together. We also started to look at the language aspect for international collaborations. I know it's important to have an ability to speak English, but now I challenge the idea, I say no. If you want to talk to people in Eastern Indonesia right now, you need to look at how the educational system works in Indonesia. You have the best education if you’re in the best bubble of a society. But if you are not included in this bubble, how can you be proficient enough in English to meet the requirements of working with a local researcher? We challenge these kinds of old models.


Sam: Well, I certainly appreciate that you've both spoken in English for this interview!


Afifah: I still have one more question, though, about your involvement in the arts between Melbourne and Makassar. You've done all of these cross-cultural projects with different objectives and backgrounds. What do you think is the essence of a bilateral relationship or like what is the key takeaway for you personally in doing all these initiatives?


Lily: For me, it's all about access. We say that we need to see more people from Eastern Indonesia joining exchange programmes in Australia or in other countries, but there's no follow up about how to address why there are not many Eastern Indonesian participants or why they are not successful in their applications. One of my key takeaways is about addressing why this is the case. 

First, I think about a lack of information, but then I think we need to take pre-emptive actions for this. We had this experimental project with the Centre for Stories in Perth, they were already aware of the Makassar International Writers Festival and the indigenous Australian projects that I have been doing with Monash University and the University of Melbourne before. I told them if you really want to look at equality, at equal access, why don't we start an experimental model with this exchange so our pre-emptive action back then, in 2018, was to formulate the model of the exchange; it’s only open for female writers from East Indonesia and culturally diverse female writers from Western Australia. We made it more specific to challenge the issue of equal access. It worked really well, because before we even made the call for participants in Makassar, we prepared a series of workshops, like how to prepare for exchange programmes and how to apply for exchange programmes. I personally conducted a series of mentoring programmes for potential participants.

That's the thing that I really want to do more of in the future, to address this problem of inequality. I mean, like in a sports competition, you need to ensure that athletes are in the same league. The educational model in Indonesia, Afifah you must understand and have heard of the inequality in education and so forth. We’re challenging these notions. 

The other experimental project that we did with the British Consulate in 2019. We did an exchange between second cities, so people from second cities who still use the local language as a communication tool in their creative works. We're giving these very specific opportunities to answer this question of “are we still using our local languages today as a communication tool and if so, can we connect these people in a cross-cultural setting?” 

We’ve come up with another idea about inclusivity, last year, 2020, we launched this online residency specifically for deaf people. The experiment itself is somewhat specific. We imagined what if a deaf person who aspires to be a writer is provided with a healthy ecosystem like what I've seen in Melbourne. A healthy ecosystem means that you have a writers centre right. Sam you know of course the Wheeler Centre for writers. We want to provide funding, an allowance, a project officer, sign language interpreters, three visual artists who help you to express what you want to say during the residency. We set up a dream team for this writer. Three illustrators, two mentors, a secretary, an office, lots of books to read. We set up this micro-model, a pilot project, like what happens if an artist or a filmmaker or a writer or a cultural producer lives in an ideal world with a healthy ecosystem. We've been doing this now for six months, and we're excited to see the result. Whenever we go to Indonesia, we keep hearing complaints from artists, writers, and filmmakers. There's a lot of complaints that the ecosystem is not there, funding is never enough, never sufficient, no transparency, there's no model of competitiveness, no political will from the government itself and so on. So, we set up this small ecosystem for one writer for six months and we would like to see what happens.


Afifah: This is a very interesting and specified approach to the need for inclusivity in Indonesia, it’s very important. Your comments are very enlightening for me!


Lily: And whose responsibility is it to look at this access and to make those who are invisible become visible. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that everyone needs to be included in the same radar.

Sam: Thanks so much for your time and insight today Lily, and for all your support over the past couple of year!