Water = Life: An Inside Look on Tourism, Yogyakarta

Indonesiaful’s still going strong!


By Annabelle Wilmott

Unlike other parts of Indonesia, it is not uncommon to see a café in Yogyakarta filled with only bules (foreigners, usually Caucasian) and their knapsacks. Yogyakarta, affectionately called Jogja, is known as the backpacker hotspot of Indonesia. Lonely Planet, the popular tourist guidebook, calls Jogja “Java’s premier tourist city, with countless hotels, restaurants and attractions.”[i] Unfortunately, too often, vacationers and even many locals, are not aware of the negative impact that tourism is having on the city.

anna1On Thursday, October 2, local artists cried out, or rather painted out, in protest with the theme “Jogja Asat,” meaning, “Jogja is drying up” in Javanese. That evening, local artists came together to spray paint a mural under the railway bridge Kleringan, commonly known as the Kewek bridge, which once thrived as the cultural center of the city. On March 1, 2013, the bridge was reclaimed from advertisers…

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The Dolldrums

As volcanoes erupt across Indonesia, my friends and I ventured to the nearest one, Gunung Sinabung, to see the ashy landscape first-hand and bring some snacks to the many displaced people.

Categories: Indonesia, Medan, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Rockin’ the Red Carpet


My students and I went to the American Film Showcase, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, and we couldn’t pass up the Hollywood foto-foto opportunity. These starlets-in-the-making watched Inocente, a short documentary about a 15-year-old homeless artist in San Diego. The realities of homelessness and classism in the U.S. were a surprise to several of them. Later we watched First Position, a documentary about the elite Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition, which obviously made me nostalgic and prompted my students to ask me throughout the entire film, “You used to do THAT?”

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