Why Breaking Barriers Matters
Women and other under-represented groups are often left behind and become an afterthought in the Indonesian performing arts Industry.
The capacity-building efforts, learning platform, rooms for collaboration, and support groups are lacking, making it difficult for women and other under-represented groups to voice out their artistry to emerge as creators. Thus, they resort to working in silos and face the much harder challenge to overcome.
If women and other under-represented groups are provided a conducive space & atmosphere to producing works, getting support, and facilitating collaboration with each other, the more empowered they will be to make their own choices in championing our artistry and contribute to the Indonesian creative industry
Empowering Women of the Performing Arts
The barometres in measuring women's empowerment are still largely defined by their achievements in the economic, political, and educational fields, illustrate by the number of female entrepreneurs, female legislators, CEOs, or other decision-making roles.
While it is all great, we tend to overlook the importance of women’s participation in the cultural field. The hard truth is, we fail to recognize that the arts and cultural field provide a vital platform for women to express their views about their identity and their rights within a society that is still unwelcoming of the role of women as arts & cultural producers.
We aim to change this. For it is only when women can think critically about their status, sense of selves, values, and identity that they can make sound decisions that affect not only their own lives but those of the generations to come.
Women are seriously under-represented on stage
There are only 1.97% of women in the population have been involved in the performing arts in Indonesia as actors/players/ dancers/directors/scriptwriters/artists/creative teams, producers/ performance organizers.
Out of that statistics, even fewer women are leading the theatre as producers, directors, playwrights, and designers.
(data from Central Agency for Statistics, social and culture 2018)
Ade Rianom - Actor/ Movement Director in "Company- Musical Comedy production
Of the 103 literary awards 1989 -2020, only 10 playscripts were awarded, and all were written by men
From the search results on the internet, out of 41 female Indonesian writers, only 7 wrote drama scripts
Even fewer, women identify themselves as directors/producers/playwrights/theatre designers in Indonesia. From an internet search, we only managed to find 4 female theater directors, 3 female producers, 7 female playwrights, and 2 female theater designers,
Very few studies, scientific journals, and statistics focus their research on women as creators of works in the performing arts. Hence difficulties in quantifying Indonesian women working in the performing arts.
Cahaya Lituhayu - Scenic Designer prepping for tech week of Company- Musical Comedy production
Why are there not more women...
Information searched on the internet showed only a small handful of Indonesian women creators in theatre. And there is not much reporting about the remarkable works these women have produced.
These findings are increasingly frustrating. It seems contrary to the reality of the experience on the ground, where there is heightened interest from young Indonesian women with great potential to be creators of arts flocking to participate in performing arts productions.
When the opportunity to work on an original production during the scholarship term at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland arises, that's when we know that this is the ideal moment to instigate change.