For International Women’s Day last year in 2020, my colleagues and I initiated Belakang Panggung the Musical as part of Lentera Sintas Indonesia‘s campaign of awareness towards sexual harassment. We staged 5 shows (plus an open dress rehearsal) on the weekend of 6-8th March at the French Institute Auditorium in Jakarta. The next day, Indonesia went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
I’m so glad we were able to “get away” with it, as it was a project I had been working on since 2017 after I met Sophia Hage.
The show gathered a huge amount of press recognition. Our main actress Mian Tiara, came out with harassment that was done to her in one of her recent films: Perempuan Tanah Jahanam.
A theatre company is staging the epic Ramayana. During rehearsals, sexual abuse issues surface and threatens the show and the reputation of its director. What happens when the main actress speaks up on the opening night?
Belakang Panggung was our critique of a society that judges, shames, and punishes survivors who speak up. At the same time, it was our plea to leaders in Indonesia to acknowledge this issue. They can start with approving RUU PKS, the proposed bill to eliminate sexual violence and support survivors.
We thank all patrons and individuals that supported us financially for the project. If you are interested to watch a recording of the musical, please contact me. It’s in Indonesian with English subtitles.
This year, I did a small campaign on my personal social media channels from the 1st of March until today, the 8th of March. It’s been a wonderful week of speaking up and advocating awareness surrounding an issue that is so personal to me. I thank all of you who have joined me with your voice, internet bandwidth, time, and resources.
Happy International Women’s Day!