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The BIENNALE JOGJA (BJ) is a festival that focuses on visual art, and has been held every two years since 1988. Since 2011, the BJ has used a different strategy in its presentation, in line with a new vision and direction that has been managed by the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation. 

The equator series is a strategy that utilizes the line the Equator draws around the globe as a concrete practice in exploring and re-reading the world. "Biennale Jogja XIII: Indonesia Meets Nigeria” is the third part of the BJ Equator series. BJXIII will look at the connection between Jogja (Indonesia) and Nigeria as partner nations who will interpret the same issues, as they share a history of colonization and recent release from military regime. As a biennial event, the BJ XIII will maximize efforts to make this BJ as an event in collaboration with the city's residents.

Thus, apart from using Taman Budaya Yogyakarta (Yogyakarta Cultural Park) as an exhibition space, the BJXIII will also use Yogyakarta's city spaces and surrounds as a site or a creative arena for artists to intervene on local issues. To this end, the main events will include an Art Exhibition, Community Art Projects and the Equator Festival.

Indonesia and Nigeria are both former colonies; however, both were only truly free of authoritarian regimes at the end of the 90s. In Indonesia this was signified by the demise of the New Order regime in 1998. Nigeria is unique because its military regime was in fact ended by the military itself in 1998. After the fall of this authoritarian rule, the state and the people both speculated and experimented with democratic systems in seeking the ideal, autonomous form, each according to their understandings and desires. This has created a disharmonious gap in social and cultural infrastructure.

The situation became even more chaotic within the understanding of a larger nation (consisting of various ethnicities, traditions and languages) with abundant natural resources.
In practice, individual freedom of speech and opinion for all of these people of diverse ethnicities and languages is a fertile field for the cultivation of opposition and conflict. In this, conflict must always be seen as a positive. Its existence must be invited and understood absolutely as something, which must be managed in order to create unexpected harmony. However, in this context democracy is not merely seen at a political level but is also understood as a way of living together in all of our differences and our chaotic economic, social and technological infrastructure, based on the principles of living that society is currently experiencing. 

A strategic but speculative strategy is required to take apart this conflict, so that it can shift from asymmetrical to symmetrical patterns. This is an appropriate thing to attempt through dissecting and presenting the bitter seeds of conflict and chaos through imaginative artistic and cultural work; dynamic and open to be enjoyed, contemplated and deconstructed together.
1. Main Exhibition
The main exhibition will include around 40 artists, consisting of 25 Indonesian artists and 11 Nigerian artists. The curator of the exhibition wants to test forms of artistic intervention through a working practice that involve artists, other cultural workers and diverse professionals. In this exhibition several Nigerian artists will be invited to implement a similar pattern, working collaboratively and conceiving of the exhibition as a sort of joint artwork that involves the community.

 Participant forums will begin work from March 2015 until the exhibition closes. An online forum will be made available for mutual introductions, discussions and formulation of concepts and patterns of collaboration.
Five participants from Indonesia will undertake month-long residencies in Nigeria in June 2015, and then in September 2015 four artists and one curator from
Nigeria will continue their working processes in Indonesia for three months.

2. Community Art Projects (Parallel Events)
The implementation of community art projects will be focused on neighborhoods in the Yogyakarta Special District, by involving residents and socio-cultural activist communities, environmental activists, alternative education movements, book enthusiasts and artists. 

This project will be open to art and cultural communities in general in Yogyakarta and will priorities their implementation in the neighborhoods of Yogyakarta.
Based on visual art, eight to ten communities who work collaboratively and across disciplines will be chosen. This project will emphasize how citizens adapt to the changing reality around them, visually and spatially. Art groups/communities will enact their artistic practice in order to enter into the problems that residents face. Every group will present their project in the form of an exhibition in the art spaces of Jogjakarta.

3. Equator Festival Program
1. Archive Sharing Program: Contestation and Visual Art Actions in the Street.
2. Yogyakarta Painters Exhibition Program, Seni Sidoarum House, Sleman, Yogykarta.
3. Creative Reading Practice Program, in Panggungharjo, Sewon, Bantul, Yogyakarta.
4. Land Festival Program in Giripeni, Wates, Kulonprogo.

• The BJ XIII Exhibition will use the Sultan Palace’s South Square (tentative) as its main exhibition space.
• Several neighborhoods selected by art communities for the Community Art Projects.
• The Jogja National Museum will be the presentation space for community works.
• The Festival Equator will be held in several locations: Seni Sidoarum House,
Yogyakarta public spaces, Panggungharjo Village, Sewon, Bantul, and Giripeni Village,
Wates, Kulonprogo.

Community Art Projects, 1 October—10 December 2015
Main Exhibition, 1 November - 10 December 2015
Equator Festival, 1 November - 10 December 2015
Event Characteristics: Free Entrance / Open Festival

Director: Alia Swastika
Artistic Director: Rain Rosidi
Curator: Wok The Rock
Associate Curator: Jude Anogwih (Nigeria)
Event Information:
Festival Name: BIENNALE JOGJA XIII: Equator Series III, Indonesia Meets Nigeria
Hosts: Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation
Director YBY: Yustina Neni
Office: Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, Jl. Sri Wedani no. 1, Yogyakarta

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