Saturday, March 19, 2011

Babak Baru (Batik & City) Branding

Tidak terasa tiga tahun berlalu sejak di unggah. Masih segar dalam ingatan sebuah rapat di gelar di garasi rumah @umaank untuk memutuskan sikap paguyuban pecinta batik pekalongan apakah akan bergabung dengan tawaran pemerintah kota pekalongan menjadikan festival batik pekalongan sebagai bagian dari proyek Indonesia Design Power, atau seperti dua kali festival sebelumnya tetap dari, oleh dan untuk masyarakat.

Sikap paguyuban malam itu memutuskan tidak masuk Indonesia Design Power, tetapi memberi kebebasan pada tiap anggota untuk atas nama pribadi berpartisipasi. Hal-hal yang menjadi keberatan sebagian besar anggota paguyuban adalah
1.Proposal Festival Batik Pekalongan 2007 dengan tema "The World Batik Fiesta" dicontek habis menjadi proposal event yang kemudian menjadi Pekan Batik Internasional.
2.Paguyuban memandang peran pemerintah adalah regulator dan fasilitator event-event budaya.

Menyadari arah & kecenderungan suasana pada saat itu, ada baiknya dibuat sebuah blog yang akan mengumpulkan remah-remah link berita, foto , maupun tulisan yang akan memberi perpektif bagi upaya batik & city branding berbasis komunitas.

Mengapa The World Batik City?
Pekalongan sebagai kota batik sudah lazim dikenal. Mencoba membandingkan dengan kota batik- kota batik lain seperti Ceribon, Solo, Yogya dan lain-lain, baru di Pekalongan kita temukan bagaimana infrastruktur & support system industri batik relatif mapan. Regenerasi pembatik berjalan mulus. Selain itu basis sosialnya sangat luas, masing2 di atas 30 persen dari populasi penduduk kota dan kabupaten pekalongan.

Tema Festival Batik Pekalongan 2005 "Dari Pekalongan Membatik Dunia" berikut perjuangan untuk mendapat Guinness World Records untuk kategori batik terpanjang telah menggugah kesadaran pentingnya branding, baik untuk batik pekalongan maupun city branding itu sendiri.

Mengapa harus Guinnes World of Records ?
Pada saat itu anggaran untuk registrasi, verifikasi & pemberian rekor dari Museum Rekor Indonesia lebih bermanfaat untuk kegiatan lain. Target dari festival adalah memperluas medan magnet festival batik pekalongan untuk dicatat di lembaga-lembaga internasional. Bukan hanya internasional di label event saja.

Kini suasana Pekalongan telah banyak berubah, Museum Batik di Pekalongan ( bukan museum batik pekalongan loh) telah berdiri, jentera industri batik tetap berputar, izinkan kami membuka lembaran baru untuk terus menggelorakan "ayo bersama-sama membranding batik dan pekalongan sebagai kota batik dunia a.k.a TWBC

Friday, September 18, 2009

Score One for Indonesia in the War Over Batik

Published: September 14, 2009

JAKARTA — For Indonesians, it is a point scored in a long-running rivalry with their neighbor Malaysia: The United Nations has decided to recognize Indonesian batik as one of the world’s important cultural traditions.
After a run of what Indonesian nationalists view as Malaysia’s poaching of its culture, the announcement last week that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization would add batik to its Intangible Cultural Heritage list at a ceremony at the end of this month was especially welcome. To celebrate, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked all Indonesians to wear batik on Oct. 2.

“It is so important that the world finally recognize and acknowledge batik as an Indonesian heritage,” said Obin, one of the country’s leading fashion designers. “It is a part of our soul.”

But bragging rights to batik, the process of creating intricate patterns on textiles with wax-resistant dyes, is only one of a slew of issues — cultural, social and political — that have bedeviled relations between Malaysia and Indonesia of late. In June, things had reached the point where Malaysia’s defense minister felt it necessary to declare that, contrary to appearances, the two countries were not on the brink of war.

Indonesia and Malaysia’s numerous commonalities have often sparked disputes. Their historically fluid borders gave rise to populations that share both the Islamic religion and very similar languages. The two countries fought a real war over territory on the island of Borneo in the 1960s, and several conflicts over small, but resource-rich, islands and coastal territories continue today.

The most recent cultural squabble, however, is mostly one-sided. Malaysians, responding to a torrent of letters in Indonesian newspapers, say they are mostly perplexed by Indonesians’ strong reactions to suspicions that they are being encroached upon by Malaysia. Some young Indonesians, who refer to their neighbor as “Maling-sia” — “maling” means “thief” in Indonesian — have pledged their readiness to fight should war become necessary.

The most recent flare-up began with a song.

In early 2007, the Malaysian government began using a folk tune titled “Rasa Sayange,” or “Feeling of Love,” in its “Malaysia: Truly Asia” overseas tourism campaign. Indonesians, claiming the song as their own, began staging protests outside the Malaysian embassy in Jakarta.

Indonesian lawmakers entered the fray, and by December 2007, Indonesians were whipped into such a fury that Malaysia was forced to remove the song, as well as clips of dances that Indonesians also insist are theirs, from its advertising and apologize.

Relations were further complicated last May when a Malaysian naval vessel veered into the disputed, and oil-rich, waters of Ambalat, setting off another diplomatic scuffle and renewed claims of Malaysian theft.

Then there was the headline-grabbing escape from Malaysia that same month of an Indonesian starlet, Manohara Odelia Pinot, who claimed she had been tortured by her husband, a Malaysian prince.

The following month, reports that Indonesian maids in Malaysia were being abused prompted the Indonesian government to temporarily stop sending domestic workers there.

Anger toward Malaysia grew so intense here that the Malaysian defense minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, felt compelled to offer a guarantee that there would be no war between the two countries. At the same meeting, his Indonesian counterpart, Juwono Sudarsono, warned the public not to inflate small problems into major ones.

Tensions dropped to a low boil until a few weeks ago, when the Malaysian government was again put on the defensive over a promotion for a documentary series on the Discovery Channel about Malaysia that featured a dance thought to have originated on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Apologies all around did not stop the ever-present throngs of Indonesians outside the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta from pelting it with eggs and rocks.

It was in this context that Unesco was considering Indonesia’s claim that batik is part of its distinct cultural heritage and worth preserving.

Protecting batik, whether from cheaper printed imitations from China or efforts in Malaysia to copyright designs, became a national obsession.

The Indonesian government stepped up its promotion of the fabric significantly in 2007, calling on civil servants and the public to wear it more often and enlisting fashion designers to find more appealing uses for it. Batik is now a staple in upscale malls and galleries in Jakarta.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani has become known for her elegant batik dresses. Many offices in Indonesia now observe “Batik Fridays.” Applications to copyright batik motifs have intensified; currently about 300 designs have been copyrighted in Indonesia. Most of those claims were made since 2007, according to industry figures.

“There is no question, really,” said Ari Safitri, 22, gesturing to the centuries-old batik patterns inside the Danar Hadi Museum in Solo, a Central Javanese city famed for its batik, where she is a guide.

“Everyone always asks about Malaysia,” she said. “But I tell them that we are sure batik comes from Indonesia.”

Historians and non-Indonesian analysts question Indonesia’s claims.

“For Indonesians to claim that batik is solely Indonesian is to stretch the point,” Farish Noor, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, wrote in a recent editorial in The Straits Times.

“The post-colonial histories of almost all Southeast Asian states tend to over-emphasize the nation-state and its borders,” Noor continued. “This ignores the fact that the people of the region have long moved across the archipelago with ease, bringing — and leaving — their languages, beliefs and cultures.”

Malaysians, for their part, appear mostly perplexed by the Indonesian batik campaign. Jamal Ibrahim, a Malaysian, wrote in a letter to The Jakarta Post, “We heard about the controversy, but hardly any Malaysian has given it serious attention.”

Gunawan Setiawan, who sells batik made in a centuries-old workshop in Solo, brushed aside the controversy as nonsense, though he admitted he was happy that the squabble had at least sparked a popular resurgence of the fabric at home.

“Since the 1970s, the biggest demand for batik has come in the last few years because of this situation with Malaysia,” he said in the workshop, where women were applying melted wax in swirling motifs on lengths of cloth. “I’m not sure anyone can claim batik, but it’s been good for business.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of a university in Singapore. It is Nanyang Technological University, not Nanyank. Ambalat

Monday, July 6, 2009

Indonesian Batik One Step Closer To Unesco Recognition

June 11, 2009

Anita Rachman

Indonesian batik is one step closer to being recognized as one of the world’s intangible cultural treasures.

The traditional art form passed another hurdle in becoming registered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting the requirements of a document assessment session with one of the organization’s subsidiary bodies.

Indonesian deputy ambassador to the Paris-based Unesco, Dindin Wahyudin, said the government was confident about the process.

“Personally, I would say 99 percent optimistic, if we should leave the one percent to God,” he said.

Dindin said that while Unesco was happy with all the supplied documentation, Indonesian diplomats would continue to introduce batik to their foreign colleagues as part of the lobbying activities.

Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said on Thursday that the government would maintain its efforts to lobby the organization before it faces the final assessment at a Unesco plenary session of 24 countries in Abu Dhabi from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.

“We went to France many times and have worked hard to put on the international record that batik is originally from Indonesia,” Jero said.

Gaura Mancacaritadipura, a cultural expert who was also a member of the team that researched and drafted the nomination to Unesco, said that 19 of the country’s 33 provinces produced their own distinct batik motifs, which had been grouped under the general term: “Indonesian batik.”

He said his team had worked on the proposal since November 2007, presenting the finished document in September 2008.

“I went to places and talked to people directly to get the information,” Gaura said.

Indonesian batik is unique and different from other traditional art forms in its use of negative printing techniques, in which wax is applied to the parts of the fabric not meant to be colored. Indonesia also has a rich array of distinct motifs, each with their own local background.

“A person could spend a year, just to work on a piece of batik cloth. It is very unlikely to occur in other countries,” Gaura said.

To date, the keris, traditional daggers found across the archipelago, and wayang kulit, Javanese shadow puppet performances, have been acknowledged by Unesco. The ministry is also working on registering angklung, a traditional bamboo musical instrument.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arti Pengakuan Unesco untuk Batik

  • Oleh Nasir Syar’an, SIP

BERITA gembira: kerajinan batik Kota Pekalongan, Jawa Tengah dalam waktu dekat ini (Oktober 2009) diakui oleh Unesco (Badan PBB untuk Pendidikan, Ilmu Pengetahuan, dan Kebudayaan) sebagai salah satu warisan budaya dunia. Pengukuhan ini rencananya dilakukan di Prancis. Ini dicapai karena masyarakat Indonesia, khususnya Kota Pekalongan bisa mempertahankan nilai estetika batik.

Pengakuan ini berarti Batik Pekalongan diakui sebagai budaya asli Pekalongan Indonesia yang khas; tidak dimiliki negeri lain. Budaya ini juga diakui tetap hidup lestari dari generasi ke generasi dan masih digunakan oleh masyarakat. Pengakuan ini juga berarti bahwa batik menambah kekayaan budaya dunia. Dunia boleh memakai batik, tetapi tidak boleh mengklaim.

Tidak mudah pengakuan ini didapatkan. Prosesnya panjang dan rumit. Pada awalnya penyiapan naskah akademik tentang batik. Kemudian, enam negara perwakilan dari Unesco melakukan pengkajian terhadap budaya batik ini selama tiga tahun. Akhirnya pengakuan diputuskan terhadap budaya batik sebagai budaya milik Indonesia yang memberikan sumbangsih bagi budaya dunia.

Pengakuan ini adalah hasil upaya berbagai pihak, mulai dari pemerintah, pelaku industri batik, warga Indonesia. Pemerintah berperanan dalam meratifikasi konvensi Unesco untuk melindungi warisan budaya bukan benda melalui Peraturan Pemerintah (PP) 78/2007. Pelaku industri batik berjasa dalam memproduksi dan mengembangkan batik. Warga Indonesia berjasa dengan membanggakan batik dan menggunakannya sehingga industri batik tidak kehabisan pelanggan.

Pengakuan ini mempunyai arti besar bagi budaya dan industri kreatif Indonesia.
Pertama, perlindungan budaya batik Pekalongan dari klaim negeri lain. Dengan pengakuan ini, pihak-pihak dari negara lain tidak bisa dengan mudah mengklaim nilai estetika Batik Pekalongan sebagai hak ciptanya.

Nama Batik memang sudah dipatenkan oleh Malaysia, tapi nilai estetikanya belum. Karena itu tepatlah upaya mendapatkan pengakuan Unesco atas nilai estetika Batik Pekalongan.

Kedua, pengakuan ini menunjukkan bahwa orang Indonesia bisa meraih capaian artistik dan memberikan warisan budaya pada dunia. Sebelum batik pekalongan ini, wayang dan keris terlebih dahulu memperoleh penghargaan dari Unesco juga. Ini menunjukkan bahwa Indonesia mempunyai warisan budaya yang membanggakan di dunia internasional. Pengakuan ini bisa mendorong generasi muda untuk mengapresiasi, menemukan nilai-nilainya dan mengembangkan kekayaan budaya Indonesia.

Ketiga, meningkatnya apresiasi akan meningkatkan potensi pasar dan industri batik ini. Saat ini minat masyarakat Indonesia atas batik sudah mulai meningkat sejak hebohnya berita pematenan nama batik oleh Malaysia. Di dalam negeri, pengakuan ini bisa lebih meningkatkan minat akan batik karena semakin mantap dan yakin akan nilai-nilai dari Batik. Di luar negeri, pengakuan ini sekaligus promosi. Dan karena batik pekalongan ini unik, nilai tambah bisa meningkat karena pembeli tidak punya pembanding harga.

Untuk mengantisipasi perkembangan permintaan pasar tersebut, UMKM batik perlu menyiapkan pengembangan desain, kualitas, serta kedekatan secara emosional dengan selera pasar. Penghargaan atas gagasan dan karya desain harus ditingkatkan untuk memberi motivasi dan minat warga masyarakat dalam berinovasi untuk industri batik ini. Pengamatan trend pasar yang cepat berubah perlu dilakukan sebagai bahan untuk menciptakan desain yang digemari pasar.
Perlengkapan desain seperti software batik berbasis fraktal juga perlu dioptimalkan untuk meningkatkan produktivitas desain batik. Keempat, pengakuan batik pekalongan ini akan mendorong pengajuan kekayaan budaya Indonesia lain kepada Unesco maupun lembaga lainnya. Masih banyak kekayaan budaya Indonesia yang perlu dilindungi karena rawan untuk diklaim oleh pihak luar. Indonesia telah memiliki warisan budaya yang patut dihargai.

Itu bila ditinjau lebih lanjut, mulai dari pakaian hingga perabotan. Misalnya tenun ikat, jumputan, ukiran jepara, dan seterusnya. Kekayaan budaya ini lebih-lebih yang bernilai ekonomis itu sangat rawan untuk diklaim pencuri hak cipta dari luar negeri.

Singkat kata, pengakuan Unesco ini membanggakan dan memberi perlindungan. Selanjutnya orang Indonesia sendiri perlu belajar menghargai budaya sendiri yang merupakan buah kerja keras, cinta, dan kecerdasan leluhur kita. Apresiasi ini berarti pengembangan UMKM dan meningkatkan martabat Indonesia di dunia internasional. (80)

—Nasir Syar’an, SIP, pendamping UKM di Jepara