Bangkit/Arise is one of the first international public arts exchanges and residencies from the San Francisco Bay Area developed to include and support families. While CAMP co-directors Megan Wilson and Christopher Statton didn’t initially conceive of Bangkit/Arise as a residency and exchange inclusive of families, this expanded structure took shape through the initial curation and continued to evolve organically. The selection of the artists from the SF/Bay Area was based on the following considerations;
- Artists who had worked with and shown a strong commitment to CAMP and our community
- Artists who had shown a commitment to community building and social justice
- Artists who had spent time living and working in other countries/cultures
- Artists who had demonstrated a high level of dependability and follow-through
- Artists whose work is strong and thoughtful
- Artists whose work and practice is varied from one another
- A variety of aesthetic styles, approaches, and levels of experiences
Based on these considerations, the following artists were identified:
- Shaghayegh Cyrous
- Keyvan Shovir
- Kelly Ording
- Jet Martinez
- Jose Guerra Awe
- Christopher Statton
- Megan Wilson
While each of the artists was selected for their individual body of work, it was not by coincidence that six of the artists are also couples. When considering the overall project of Bangkit/Arise, the idea of artist families being able to share in the cultural exchange and contribute to a model for healthy and inclusive community-building through art and culture fit with the guiding principles of the project. In part this vision grew out of the relationship that Megan and subsequently Christopher has/have developed with co-organizer Nano Warsono, his partner/wife Deny, and their two children Affis and Vino over the years. It also speaks to the collective approach of the Yogyakarta arts community that operates as a large extended family – one that is not always in agreement; however one that for the most part always works to support one another.
The artists above were approached two and a half years ago with the project description and asked if they would like to be a part of Bangkit/Arise. All responded affirmatively. However, Kelly and Jet expressed that they would want to bring their two children to share in the experience and asked if that would be a problem. After some consideration, CAMP conveyed that while the organization could not purchase the additional plane tickets, the project was committed to including and supporting the Bangkit/Arise residency and exchange with and for families, including children.
This inclusive approach extended to the initial plan that Keyvan and Shaghayegh’s families would travel from Iran to Indonesia to see them in person for the first time in seven years. However, at that point none of us predicted that we would be facing the current xenophobic, anti-family climate that we find ourselves in with the Trump presidency and the ripples it has spread throughout the world. As a result, neither Shaghayegh, Keyvan, or their families are currently able to travel due to this geo-political impact. At the same time these political developments are dividing and destroying families, on a micro-level they have created an imbalance and absence for Bangkit/Arise. Shaghayegh and Keyvan were each selected for their ‘social practice’ approach to creating art and working with communities, which would have made a significant contribution to this current stage of the project. We look forward to Shaghayegh and Keyvan’s inclusion in the San Francisco phase with the Indonesian artists and subsequently returning to Yogyakarta with them in the coming year.
During the summer of 2017 Allison Wyckoff, Associate Director, Public + Community Programs at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco invited Bangkit/Arise to be a project with the Art/Lit Living Innovation Zone (LIZ) at the Village Artist Corner in San Francisco’s Civic Center Commons. After a series of conversations between the two organizations, it was officially announced the Asian Art Museum would be CAMP’s institutional partner for Bangkit/Arise. In developing and deepening the partnership, CAMP invited Allison to visit Yogyakarta during the SF/Bay Area artists’ residency. In addition, Allison would be accompanied by her family: partner Armon Kasmai and their children Hiero and Sammi, expanding the extended SF/Yogya family.
In planning for the Yogyakarta part of the exchange CAMP co-directors Megan and Christopher worked with Yogya Bangkit/Arise organizer Nano Warsono and their Yogyakarta community to: 1) find housing to best accommodate the SF crew and keep them relatively close together, 2) attend a workshop with Romie Landry MA, MFTi and her partner Greg to better develop team building, communication, and conflict resolution skills to help ensure that all participants feel safe and supported in the project; 3) identify lines of communication in Yogya; 4) arrange for transportation; 5) Plan to hold regular check-ins with and without kids present; 6) develop and/or identify a program for all of the kids to attend as an option while their parents are working; and 7) arrange for a series of family-friendly cultural events that the SF/Bay Area and Yogyakarta families could attend together.
On most accounts we have succeeded in meeting all of our goals:
- Through our friends Mie, Ingvild, and Mella we were able to secure housing – a house and two bungalows directly next to each other;
- The workshop with Romie and Greg provided valuable tools for the group;
- Co-organizer Nano paired each of the San Francisco/Bay Area artists with an artist assistant to provide transportation and help at the site. In addition Nano identified two photographers/videographers to document the process.
- All of the SF/Bay Area crew were able to connect to one another and the Yogya community via Whats App;
- Check-ins have not taken place on a regular basis as initially hoped; however the group has had at least two official check-ins each week – this is due in part to the variations of individual schedules, as well as taking all of the kids into account;
- Nano and Vina supported Hari and her partner Sino to create a very unique daily program for the kids that has included mask-making, painting/drawing, ceramics, gamelan, batik, dance, making food, and field trips to see animals;
- We have had cultural outings together every week that have included: a trip to the Ullen Sentalu Museum to learn more about the history of Java, a night out to see the community gamelan concert Cangkem Bertaburan, a trip to Borobudur and Gereja Ayam, a night out to have dinner and see the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan. We have also had collective gatherings every week, including the Tumpeng ceremony to officially launch and bless the Bangkit/Arise project.
Perempuan Perempuan Kuat! L->R Violet, Kelly, Deny, Sammi, Allison, Hari, Megan, Cha Cha, Affis
Program Developed by Hari and Sino for the Kids: