We caught up with UK performance artists Emma Frankland and Jo Hellier about their experience of working in collaboration with 69 Performance Club in Jakarta ahead of their performance at the UK/ID Festival 2017 this week.
Jakarta as a city is quite full on. It’s quite an assault on all of the senses, all at once. I’ve been to a lot of major cities before but never one that is this big, and this hot, and this noisy, and this relentless. I’ve kept waiting for it to stop, and for their to be a moment of pause, and it just hasn’t happened, regardless of the time of day, or what day of the week it is! But it’s awesome for that, its full of life. – Emma
I’ve found Jakarta extremely chaotic and fun and interesting. Everything is different here. All the systems work differently, and the pace is very different as well. So I’ve found it absolutely fascinating to find out how people here operate, and how you get around the city. It was a big culture shock when I first arrived, but now I’ve got used to it a little bit. - Jo
On working with creatives in Indonesia
I think it’s so important to work with people from different cultures. You have so much to learn every time you work with someone from a different culture, a different place, with a different set of experiences. I think Indonesia and Jakarta is particularly interesting for me because I’ve never been to this part of the world before, so this was an opportunity to have a whole new set of influences. I was also really interested in the history of collectivism in Jakarta and in Indonesia, because it seems like there is a really strong culture of collectivity here which I think we have in the UK but maybe isn’t as old and established. We’ve been working with an art collective who’ve been established for quite a long time, so its really interesting to see how they work and how that’s part of the culture here. - Jo
I think it’s really important that we broaden the scope of people that we collaborate with. I’d never been to Asia before, never been to Indonesia. This collaboration is with people who are living in a very different way to what I’m used to, so I think that’s really rich, going in both directions. There’s kind of a different performance culture over here, and different languages. So that’s been really exciting. – Emma