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Ars Populi

On the day of my visit to Anjung Salihara, Jakarta had just gotten out of a massive, nine-hour power outage that brought the daily routines of its ten million inhabitants to a grinding halt. Ninis Biastami of Komunitas Salihara, the arts compound of which Anjung is the most recent addition, shares what happened to their community while walking me around the 3800-square-meter complex. “The blackout knocked off power mid-afternoon and the kids of the surrounding residential neighborhood were restless and bored,” she recalls. Access to Anjung Salihara, which anchors the compound’s rear and fronts a residential neighborhood, was opened and the performance arts space became a community playground for the day.

Humble start

Komunitas Salihara is located along a raucous, crowded stretch of Salihara Street, nestled within a lush, tree-filled plot in the mostly residential district of Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta. The decision to locate Indonesia’s first private multi-disciplinary arts center amidst a residential suburb might seem peculiar.

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