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Request for help from Dandelion Collective (Indonesia)

We are Dandelion Collective from Bandung, Indonesia and we are trying to build a community-space a.k.a infoshop here in Bandung. We really feel the need to have a safe public space where we can share thoughts, have discussion, free library, really-really free market and other activities that will empower our surroundings. And we are asking for your help, any kind of help. For more details, hereby we are attaching our proposal which describe the reason why we really think that this is very necessary for our communities development, and also some pictures that we have talking about in our proposal.

In solidarity,
hope to hear from you soon :)
Dandelion Collective


DANDELION INFOSHOP PROJECT
BANDUNG (WEST JAVA, INDONESIA)


Introduction

Bandung is a capital city of West Java, with about 2.771.138 inhabitants. Historically, it was a city build by the Netherland colonialist for the centre of shopping, resting place and entertainment for the colonials; and after the independency of Indonesia in 1945, Bandung becoming tourist city because the chilly weather, and geographically it’s placed in mountain area.

Ever since 1998, there’s a commercial fashion distros booming, therefore aside that Bandung is part of student city, it is also a part of textile industries main production and distribution. Bandung’s government is now focusing on “creative industry” where people commodificating cultures into things they can buy. “Youth creativity” is transformed into merely mass clothing production, and ignorant consumerist culture where people from most people in Indonesia considering Bandung as the most progressive trendsetter, and therefore Bandung is a centre of cultural banalization.

Considering this depressive competitive atmosphere of the urban inhabitants, we think it’s crucial to raise consciousness about this. People don’t care anymore about the corporation’s victim in another area in Indonesia, even though it’s very close to our city; since they’re too busy consuming their identity. This city, beside its alienating so-called-youth-centre, is very lack of source of information which regarding political and cultural consciousness. And people all over Indonesia are taking this fake commercialized culture as the alternative culture they should follow.

The need arises for raising awareness that life is more than this and our neighboring cities need our support to fight against the neo-liberal development, that is why we think it’s very urgent to have a space for infoshop that would also functioning as community space where we can empower autonomy and self organization against the corporate culture.
The need to introduce our ideas and to counter this overvalue of commodity society: to make a counter-value against bought and sold relationships, and to promote alternative relationships in which people can live their lives according to their own real needs and desire.

Moreover, this is a good timing because lately, there’s been mushrooming of counter cultural infrastructure in this city; such as Food Not Bombs, Really really free market (Lapak Gratis!), anarchist publications (Dandelion, Katarsis), D.I.Y music gigs, Media Activism for Grass Root Struggle (such as Jurnal Apokalips, Poros Api); but we have no safe place to gather and make social thread between these counter culture infrastructure. Until now, we only able to gather in side roads, parks, and some friend’s house. We have no special place for the information centre.


Vision and Goals

We have no permanent goals or whatsoever; time will tell us what to do from our temporary activities. The most urgent step we want to achieve is finding a place, and build it into a community center from which we can operate. We need this place to distribute our own information and penetrate our ideas to people.

This place must have the capabilities to make a change and raise awareness in people, from the various projects that we will set up there. Considering the lack of reading culture (beside mainstream books and hipster’s clothing magazine), we are planning to open a bookshop and public library, for these kind of purposes. With various kinds of activities that we will ignite from that point, we believe we can slowly promote anti-authoritarian ideas in social relationships and inspire a critical society towards its own environment and ecological health.

By doing these projects we try to make people cooperate with each other without hierarchy, to distribute knowledge, to create a sense of community in this alienated society, and make a less violent environment by raising consciousness and a sense of needing each other as human beings.

Our vision is that this new world (dis)order problem, this ever ravaging system called neo-liberalism that has already become our local government policy, is the main problem we have to counter; By making wide privatization to public needs, and letting the corporate powers cut down our city forest to become condominium, malls, clothing stores, real estate apartments for upper middle class people, the problem of this imperial-capitalist economy and its contradiction to earth society appears. We want to create an awareness to people, as a response for this dying earth and the people living in it, in how this present progress of the so called “new world economy” is just another form of world domination by global ruling capital that tends to create more and more destruction to society and environment.


THE FORM OF THIS CENTER

The form of this center will be that of a bookshop, public library, autonomedia center and space for community activities. These are the activities we plan to create:

1. Various weekly discussion group:
– Anti-authoritarian discussion group: There will be a group discussion that we hold to introduce ideas and basic principles of anti-authoritarian society.
– Social problems discussion group: a discussion group for social issues and local problems on community scale or wider.
– Free discussion group: It can be imagined like a study group. This group will decide what things they should do with their discussion projects, whether it’s a book discussion, comic, zine, political subjects, movies, music, art, philosophy, contemporary culture, its up to them.

2. Workshop:
To provide place for people and community to share their knowledge with each other for free such as: making zines, posters, websites, silk screen printing, learning and sharing other skills that might use full and needed.

3. Cultural Activities
We want to maintain and expand our own folk culture such as D.I.Y music gigs, making Food Not Bombs cells, or Really Really Free Market cells. To empower people to make their own music, recording, cooperating with each other to make our own community thrive.

4. Food Not Bombs
A project to distribute food for free regularly to homeless people and local community.

5. Really Really Free Market (or here known as Lapak Gratis!)
Free redistribution of things people need, where people redistribute their things freely for each other.

6. Movie Screening
Once a week there will be held a movie screening. The movies will be chosen by the members of the whole group. On some special projects we will show a certain movie for knowledge purposes such as anti-globalization movies and other education materials in movies. We also translate movies subtitle so the people who weren’t able to use English language can be able to understand the movie’s message too.

7. Knowledge distribution
We will distribute any kind of independent media and books as long as their free from any kind of racism, fascism, narrow religious thoughts, government propaganda, or anything commercial culture.

8. Social Center
We want to make this place a local center open to everyone and every problem faced by people in this society, not as an organization that will represent them, but with equal cooperation in a more horizontal relationship where we can discuss the problems and together find a solution for it. We also separate ourselves from other formal organizations such as the government, commercial corporations, any political parties, fundamentalist organizations, and other hierarchical organizations. We will cooperate with workers, students, individuals or society in general as long as they are not affiliated with the kind of organizations that we mention above.

9. Anarchist Literature Translating and Publications
We translate and publish anarchist literature that we find relevant and useful for the people’s empowerment, whether its about culture, politic, economy, anthropology, etc.

10. Bookshop and Public Library
We will also making bookshop so our infoshop will get some benefit, because we hope that this infoshop will be sustainable—so it needs to be able to pay its bills (such as water, electricity, rents, etc). Beside the bookshop, we will of course open a public library which display some wide range kind of books; from anarchist books, zines, or any kind of literature that relevant to people’s knowledge about life’s beside consumerism. In our bookshop and public library, we are hoping to be able to provide a photocopying machine, as an alternative choice for people who are not able to buy the books/zines, they can copy it.

11. Small Canteen
Still in effort to be able to sustain our infoshop and pay the bills, we are planning to open little canteen which provide cheap things such as coffee, tea, snacks, for people who come into our infoshop and using the public space; in case they feel like drinking or eating something.

These are the possible activities that we plan and some of which already are existing such as the Food Not Bombs, Really Really Free Market (Lapak Gratis!), Anarchist Literature Translating and Publications (Dandelion Publications, Katarsis Publishing), and the local D.I.Y scene.


WHAT WE NEED

We need all kinds of donations that are related to our goals. We will gladly accept money, books, or other kinds of donations that you think would be useful for this center. In more specified terms of what we need, here’s the list:

A place: this place, we imagine, should consist of two spaces; first a space for the library and bookshop, and a second space for community activities. As far as we know, its quite hard to find an empty building that can be squatted here, because of immediate repression from the police and a lack of uninhabited houses, that’s why we are planning to rent this place.

Projector: movie projector for the movie screening.

Photocopy machine: for the people who need to copy things.

Books/zines/posters/literature/movies: Books/movies/posters/zines that are donated will be used in the library and not for the bookshop.

Or any kind of donation you might think relevant for our purposes.

WHO WE ARE

We (Dandelion Collective) consists of a small group of people, some of us are workers, some are students, and others unemployed. We form this collective to organize ourselves and carry out our vision in a more concrete way. We don’t have any certain ideology to proclaim for ourselves. We combine anarchy’s point of view, Marx’s economical theories, and other social theories that are relevant and useful for our present condition. Currently, we’re taking place for our activity in a room from one of our collective member’s family house. In this house, we are sharing place with other family’s member, so the place are not really secure, and the space are not enough to make an autonomous public space. But even so, our activities were already running. This house is the place where we publish our translated materials via internet, translating process, small discussion (this space’s capacity is approximately six or seven people), keeping logistics for the Really Really Free Market (Lapak Gratis!), etc.

We don’t want to be affiliated with certain ideologies or thoughts which we think only lead to other dogmatism and mediation of labels. We don’t proclaim ourselves to certain ideologies, but we believe in the basic principles of anarchism in terms of organization and how people should interact in human relations: we believe in direct-democracy, self-empowerment and other forms of social autonomy. We are affiliated with other collectives in other cities such as Kontinum in Makassar, Informal Katalis Networking, SAKSI (Solidarity Against Corporate Crime), Institut-A in Jakarta, Jurnal Amorfati.

OUTRO

However we imagine this project as a community center, we do not mean to create centralized activities or any kind of ‘centralism.’ This place only works as a place where people can meet and organize themselves and cooperate with each other in a direct way. The main goal is to distribute independent media and knowledge which we think we never before had a place for.

And therefore we think it’s important to establish a place that is focused on the community rather than creating profit and perpetuating capitalist ideas of human relations.

Contact:
meniup.dandelion@alphabetthreat.co.uk

and street address:

Dandelion Collective
Jalan Insinyur Haji Juanda
Gang Dago Elos I no.179
Bandung, 40135, West Java, Indonesia.

P.S : … links of our comrades/affiliation’s cyber contact (websites, blogs, emails, etc).

Institut-A- Infohouse & Community Center (Jakarta)
instituta@gmail.com / instituta@alphabetthreat.co.uk
http://picasaweb.google.co.id/institutA/INSTITUTA#

Food Not Bombs Bandung:
www.myspace.com/fnbbdg

Jurnal Amorfati:
jurnalamorfati@gmail.com
amorfatum.wordpress.com

Kontinum:
http://kontinum.blogspot.com/

Katalis:
http://timkatalis.blogspot.com/

SAKSI (Solidarity Against Corporate Crime):
– http://kulonprogotolaktambangbesi.wordpress.com/
http://saksimelawan.blogspot.com/

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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at 9:35 pm and is filed under Autonomy.