What is Festival April ?
Festival April is a women’s event organized in conjunction with the anniversary of the birth of Kartini (21 April 1879 – 17 September 1904), Indonesia’s renowned feminist pioneer. The Festival was aimed at both society in general and women. The April Festival is a celebration of women’s creativity and their thoughts, for the public to appreciate, through the showcasing of cultural performances and exhibition, public discussions and cultural orations. It’s published and organized by Institut Ungu.th
The Festival April was first organized in April 2002 with a similar program as in 2010. Almost 5,000 people attended over a three week period.
The background ideas of the name of Festival April.
The FESTIVAL APRIL is an arena for airing alternative ideas from society on the occasion of commemorating Kartini. Since the New Order period commemoration of Kartini has been used to strengthen the domestication and marginalization of women – often emphasized through elevating the kebaya and traditional Javanese hair-do to a symbol, and by emphasizing too such things as cookery and other “wifely household duties.” In our view, this perspective contradicts Kartini’s own goals of a liberated woman able to take a place in public life in all kinds of realms.
Thus the FESTIVAL APRIL is an arena to celebrate the creativity and ideas of women within this framework, as an arena for dialogue, within the realms of culture.
Kartini may not have defeated the culture that bound her. Her thoughts however, inspire women to have the courage to hold their head high and press forward in shaping a shared culture that serves justice for all.
"To restore the true meaning of commemorating Kartini Day and the essence of the women’s movement."
April, which coincides with the month when Kartini was born, has become the opportune momentum for women to celebrate their accomplishments, for self-evaluation and reflection, to identify concerns and struggles that lie ahead, and to impart messages of their own to the public including the younger generation.
We also hold a greater hope that as society grows to appreciate art and culture, so will their understanding on and respect for human rights, tolerance and pluralism.
1. To disseminate messages and promote perceptions from a woman’s perspective (feminist) to the public at large through art and culture as a popular medium.
2. To encourage more art and cultural works seen from a feminist perspective.
3. To heighten awareness on diversity and tolerance in society.
4. To motivate the younger generation to show more concern and be involved in the women’s movement through various avenues, particularly art and culture.