Dead Press Society: Alternative media’s “underground” efforts to keep democracy alive

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Journalistic photos by Konde (IO/Aini Tartinia)

Jakarta, IO – As many as 12 Indonesian alternative media are trying to make big steps by remaining independent and voicing the public interest. Their struggle is shown through the exhibition “Dead Press Society” initiated and led by Project Multatuli.

“Democracy,” the theme of the exhibition at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta, is a satirical form of the film Dead Poets Society and a critique to those who think that the press has died in the hands of the rulers or oligarchs. The 12 media, consisting of Balebengong, Bandung Bergerak, Bincang Perempuan, Betahita, Ekuatorial, Floresa, Konde, Remotivi, Serat, Sinar Pidie, and Suara Kita, became the public’s alternative choice by reporting news ignored by the mainstream media.

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The majority of them explore sensitive issues such as the environment, minority groups, LGBT and so on. For example, the installation of journalistic photos showing coverage by Konde, born out of the many reports about gender inequality in the media. Meanwhile, Serat came into being to voice and provide access to information for marginalized groups, minorities, and the economically vulnerable group.