It has only been a year since Magdalene first hit the Internet as “a slanted guide to women and issues” with articles that don’t usually populate Indonesian women’s publications.
A look back on the first day our site went live shows an article about how a childless woman choose to spend her “abundant free time”; a father solo parenting his daughter while getting a master’s degree in the US; a 30-something mother of two whose faith in exercise is restored after taking up ballet, and a feminist ulema who uses the word “vagina” liberally.
So much has happened since then. We have forged partnership with the application Newsloop, have a cross-content agreement with the Manila-based popular news site Rappler; and have a weekly radio show called Magdalene’s Mind with UFM 94.7. We have also become media partner to some cultural and social events in Jakarta. But most importantly, Magdalene has allowed us to connect with so many wonderful people who contribute their writing and share their thoughts on our website.
So it was with great pleasure that we held our first-year anniversary party recently at Face Bar in Central Jakarta. Inviting our contributors, some sources and our friends, we envisioned an intimate gathering where the drinks flew freely, the food satisfied, the music entertained, and the conversations were endless. We’re happy to announce that all these happened, and then some.
The event was hosted by film maker Nia Dinata, who said Magdalene reminded her of the American liberal feminist magazine Ms., which she used to read during college. Actor and TV personality Indra Herlambang shared his wit as an MC of the event.
We also launched our video manifesto during the party, and distributed a bunch of prizes to our guests, including hotel, restaurant, bookstores and even yoga class vouchers.
For these, we got a lot of help from our sponsors: the Royal Pita Maha Hotel, Berry Biz Hotel, Grand Candi Hotel, Aksara, Rumah Yoga, Opah Mami restaurant, Family Guide, Face Bar and the Clinic. And of course, helping lubricate the conversations were our sponsors Heineken and Bintang, and Sababay Wine.
One of our repeat contributors Leony Aurora supplied us with great music with her sister Riry Silalahi, who was formerly the guitarist for the all-female band “She”, along with their two friends.
So these are our highlights of the night:
- The post-it notes that people left with their personal messages
- Taking photos with our “Voices of Magdalene” props
- Seeing old friends and meeting new ones (matching faces with stories)
- Introducing people to each other (Downtown Boy, your identity has been compromised!)
- Singing along to the nineties chick anthem “You Oughta Know”
All an all, it was a great night. And though what happens at Face Bar usually stays at Face Bar, we are more than happy this time to show you what went on there.
Read Devi’s recent piece on why Magdalene was created.
*All photos by Toto Santiko Budi