November 27, 2019
House of the Unsilenced: Speak Up and Support

Celebrating 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with creative and empowering event

by Magdalene
Community // Events
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As part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, InterSastra’s House of the Unsilenced is holding a series of events in partnership with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), UN Women, and Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI), Jakarta, 27 November-12 December 2019.

“Love Your Body, Love Yourself”

Refugees and asylum-seekers in Indonesia do not have access to employment or other basic social rights. As a result, many live in impoverished conditions with inadequate shelter, food, and basic necessities. In the current socio-economic context, there is little opportunity for them to find employment, including in the informal sector. An estimated 6,600 refugees and asylum-seekers reside in and around Jakarta. Almost half of the entire refugee population in Indonesia has no other means to sustain themselves except material assistance from UNHCR or its partners, leaving them vulnerable to potential risks, including homelessness, exploitation, poor health, and malnutrition. Women make up nearly half of the refugee population in Indonesia. They have to face added layers of discrimination and difficulties because of their gender. Many of them experience daily violence and harassment because of their status as female refugees living in Indonesia.

Working with JRS, an international NGO that has long been working to amplify voices of refugees in Indonesia, House of the Unsilenced is offering a series of classes aimed at empowering refugee women in the greater Jakarta area by developing their voice and capacity for self-expression, building a network of allies consisting of artists and activists, and increasing their confidence—starting with “Love Your Body, Love Yourself” dance classes. The classes take place in Tebet Education Center, Jakarta, November 27-28 and December 11-12, 2019 and are facilitated by noted dancer and choreographer Ningrum Syaukat, accompanied by House of the Unsilenced’s team Eliza Vitri Handayani, Yuri Nasution, FS Putri Cantika, Intania Noor, and Fahrul Piliang.

“Writing for Self-Empowerment”, “Speak Up and Support”

In partnership with UN Women and IFI, Jakarta, House of the Unsilenced is holding “Writing for Self-Empowerment”, a creative writing workshop, and “Speak Up and Support”, an open mic session. The writing workshop takes place November 30, 10 am-1 pm at IFI, Jalan MH Thamrin no.20, Jakarta. The workshop is open to all survivors of gender-based violence, aged 18 and above. The workshop is designed to facilitate participants to gain a sense of empowerment through writing a short story. In the workshop, participants will explore ways to find their voice and learn basic creative writing techniques. The workshop is facilitated by Eliza Vitri Handayani, an internationally published novelist and founding director of InterSastra and House of the Unsilenced.

“Speak Up and Support” open mic session takes place on the same day, November 30, 3-6 pm, also at IFI, Jakarta. In this session, audience members can read short stories or poems, sing a song, perform a short dance or skit about survival, healing, finding strength and joy, sisterhood, friendship, love, and fighting against gender- and sexuality-based discrimination and violence. This is an opportunity to celebrate survivors' voices, speak up together, and make the world listen. This session is facilitated by House of the Unsilenced’s team above.

House of the Unsilenced is a division of InterSastra, an independent initiative that opens platforms for barrier-breaking literary and artistic exploration. House of the Unsilenced is a multidisciplinary art project that matches artists and writers with survivors of gender-based violence to produce and showcase new creative works about survival, healing, speaking up, and fighting for gender justice.

MAGDALENE is an online publication that offers fresh perspectives beyond the typical gender and cultural confines. We channel the voices of feminists, pluralists and progressives, or just those who are not afraid to be different, regardless of their genders, colors, or sexual preferences. We aim to engage, not alienate.