Video 360

Paradox reconstruction (via Jordan – Taiwan)

Sunarti is one of the former klampisan female migrant workers who prioritized her children’s education. According to her husband, the high cost of education is the main reason they do not own a house until now.

Narti’s first experience as a female worker in Jordan: thrown at with bottles, beaten, and stripped by her employer who accused her of stealing a gold ring.

The next country where Narti worked at is Taiwan. She worked in the temple, taking care of an old female monk. From Buddhism, she learned a lot about tolerance and became a vegetarian.

The story of Narti in the two countries raises a paradoxical situation. Violence and tolerance aretwo phenomena that are rebounded to each other in the performance of case reconstruction.

The border between the stove and storm

Titik is one of the representations of Javanese women who live in a culture of devoting to religion and husband. At the age of 19, she worked as a migrant domestic worker in the city of Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia for 2.5 years. Her linguistic ability and habit of reciting the Qur’an helped her quickly master the Arabic language.

She was once pulled by her employer into his room and encountered a traumatic event. Even though she managed to resist and dodge, it still traumatized Titik heavily for several years. She shut herself away, could not focus on work, imagined the act of stoning, often avoided and did not want to shake hands with men. What made Titik even more distraught was the fact that many Indonesian female migrant workers at that time came home pregnant.

Iron installations, kebabs, sandwiches, and mutton are symbols of power that we present as an intervention between the chaos of culture, religion, and power.

Previously, we have created a script by coming up with a series of metaphors to drown out the verbal language of incidents of harassment and violence. However, when the script meets Titik who acts as a performer, events become irrelevant between Titik’s body and the language in the script. Titik is more comfortable telling the story directly in her own language, without a script. Finally, after the negotiations were done, we changed the mode of the performance to Titik’s testimony as a way to release the trauma.

Akong’s chicken congee kendurenan

Sumarnik is a single parent who was left by her husband to Malaysia. She insisted on being a female migrant worker so that she will be able to buy a house and support her children.

During her 8 years working in Singapore, Sumarnik had an experience of taking care of an old man who is aged and has dementia. She usually called him Akong.

There was a weird love-hate relationship between Sumarnik and Akong. Akong often beat her. But before long, he would apologize while caressing her hair. Akong did not want Sumarnik to leave him.

Sumarnik considers Akong like her own parent. She said that Akong’s favorite dish was chicken congee. Akong and chicken congee are memories of a love-hate relationship that adhered in Sumarnik’s mind after she got back home and bought a house in Klampisan.

The performance used kendurenan (celebration) dramaturgy with a series of juxtapositions; the kendurenan menu becomes akong’s chicken congee; the master of ceremony opened the kendurenan using a narration of Sumarnik and Akong, and the reading of prayers in kendurenan becomes a Klampisan public response about Sumarnik and Akong’s narration.

Archives testimony

Mak Mi is Titik’s mother-in-law who worked as a female migrant worker in Singapore for 10 years. Mak Mi came to Singapore and was directly employed to care for Haziq, the 2-year old son of her employer who has been disabled since birth.

The beginning phase of working is the hardest time for Mak Mi. She was often treated harshly by her female employer. Her daily ‘menu’ was curses and swears spoken out by her employer, “stupid dangdang!”

Mak Mi’s ability and patience in babysitting/taking care is proven by her loyalty in caring for and accompanying Haziq’s series of lip and jaw surgeries. Mak Mi took care of him until he was 10 years old. Taking care of Haziq all that time, made 3 jarik cloths truly damaged. Many moments were captured through photos, clothes and memories.

Studio Klampisan packed this performance with a dramaturgy of touring archives, objects, and memories. Tours are treated as bridges: past and present; Haziq, Mak Mi’s husband, and Mak Mi’s grandson; in the narrative of Mak Mi’s loyalty and patience for someone she loves.

Dancing Kokom

Siti Komariah (Kokom) is one of the young Klampisan TKW who has worked in Taiwan. She is one of the Indonesian female migrant workers who are brave enough to report to the agency and ask to leave if they get things that are not appropriate (in terms of treatment and work) from their employers. In fact, she was at the stage where when she applied for an additional day off, it was directly approved by the employer because of Kokom’s competent work.

She once took care of a hip and fashionable old lady. Kokom’s relationship with this old lady is like friends without any shame. They can exchange clothes for selfies, make-up, culinary tours, and dance DJ Remix together.

Every morning, Kokom has to take the old lady to the hospital for therapy. However, several times after therapy, the old lady told Kokom to get into a wheelchair and then the old lady pushed the wheelchair for her. Their moments of closeness were documented on Kokom’s Facebook.

This site-specific performance was built by transferring some memories and recollections and
then reflecting on the reality of Kokom today – who is married and has children and lives in the furniture boss’ house where her husband works.

How will the body of a former Taiwanese “diva” be when brought into contact with the furniture workshop?

Atonement: taming stray dogs

Onikem was once a migrant domestic worker in Hong Kong. The performance narration would start from the story of Ponikem during her time working at the house of employers who has 4 dogs and 9 cats. Ponikem’s employers, a couple of husband and wife, chose not to have children, but pets instead. They take care of dogs in a routine and expensive way.

When she first started working, the employers were surprised because their dog was immediately tame with Ponikem. This is motivated by Ponikem’s husband who owned
approximately 10 stray dogs in his house. When her husband goes to the forest, the dogs are like his bodyguards. Thus, Ponikem is used to seeing and caring for dogs – even though they are stray dogs and without expensive treatments.

Long story short, the dogs at Ponikem’s house were killed and sold by her husband to a dog restaurant. In that era (early 2000), 1 dog was valued at 100 thousand rupiah by restaurants. 

The performance departs from the point of view of Ponikem’s son who wants to atone for her father’s sins of killing and selling stray dogs in the past. She and her mother are trying to tame stray dogs in the Klampisan area – feeding and drinking, bathing, and inviting them to play based on the knowledge Ponikem has from her experience of caring for her employers’ dogs. This performance borrows an approach from reality shows with the motive of completing the task of atonement.

Suddenly Kingdom

Rusmini is one instance of female migrant workers who left before the reformation era in Indonesia. Even though she only graduated from junior high school, she has the tenacity to learn English so that she managed to become a female migrant worker in Brunei Darussalam and up to Great Britain!

Rusmini worked as a domestic worker in the house of one of the staffs of Brunei Darussalam royal kingdom. She worked in a luxury house with 4 domestic workers from various other countries. A house with 2 dining rooms and biases of royal culture made Rusmini understand table manners. She, quite often, got social privileges and the opportunity to attend parties at the royal palace of Brunei.

Based on interviews we conducted several times, we see Rusmini’s great obsession with developed countries. Her desire to return abroad, especially to Greece, Germany, and Great Britain, is very strong. She has not decided to go yet because it is hindered by her husband’s permission.

Rusmini’s obsession appears in narratives about lifestyle – fashion, pop culture, and urban welfare. In response to her desire for modernization, we chose an impromptu gameshow dramaturgy in this performance.