Taring Padi: Tanah Tumpah Darah

29 February

May 25, 2024

Griffith University Art Museum

Taring Padi are a leading Indonesian art collective with a mission to understand the cultural and social history of Indonesia through a contemporary lens. Based in Yogyakarta, they use art as a tool to explore issues of sovereignty to overcome environmental destruction, violence, food shortages and unemployment. Taring Padi’s interdisciplinary practice spans art, music, and theatre and has seen them included in exhibitions internationally, including Tanah Merdeka at Framer Framed, in The Netherlands in 2023, and documenta fifteen in Germany in 2022.

From March to May 2024, Griffith University Art Museum will host Taring Padi: Tanah Tumpah Darah. As part of this project, Taring Padi will undertake a residency and suite of public programs in collaboration with proppaNOW, one of Australia’s most important Aboriginal art collectives, and develop a public art banner project together.

The exhibition’s title Tanah Tumpah Darah takes its title from a poetic phrase loosely meaning the emotions generated by remembering one’s motherland that was popularised during the Indonesian revolution and declaration of independence in 1945. The Indonesian left employed the phrase as an ideological framework during land disputes (sengketa agraria) against feudalistic land ownership systems and Western investments until 1965. However, under the military dictatorship of Soeharto (1966-1998), the phrase became an empty slogan in the annual ceremony of Indonesian Independence.

More recently, “Tanah Tumpah Darah” has been reclaimed as a common chant of contemporary Indonesian activists in campaigns against land grabbing and deforestation across the archipelago, a core aspect of Taring Padi’s cultural and political activities since its formation in 1998.

Through learning and working together with diverse communities, Taring Padi understands that people have spiritual, cultural, social and economic connections with the lands, territories and resources they inhabit. This wisdom necessitates struggle and fans the flame of solidarity action that continues collectively with proppaNOW in 2024.

 

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