Imagining Jakarta feels that Jakarta has never been given a chance to succeed. Her potentials, including even ones that might arise from her problems, if understood correctly, have yet to be given ample space and momentum, vis-à-vis a way of developing that lacks discourses, perspectives, imaginations, and participations. The existing plans and “projects” tend to avoid the heart and the true scale of the matter.
Jakarta is not failing; rather, it has never been given a chance to succeed.
Although she has made many people frustrated, Jakarta metropolis is still offering cosmopolitan opportunities, providing sources of hopes to increasingly more people who will invariably depend on her in many aspects of their life: work, market, public, power, lover, limelight and hide-outs, existence and anonymity, edu- and infotainment, illusion and disillusion, victory and remorse. People never stop hoping. The problems and, at the same time, the potentials of this city lie exactly in the energy derived from the ever increasing hopes that people place on her. The hopes are based on imaginations, be they individual or collective. Perhaps it is also imaginations that are needed in order to able to realize these hopes.
Imagining Jakarta believes that imagination is the springboard to fly higher up in order to gain wider perspectives, and simultaneously to dive deeper in order to see what lies under the surface. Imagination is the passport to allow possibilities and potentials to have their chances. Imagining Jakarta manages shadows of possibilities: “What if all of those possibilities are really given their chances?”
Imagining Jakarta tries to present into the public sphere personal imaginations about the collective hopes for Jakarta. Imagining Jakarta offers an alternative method to experience Jakarta; one that not only serves as a source of ideas, but also as a space for interdisciplinary dialogues, among writers, artists—graphic designers, photographer, sculptors—and architects, all of them are from the younger generation. Twice a month, from morning to evening, June to August, they meet in a series of workshops. They explain their preliminary ideas, they give critiques and references, whether in the forms of examples of projects, works of others, or data collected from other institutions or data that are specifically collected for Imagining Jakarta.
As its initial standing stone, Imagining Jakarta believes in the programmatic density (and is against the mere volumetric cramming that ignore diversity), wishes Jakarta to be a “city of life” (and is against the negative power that turns her into a mere “city of work”), hopes for her spaces to become creative spaces, considers mobility as social, cultural, and economic rights, and aims for the environmental sustainability as a goal.
Imagining Jakarta asks us all to imagine other possible Jakarta’s. Therefore, it also entreats that all projects about Jakarta be disclosed before the public, so that these projects can enter the process of collective imaginations and be realized with the participation of the public. Imagining Jakarta wishes to reveal dialogues about the values that emerge along with the process of producing the artifacts of the city.
Apakah Jakarta sebuah metropolis yang gagal?
Membayangkan Jakarta merasa menemukan bahwa Jakarta belum pernah diberi kesempatan untuk berhasil. Potensi-potensinya, bahkan dari masalahnya sendiri, bila dimengerti dengan benar, belum pernah diberi ruang dan momentum yang cukup oleh cara membangun yang miskin wacana, miskin perspektif, miskin imajinasi, miskin partisipasi. Rencana dan “proyek” yang ada cenderung menghindari pokok dan skala masalah yang sesungguhnya.
Jakarta bukan gagal, melainkan belum pernah diberi kesempatan untuk berhasil.
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