Between the banal, the wanton, and the rustic: Yogyakarta exoticism in Indonesian films

Is Yogyakarta comprised of merely Malioboro, Wijilan, Tugu, and villages with vast, green rice fields? Of course not. To find a range of street side food vendors, you can visit UGM Boulevard in the north. Beringhardjo market in Malioboro is indeed one popular place to shop, but it is not the only one. There are still second-hand market at Pasar Klithikan, rattan works market at Godean, or batik clothes market at Imogiri and Taman Sari. Prostitution area, legal or otherwise, is not only at Pasar Kembang in Malioboro, but also in Kotagede. Tugu monument is indeed a landmark in this student city, but its appearance in many movies often creates an impression that the director needs a shortcut to show that the film takes place in Yogyakarta. 

The early edition of the essay was published by (July 16, 2008), in bahasa. This revised version was published by (August 26, 2009) with the addition of a look into Jagad X Code (Herwin Novianto, 2009). Rani Elsanti Ambyo translated the revised version from bahasa to English. Click here for full version of the essay.

About Grace Samboh

Believes in unicorn, conviviality and the struggle towards collective subjectivities—even temporarily.
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