MAKCIK PROJECT EPISODE #2: We are all human

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How do we learn from each other? 

Transgender women (feel that they) are not men and at the same time they can never (really) be women. It is not strange at all if generally people see them as a weird phenomenon (gender wise). Most of the transgender women realize that they are not part of the two main stream genders.

We discover that there are a number of transgender women communities that coach their members to become “self-empowered man” which goes beyond the fact that they are transgender women. Their objective  is to be a part of the society, blending themselves without needing to be specified (or to be treated as different) due to the fact that they are transgender women. Speaking of society in Indonesia, of course we cannot ignore the fact that the majority religion is Islam. There are controversies in Islam, and other monotheistic religions, regarding transgender women. Whatever the controversies are, today, we can see that there are at least 10 active transgender women communities/oragnizations in Yogyakarta. To be a bit extreme, one of them is Pondok Pesantren Waria (Transgender Women Islamic School).

Below are the questions we raise when we started the second episode of Makcik Project (the first episode is compiled into a logbook that can be downloaded from here Part 1 consist of questions in relation transgender women issues within the society. How do transgender women try to be a part of the society and how far have they been successful? How do transgender women position themselves within the society? What kind of experiences do transgender women go through until the point where they decided to “stand in the same position” (to treat people equally so that it shows equality)? What strategies do they have in order to reach that equality? What can we learn from their experiences? Part 2 consist of questions in relation to the fact that the project is initiated by artists and curator (art practitioners).What can we (human whose profession are art workers) offer to them? Could our art become relevant for these transgender women, both as communities and also as another element within the society)? Where is this kind of art positioned within the mapping of the contemporary scene? How can this kind of art become relevant within its own discipline.


Makcik Project Episode 2 (2013) involves the three women collaboration (Ferial AfiffJimmy Ong and Lashita Situmorang), curated by Grace Sambohand expands its collaboration with X-CODE Films collective and Broken Mirror project!

For further info on the Jogja Biennale XII – Equator #2 (2013) and the Parallel Event, log on to


Makcik Project Episode 2 (2013) is self-funded by the respective collaborators and of course enormously supported by so many friends that we cannot even begin to credit each one of you! Thank you all for supporting the Episode 2 of this project! 🙂

How do we learn from each other? 

Opening at:
Oxen FREE, Jl Sosrowijayan 2
Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013, 19.00 – dawn
Performances by Tamara Pertamina, Melia Purosani, Mirai Ocha Sakura, Sean Paracetamol & Ari Rudenko
Also will be screening Paris is Burning (1990) with makcik language subtitle and the trailer of Air Terjun Banci (a film by the WACAN Management)

Exhibiting at:
Kedai Kebun Forum, Jl Tirtodipuran 2
Wednesday, Nov 13 – Monday, Nov 25, 2013
(Open everyday except Tuesday, 10.00 – 22.00)

Exhibiting artists:
Ferial Afiff, Lashita Situmorang, Jimmy Ong, X-CODE films, Broken Mirror Project (Bob ‘Sick’ Yudhita Agung, S. Teddy D., Tohjaya Tono, Tony Volunteero)

Curated by:
Grace Samboh

Click here to view the project.

About Grace Samboh

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