Issue No. 5 delves into the past through the city’s underappreciated visuals. Stories of three families embracing dual identities and down the memory lane with actress and musician Sherina Munaf.
Before the direction of Manual Jakarta Print Issue No. 5 began to take shape, our starting point was the intrigue on the commonplace, yet often overlooked, visuals that have furnished the city of Jakarta for decades. From street food banners, crudely-designed ads to old movie posters, these objects have subconsciously formed our aesthetic perception of the city even as tall corporate towers and malls have both become equally common sights. It is only after further research that we discovered the complexities of these seemingly simple objects and their intrinsic links to the past.
Hence this issue is dedicated to memories. Specifically, memories that are confined to Jakarta and has continued to redefine the city for the past 35 years. As mentioned earlier, anchoring this issue is Show And Tell of Jakarta’s Visuals where we revisit and break down the developments of several popular visual languages, including comic strips, and how they have evolved and influenced the current generation. We also looked into three Indonesian families whose ancestries are traced back to foreign lands in Hyphenated Identities. These families show how they navigate dual identities through time-honoured traditions and practices that connect them to their roots.
While this issue observes the city with a lens of nostalgia, we are mindful about not falling into the trap of romanticisation. Instead of looking at the past as an act of yearning for a simpler time, we tap into it as a path for discovery and rediscovery of the culture and the city that we’re living in. We hope this issue offers you a heartfelt appreciation to the city of Jakarta. The best part of all? We’re only scratching the surface.
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