A W A L _ M U L A

N°_01 : A W A L _ M U L A

Release : 11.04.2020
Production : soydivision
Executive editor : Jan Thedja
Art director : Ariel Orah
Contributor : Bilawa Respati, Dico Baskoro, Ariel Orah, Jan Thedja

Editor’s Note

The Indonesian language is not always easy to grasp. Though grammatically very simple, a lot of nuances can be hidden between the lines, making it not always easy to understand what exactly is being said. As a remedy, we do have certain linguistic devices that help us double down on what we actually want to say and the phrase Awal Mula is in my opinion a rather good example. Both Awal and Mula means beginning and Awal Mula as a combination usually translates as The Beginning. But Awal Mula could also be easily interpreted as The Beginning of the Beginning, not only giving it a stronger meaning but maybe also rather useful if you happen to speak in a language not exactly known for its grammatical tense.

And so we arrive at our own Awal Mula.

While this Zine is basically an extension of what Soydivision is working on since its inception, it could also be seen as an Awal Mula in many different contexts. To start off, this is an Awal Mula of our attempt to properly document our activities, past, present, and future. This is also an attempt to look back to the where, why, who, what, when and how of our identity as human beings, as migrants, as Asians, as Indonesians, as individuals. It may also be an Awal Mula for some of our future contributors by finding in our Zine a platform and the freedom to express themselves. There are so many hopes and dreams and goals that we could see growing from this project, that it was just impossible not to see this opportunity as The Beginning of The Beginning.

While every start is difficult, the first step is always the hardest. Though our in-house projects do provide us with a good amount of materials to start with, we also want a reflection of the time we are finding ourselves in. Following this line of thinking, a monthly theme with an open call for submission seems like a good way as any to start as well as being the main avenue for interacting with friends and artists interested in capturing their own personal Zeitgeist. Another feature of our Zine will be sections that we hope could consolidate its own following, not unlike that horoscope section we always pretend not to read. And all of this will hopefully happen in weekly intervals. 

For our first edition we will kick off things with a mixtape from yours truly, one that was done for an event Soydivision did last year in Zurich and also an attempt to recreate the narrative of the five course menu that night. A video by Indonesian videographer Dico Bascoro featuring our very own head chef Ariel Orah playing grilled instruments high above Berlin’s rooftops rounds off our media content before coming back to that humblest, simplest, but by no mean easiest form of art, a poetry titled At Home, Waiting, by our frequent collaborator and poet extraordinaire Bilawa Respati.

We hope this project will inspire and encourage people to express themselves and that they enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it. This Zine was produced in the month of April 2020, a month that will be remembered for a lot of things. We hope that this Zine will be one of them. 

Stay gold, stay healthy, and for now, keep washing those hands.

Jan Thedja

Published by


Jan Thedja

Music hasn't managed to loosen its grip on Berlin-based selector Jan K since he listened to the likes of Mozart. and the Beatles on his Father’s stereo as a young child. Having gone on phases of listening to classical, rock, pop, punk, jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, he decided some years ago to share with people his own personal musical narrative. While his literary output has slowed down for the moment, he is increasingly sharing his music through mixes and performances, more recently with the Berlin collective l-kw. He is currently working a music project loosely based on his experience as a doctor. https://www.mixcloud.com/jan_k/