Lawan is the Indonesian word for “to resist”. As many of Soydivision’s members are Indonesians, their earliest memory of reading the word is in the school history textbooks that glorified the Indonesian struggle for independence from the Dutch colonizers. By using this word we aim to recontextualize the word, hoping that our readers (and maybe future generations) will associate it with our current struggle against racism and discrimination.
The exhausting (if needed) oscillations of protest and resistance are shaking many of the neoliberal foundations historically used to enact racism, violence and death.
From the collective rage against institutionalized US racism and police brutality, to the global grief felt for our QTIPOC sister from Egypt and the ‘anti-terror’ bills pushing through in the Philippines, massive ruptures are under way amplifying trauma and rage.
It is hard to not feel pulled by these forces, so perhaps in some ways there is a resistance within ourselves to engage – a staunch staying in the middle. Or perhaps an opportunity to find where our intersectionalities are most powerful.
Resistance is also what you feel when you push against the weight to build your muscle.
Joy is also an act of resistance. Rest is as well. To simply rest goes against the grain of the panic architecture of social media platforms. We propose not big systemic changes – these are concurrently important – but many small and consistent acts.
When building muscle, the key is small and many reps. This is a long fight.
For this issue, we are proud to feature artists and music from around the world addressing resistance in their own way.
Trying something new, we are pleased to have Cindy Putri as our featured artist for this issue’s cover. Cindy was kind enough to share some elements of her work that were also used in Yennu Ariendra’s contribution this month, Cultivation in Hell.
We’re also highlighting fresh video work from Oakland-based Asya Abdrahman. Hailing from Ethiopia, Asya’s work digs deep to cast healing blue shades over amplified grief and active rewriting of America’s painful history.
Last but not least, be sure to listen to some select tracks our resident selectors Morgan and Jan researched from Indonesia, South Korea, West Papua, Nigeria and beyond.