Darivisual Province: West Nusa Tenggara Regency/City: North Lombok Subdistrict: Pemenang

Eleven Stories from the Southeast – “Prologue”

Started From Bangsal

Bangsal is an important point which has recently started to be abandoned. Bangsal is just passed, it is no longer popular. Bangsal is a self-cleaning bathing place that we have forgotten. Since Bangsal is forgotten, then Pemenang is forgotten too, to the unresolved drain problem, which recently caused the disaster in Pemenang, flood. Pasirputih, as a part of Pemenang community’s life, has a strong intention not to let Pemenang be out of supervision.

Pasirputih started from Bangsal Harbor, a very important point in the history of Pemenang community, a point that had been storing millions of people’s memory since the first time Pemenang’s community had been formed. “If there is a leak on our roof, find the hole immediately.” That was probably what was actualized in Bangsal Menggawe 2016: Membasaq.

Pasirputih had a strong belief that Bangsal was the medication for that because the citizens of Pemenang indeed cured themselves by taking a bath with the sea water (membasaq) there. The three religions in Pemenang often held the rituals there. Various social organizations were established and developed there. Bangsal Menggawe 2016: Membasaq invited the entire Pemenang community to have a good time again in Bangsal. Sometimes we needed to draw away from an object to really recognize it. That was what happened in Pemenang. The greatness of Gili made people forget that in fact they had a bright star, that Pemenang also had great potential, not to become a ‘gateway of tourism’, but to become a main tourist destination. And I thought the most important thing from Bangsal Menggawe 2016: Membasaq was that the history of Bangsal and Pemenang which had been buried all this time by the tourism industry rose at that time. Bangsal that had no longer been owned by the citizens all this time, at the time, really belonged to the citizens.

The Ambiguity of Reality

Since the beginning, people have always been demanding justice or wanting to receive fair treatment from anyone. There is always the authority everywhere that oppresses the weak and minorities. There are people who think that they understand the reality that they dominate the idea. In life, the reality is sometimes deliberately obscured to achieve certain dreams. Furthermore, those who feel oppressed by the domination and authority rebel, demanding equality. The uprising that has happened throughout the history of the world is not merely a movement to get the material, but rather on how people live equally. The equality that I mean is not uniformity, but a respect for others.

In the case of Pemenang, I am just afraid that all this time we have been building a fictitious identity of Pemenang society by industrializing the tourism. “It is merely a human’s pretense and tendency that they feel they could find what is identical in what is chaotic, feeling able to unify what is diverse… This is a dangerous pretension because it oppresses the plurality for the sake of a fictitious identity.” (Wibowo, 2004, p. 122).

Surely Pemenang can be formulated as long as the consideration of what we refer to as ‘on equal terms’ should be prioritized. Once again it is not in the realm of material because I myself believe in the abstract ideas that are more perfect than reality itself, when we consider the hidden quality behind something.

There is a spirit that disappears by the pounding sound of music of tourism party, by the hotel walls that are built, by the ‘culprit’ that transforms social into individual. That is what the citizens of Pemenang stand for now: the youth, community leaders, religious leaders and those who really love Pemenang. That spirit is the unity of Pemenang in its diversity.

Pemenang, April 20th, 2016


Sugono, D., Sugiyono, Maryani, Y., Qodratillah, M. T., Sitanggang, C., Hardaniwati, M., et al. (Ed.). (2008). Kamus Bahasa Indonesia (IV ed.). Jakarta: Pusat Bahasa.

Wibowo, A. S. (2004). Gaya Filsafat Nietzsche. (S. Dema, Ed.) Yogyakarta: Galang Press (Anggota IKAPI).

About the author


Muhammad Sibawaihi

Born in Pemenang Village, North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, on May 20, 1988. He got Bachelor degree at IKIP Mataram, majoring in English. He is the Program Director at Pasirputih Foundation. He is also active as an independent writer and curator.

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