This article is part of the Eleven Stories from the Southeast written by Muhammad Sibawaihi, Otty Widasari and Manshur Zikri, published by Forum Lenteng in 2016. We re-upload it on the AKUMASSA website in the framework of the “Darivisual”.One time I was sitting on the edge of the pier at Bangsal Port with friends from the Pasirputih Community. We were observing, surveying, and looking around the situation of the port which would become our stage for the Bangsal Menggawe (‘having a party’) Folk Festival event in the AKUMASSA Chronicle art project. Near us, a bunch of little kids ran noisily along the pier, then performed a somersault and dived into the water. Then they climbed back up the pier, drenched, to repeat their action. Suddenly there was one kid who ran very fast, but he did not run towards the sea. He ran very fast towards us who were sitting. It was very surprising, but we did not have the time to dodge because he ran so fast. We only had time to do the hand movements to protect our faces, ready to be struck by a small child whose clothes were soaking wet. When he was approximately a few centimetres in front of us, he suddenly stopped, standing motionless in some kind of pose. We, who did not get to be struck, were stunned staring at the wet statue in front of us. We gasped for a few seconds and then burst out laughing together, realizing that the boy was one of the students of Nash Ja’una, a pantomime actor who was one of the artists involved in AKUMASSA Chronicle art project.
When Nash Met BangsalIt seemed that there was no location that was more important in Pemenang City than Bangsal Port. The past romantic tale about how Bangsal had been the heart of Pemenang was often heard. And then, the complaint that Bangsal was not like it had used to be was a thing that was heard more often. Tourism changed the face of Bangsal which was beloved by its inhabitants. The folk festival, which was always held organically on the weekend, where residents met and greeted each other while enjoying the pelecing, iced lemonade, and other snacks, while playing football on the beach, which will be ended with swimming and searching for keke (shell) on the edge of northern sea of Lombok Island before sunset was not heard anymore.
In Bangsal, Nash met the demographic of professions of inhabitants of Bangsal. They were porters, cidomo coachmen, Bangsal traders, and people who walked around the dock. Nash disturbed them. He expected none other than their reaction. The issue of garbage brought by Nash was an issue that he always presented in his every pantomime performance.
The mixed reactions, including inviting the blond tourists who still made him an object to be photographed, were the dynamic of Bangsal Port. Small children who became his friend performed pantomime movements every time and it also invited reactions from people. This port gave a sign about how the new regency totally depended on tourism revenue. None of the movements of people, which were seen at this location, showed the present independence of the Pemenang City from tourism circulation, from and to the three Gili (small island) across. Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan were beloved tourist destination-after Bali-especially since the bomb terror incident in Kuta in 2002. Many fishermen changed their profession to be souvenir traders or farmers who became pearls businessmen, and teenagers grew up with transport business area which supported tourism, or tour guide, or porter, or lodging broker, or working in hundreds of cottages in the three Gili.
Nash accepted the sign given by the seashore in Bangsal as a message that wastes management should be a part of this dynamic. And Nash replied the message with his own sign too, that he was going to clean it up. So he disturbed the residents of circulation path of Bangsal with his sign. With the movements, gestures, and body positions, Nash made something that “did not exist” “existed” so they could see what was invisible. He underwent a process for one and a half months, inviting small-unburdened children who happily did something that did not exist, miming and teasing Bangsal.
As part of the performing arts, Nash’s pantomime took the stage in Bangsal. He chose the port, which also became his scenario. Children duplicated the movements of people who were fishing, carrying a bigger-than-their-body fish so that they needed to work together, while picking up human waste along the Bangsal coast. On the east beach, there were many people watching the preliminary round of Bangsal Cup beach football competition. At halftime, when the football players drank gallons of cold water from plastic bottles, and the audience was busy buying boiled peanuts and chips, Nash kicked the thin air toward the goal in a slow-motion à la a dramatic action movie. One of his small friends who kept the goal instantly jumped high to block Nash’s kick: in a slow-motion à la a dramatic action movie. After that they went back to pick up the trash consisted of plastic bottles and boiled peanut shells. The second half of the Bangsal Cup match that day then started.