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

The Memory that Remained

The face of Bangsal in the past (pasirputih Community’s archive)
Written by Muhammad Sibawaihi
The strains of music accompanied me this morning. At 8.30 AM, I already arrived at the secretariat of pasirputih Community, cleaning up and sorting up some folders. I browsed through the files on the computer, opening folder after folder. I found an interesting record about akumassa program research which had been initiated by Forum Lenteng. This file was the result of visual research of some akumassa’s videos of pasirputih Community, one of them was Bangsal research. It contained pictures of some locations and people’s activities in Bangsal.

The face of Bangsal in the past (pasirputih Community’s archive)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(5)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(6)

It was amusing to see Bangsal’s face four years ago. Everything was simple: some trader women with basket offered various fruits to the tourists; bracelet and necklace merchants went around while offering their goods; ojek drivers were playing domino while they waited for the passenger; the travel service buildings and the simple parking lot; stalls that decorated the shoreline with roofs made from coconut leaves; an unfinished dock which left behind the posts; a large sand beach which left many spaces to play. Everything seemed very ordinary. Ordinary and natural.

The face of Bangsal in the past (pasirputih Community’s archive)

The face of Bangsal in the past (pasirputih Community’s archive)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(8)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(9)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(10)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(11)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(12)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(13)

A span of four years had changed Bangsal’s face differently. The changing of the policy maker and the increase of people’s mobility in Bangsal area gave a chance to change Bangsal into a better place. Besides, the increasing number of hotel and home stay construction in three Gilis area made the bustle of Bangsal was felt more, especially in the morning and the afternoon.

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(14)

The face of Bangsal now (pasirputih Community’s archive)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(17)

Bangsal dulu arsip pasirputih(15)

Many things had changed in Bangsal. There were no more stalls with the roofs made from coconut leaves, because of the construction of the Syah Bandar building. The stalls with the roofs made from coconut leaves had changed into a row of 2 x 3 m kiosks which were built by the government. A place where we had usually found the trader women with baskets had been turned into a guard post building – with no guard up until today. The sea water was getting higher and the beach was getting narrower because of the erosion. The dock which had only been some posts four years ago now was done. There was even a dock for small boats. The dock was added recently. There were many motor vehicles in the parking lot – of which the building wasn’t simple anymore – so that everybody who owned a building in Bangsal competed to build a parking lot. The number of ojek driver was getting higher. The number of minibus transportation service provider was also getting higher. The competition was getting fierce. This situation became restlessness. Some parties claimed the area. Unknown transportation was often intercepted because the existing one lost passengers. The cidomos were numbered now. The ones that weren’t numbered couldn’t go into Bangsal area. Even to become a labor, the clear identification card was needed.

Wajah Bangsal kini (Arsip Komunitas pasirputih).

The face of Bangsal now (pasirputih Community’s archive)

Bangsal Baru (33)

Bangsal Baru (32)

Bangsal Baru (29)

Bangsal Baru (26)

Bangsal Baru (25)

Bangsal Baru (24)

But not all had changed. Some things were still the same like they had used to be. The voice of the ticket seller was still the same, with the same tone and the poor English. However, Bangsal was still only a transit harbor. No tourist would stay long in this place, unless they accidentally couldn’t get the boat to go to three Gilis. So, the noise of Bangsal was only like a transit place. Everyone used the transit time as well as possible to get the profit as big as possible. Despite the good facilities, there were facilities that hadn’t changed, worse even. Bangsal Terminal, for example. There was no change in four years. The terminal’s asphalt had changed to sharp gravel, the weeds were everywhere. It was not maintained.

The face of Bangsal now (pasirputih Community’s archive)

The face of Bangsal now (pasirputih Community’s archive)

Bangsal Baru (20)

Bangsal Baru (18)

Bangsal Baru (10)

Bangsal Baru (9)

Bangsal Baru (8)

Bangsal Baru (7)

Bangsal Baru (6)

Bangsal Baru (5)

Bangsal Baru (4)

Bangsal Baru (2)

It was very lucky that pasirputih Community had the document about Bangsal. From this document, we could learn about many things. The changes that were brought by time gave the description about life in the past. In my imagination, how was Bangsal’s face five years from now? Was there anybody who wanted to record the face of Bangsal today, to be learned in the future? If not, then we, pasirputih Community, would do it.

Bangsal Baru (35)


This article was written as a part of pasirputih’s berajahaksara, a public awareness effort regarding the work of media and the use of media for the public’s interest. Please visit the pasirputih’s website here!

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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