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Young artists amplify West Papuan women burdens, sufferings through exhibition

March 19, 2021

Young artists amplify West Papuan women burdens, sufferings through exhibition

News Desk March 18, 2021 4:31 pm

West Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi

Nancy Nahuway’s work called "Pain". Courtesy of "Sa Pu Kisah" Exhibition.

Yogyakarta, Jubi – Her eyes are sad. Her arms stretch out, palms facing up. One hand has a tray with cups on it, on another hand she has a bag hanging. In the bag were books. She stands straight even though her head is a bit down. Below are waves of water, blue. The visual art is Irene Wagab’s work, titled Ona Pak-Pak Mani Tombora.

In another image, we see a drawing that looks like a playing card. Instead of a queen, or king, we see two figures like totems. On one figure was a sash with “Black Label” written on it, and an IV drip, a pile of skulls. On another, a Holy Bible. The acrylic painting on a paper is the work of Diana Yembisa, titled “Broken”.

The works are part of an online exhibition called “Sa Pu Kisah: Buka Mata, Buka Hati” or “My Stories: Open Your Eyes, Open Your Hearts”. The event was part of a digital campaign focusing on stories of Papuan women. The exhibition was initiated by a visual art group in Papua, Udeido, and Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR).

The campaign is an attempt to “amplify” the voice of Papuan women about their experiences in violence and conflicts they experience and their fight against them and move on in spite of the violence.

The violence the Papuan women experience could not be separated from a long conflict that had happened in Papua, since 1963, until today. The women have been the receiving end of violence done by the state and in the domestic realm.

Ten young visual artists from Papuan, all women, exhibited their works in this event. They are: Betty Adii, Blandina Yeimo, Diana Yembise, Irene Wagab, Nancy Nahuway, Ritha Karubuy, Nadili Aibini, Dessy Baru, Aquino Renwarin, Jenita Hilapok. The event was opened on March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

In her piece written for the event, Rut M. Ohoiwutun said that Papuan women suffered multilayers of violence. “Papuan women’s problems today are related to domestic violence, gender equality, polygamy, and sexual violence. Papuan women also face impunity of (perpetrators of) gross human rights violations. The violence suffered by Papuan women are multilayers: domestic, cultural, and institutional. The women are also affected by the contemporary issues often talked about now: massive investment,” wrote Ohoiwutun.

“Land grabbing, natural resources extraction and exploitation through state policies like the (Job Creation Law) that clearly sides with the transnational corporations like PT Freeport Indonesia, PT Korindo, PT Rajawali Group and other major companies that do business in Papua Land,” she went on.

Read also: Economic factors influencing Papuan women to become sex workers in Manokwari

“Women access to land is diminishing, the right to use and manage land, an inherent part of women, has been neglected,” she said.

In his curator’s note, Ignasius Dicky Takndare quoted a report titled “Just Stop!” by Working Group on Documentation of Violence and Human Rights Violations from 1963-2009 and a finding by UN Women in Joint Programme on Combating Violence Against Women and Girls in Papua Province. The reports revealed that the rate of violence against women and children in Papua Land was the highest, 4.5 times the national average.

The artists expressed their stories in various techniques and style. Wagab used pastel colors. She told her story as a woman growing up in Fak Fak, who was limited by the cultural norms to be “only a lowly cook”.

Yembise addressed alcoholism, drugs, which often leads to violence against women, husbands neglecting family duties. Nancy Nahuway painted on a canvas, a Papuan woman holds up her hands. On her ring finger is a wedding band, but the skin underneath oozes blood. On the painting called “Pain”, she wrote some words on the palm of the woman’s hand: emotional, gambling, alcohol, drugs, adultery.

To see more of the artists’ works, go to the online exhibition website:

Reporter: Syam Terrajana
Editor: Angela Flassy


2) Young farmers in Manokwari revive cacao for green economy

News Desk March 18, 2021 12:46 pm

West Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi

South Manokwari, Jubi – A green economy initiative inspires a dozen young farmers and calls for more young people from 13 kampung in Ransiki District, South Manokwari Regency, in West Papua, to become cacao farmers.

The initiative, organized by Eiber Suth Cokran Cooperative, provides trainings for the young farmers to proliferate the seeds and manage cacao plantation professionally.

“Now, we are training 12 people,” said Abdul, the cooperative manager.

The initiative is part of Papua Green Economy Program, which is a cooperation between Indonesian and UK governments. The program develops agricultural knowledge among teh farmers for several commodities like coffee, cacao, nutmeg, coconuts and seaweed.

Read also: Green economy development would be on five indigenous territories

“Ransiki District receives 13 development programs on cacao. Among the programs are procurement of production facility support, certification and legalization of seedlings,” said deputy head of the green economy program, Alex Rumaseb.

The program also built 20 cacao nurseries to guarantee seedling supplies in Ransiki.

Rumaseb said the training also provided propagation methods of the premium cacao seedlings.

The Green Economy Program planned to improve the financial management of the Eiber Suth Cokran Cooperative to make it stronger.

Read also: Provincial Government Encourage Local Farmer to Grow Coffee and Cacao

“The program also gives incentives, every month, to each young farmer who joins the training. It aims at attracting more people to join,” said Rumaseb.

A trainee, Dolli Bonggoibo, 22, said he would apply the knowledge he gained in the training to his parent’s cocoa field in the kampung.

Eiber Suth Cokran Cooperative was established by South Manokwari Regency administration on Sept. 16, 2017. Three years later, West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan officiated a chocolate production house belonging to the cooperative.

Later, Green Economy Program got involved to help the cooperative and the local administration achieve the dream to revive the glory of Ransiki cacao like three decades ago. The program aimed at rehabilitating 1,000 hectaresof cacao field to produce premium cacao.

In November 2020, Eiber Suth Cokran Cooperative had managed 200 hectare of cacao field, the green economy program revealed.

The cacao business in the area came to a halt after a chocolate producing company, PT Cokran, went bankrupt.

“The glory of Ransiki cacao came to a abrupt halt after PT Cokran went bankrupt. The company even neglected thousands of employees,” said Mandacan, during the groundbreaking of the cacao production innovation building in Ransiki in February.

In February, he said he wanted South Manokwari to become the hub for cacao agriculture in East Indonesia.

Mandacan said cacao was a commodity that could grow without the need to clear forests and it could be a good resource for West Papua. The province had put cacao in the development acceleration program launched by President Joko Widodo.

“I have ordered the formation of a task force of premium commodities including cacao. The members are multi stakeholders, including the representatives of the central bank in West Papua,” he said.

Last year, the head of Research and Development Agency in West Papua province, Charlie D. Heatubun, said the selling price of premium cacao in the cooperative was Rp 45,000 per kg and regular cacao Rp 30,000. As of November 2020, Eibeth Sur Cokran Cooperative managed Rp 2.8 billion from cacao, Heatubun said.

Statistics Indonesia revealed that in 2019, Indonesia produced 769,000 metric tons of cacao, 99 percent of them came from people’s plantations. Five provinces that were top producers of cacao in 2019 were South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, and West Sumatra.
The statistics also showed that the size of cacao plantations across the country was in declining trend, from 1.71 million hectares in 2015 to 1.61 million hectares in 2018. The agency estimated in 2019 it would decline to 1.59 million hectares.
In 2019 in West Papua province, cacao plantations reached 14,394 hectares, less than that of neighboring Papua province with 34,500 hectares. The production in West Papua province was 5,239 tons in 2019, while in Papua province the production reached 10,841 tons.

Reporter: Hans Kapisa
Editor: Aries Munandar, Edho Sinaga

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