Kodrat, Berat Terikat

Live performance, w. Rianti Gautama
London, 2022

The performance Kodrat, Berat Terikat, is a subversive take on ‘kodrat wanita’, or ‘the essential nature of women’, a socio-political construct that has naturalised the role of Indonesian women as loyal wives, caring mothers and obedient citizens

Kodrat, Berat Terikat particularly addresses the silencing of feminine subjectivities as well as the societal burden that the modern Indonesian woman carries when she reaches the marital age.

The two women use the traditional method of carrying a baby using a batik sling and bind the loose ends of the batik together. They are connected, experiencing painful tension if they stray too far from each other, however, must undergo a tug of war if they are to - literally - make their mark on paper.

Performed on Indonesian Women’s Day, Rianti and Victoria imbue the spirit of Kartini, the Indonesian heroine who chose to challenge the patriarchy with her pen.

Photographer: Jordan Chan