Radio Kunci @ ifa Gallery: Numpang as politics of sharing-space
April 15th to May 15th 2016
Numpang is a colloquial word in Indonesian language which refers to many meanings and used in various contexts. Deriving from the original verb of tumpang, when used in the contexts of housing, -someone is numpang at other’s place, the word points to the temporary act of taking shelter (similar to unterkommen in German). This word here can be translated to English as crashing in, or taking lodge. While in transportation, people also can be a penumpang (passenger) of a bus/train (who bought ticket) or numpang (hitch-hike) in a car (for free). The person who is giving the ride for free is described as ‘memberikan tumpangan’ (giving a ride). In everyday social interactions, before asking a stranger a question, one would ‘numpang tanya’ which implies a polite request for permission to address the person being asked. And finally when an object is put or placed on top of something else, in Indonesian people also used the verb ‘menumpangkan’ something. The term ‘tumpang tindih’ describes things that are in overlap with each other. From these complex meanings and contexts of use that are not easy to translate to other languages, numpang ultimately refers to the temporal and spatial positioning of objects (including human bodies) in relation with the consent of others. It goes without saying that when abused, numpang, such as in the case of overstaying in someone’s place, is also perceived negatively. In this situation, it runs similar meaning with the term freeloading: a trust has been breached; too much were taken, generosity betrayed.
One way or another, Syafiatudina will be numpang at the ifa Gallery in Berlin between 15 April to 16 May 2016 in her capacity as a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) who is invited to respond to the Open Space project. She will use this opportunity to create collective engagements in the multifaceted aspects of numpang in contemporary urban practices of sharing space, place and time as resources that go beyond commodified forms of taking and giving. What kinds of values are being exchanged in this particular relational situation? How are losses and benefits defined and who gets to define them? How does numpang as a spatial practice complicate notions of property ownership? And finally how does it disrupt the established tension between individuality and collectivity?
To realize this, throughout her residency stay, Syafiatudina will organize a radio program which invite actors who are working on a range of topics related to politics of sharing in different geopolitical settings, particularly in Berlin and Yogyakarta. Through a project entitled Radio KUNCI, recent public controversies such as the refugee welcome, sharing cars, squatting, inhabitation of public spaces shall be closely examined towards an accumulation of knowledge on commoning the city and alternative modes of living together. Radio KUNCI shall be streamed online 3 days a week, Thursday to Saturday, throughout the entire duration of the residency from mid April to May 2016. The program content will include a series of live conversation, workshop or lecture that will be held every once a week at ifa Gallery as well as other pre-recorded materials (interviews, dramatic-readings, storytellings etc.).