[OP-ED] Stop Building Parks, We Need More Creative Platforms!
New government means new policy and new notion, and under the rule of Abah Anton (Moh. Anton) as the major of Malang city, we have seen a lot of city parks being built. The parks are established as the result of Corporate Social Responsibitily program under the supervision and permission from the local authority. These parks indeed make the city look more decent looking and the pedestrian infrastructure is getting better as well. However, it seems that the parks and thematic settlements are the only concern from the government. Both of them do not require much money from the government, since private sectors or collective funds are being used. So now, let us address a good use of money to built a much needed creative platform in Malang. As creative workers, whether those who works as an artists, performers, sculptors, painters, musicians, photographers and many other creative fields, the lack of space to display, gather, and discuss about creative matters is pretty alarming. We envy the government of Bandung who pays attention to their creative youth and they have established Bandung Creative Hub to accommodate the needs of the youth. There, you can learn about graphic design and other skills with the help of fellow creative workers.
In more recent news, let’s take a look at Jakarta who has officially opened Jakarta Creative Hub. Not only functioned as an exhibition place, it hosts workshops for public who want to gain new skills like sewing and creating stuffs that later can be sold. This opportunity means creating more entrepreneurs and skilled workers who will later contribute to the city’s development. Co-working spaces have now sprung up in the city here and there, but the government hasn’t seen this sign as an encouragement to build a hub to connect them all. It is sad to see that these co-working spaces are recognized by the government as café or hangout places when they are actually not. Often times, musicians in Malang only have a few options of venues in holding gigs. Most of the times, they have to rent it out and have to cancel due to short of money. The theater performers, lack the stage to perform a new play and once it is done, the government officials only come to take the entertainment tax. Our visual artists are rather unknown to their own city’s dwellers, but highly appreciated in other places or abroad. In conjunction with the city’s 103rd birthday, it is time for the government to appreciate, recognize, and facilitate these creative people. We need more platforms and this problem needs to be addressed soon. However, we fully realized that this will only end as an open letter without further consideration. Well, what can we hope from the city that its official logo and birthday logo are mocked by its own citizen?