a workshop with teenaged truants too tough for school in Sembalun Bumbung
"X-Change"; Sembalun Bumbung, Lombok; Indonesia. 2008
In December, Maruyama Makoto (Japan), S.S. Listyowati (Indonesia) and I travelled to the remote mountain village of Sembalun Bumbung as artists-in-residence. Upon arrival, we fell ill almost immediately as a result of the sudden cold, unrelenting rain, and the unexpected harshness of rural living.
Between us three, many work days were lost - spent supine and groaning. At some point Makoto grew deathly ill in spite of endless massages (the local cure-all), and we learned that there was no doctor to be found in the vicinity. One night, a "nurse’s assistant" came by to look at Makoto by flashlight (the power was down, as usual). He took Makoto’s temperature and prescribed a load of antibiotics. We were told that two village boys had died from Typhoid fever.
I thought it seemed a good time to fold paper cranes. (See Senbazuru and Sadako Sasaki)
The next morning, I offered an origami workshop for anyone who was interested. As it was a school day, I expected to see small children and housewives. Instead, a pack of teenaged truants showed up.
These "gangsters" - who fought with knives and who were too tough for school – huddled around to fold paper cranes and to speak rudimentary English. One of them, in turn, showed us how to fold love letters into the shape of a heart.
photos by: S.S. Listyowati