Transform your week into an Indonesian getaway, complete with clubs, markets, art, crafts and delicious Indonesian cuisine. Festival Nusantara will bring Indonesia to your doorstep as Brisbane Powerhouse opens its doors to artists, photographers, chefs, academics, musicians and Indonesian associations from 8 – 12 August.

Fill the calendar week with activities and events celebrating exotic Indonesian culture.  Experience a slice of contemporary Indonesia right here in Brisbane!

The free activities begin with Salam Budaya Kawula Mada (Cultural Day for Young People) on 9 August. Brisbane Powerhouse and the Modern Language Teachers’ Association invite students throughout Southeast Queensland to immerse themselves in Indonesian arts and culture through a series of hands on, interactive workshops by Indonesian guest artists.  Students can sample food, attend an artist talk by photographers featured in the Mata Hati exhibition, decorate an umbul umbul (bamboo banner) and see a special performance by West Sumatran company, Nan Jombang Dance.

For those more inclined to lounging and indulging, visit Klub Keroncong Nusantara (KKN) on August 10 and experience the unique sounds which will surely transport you back to a fascinating era of old-fashioned Indonesian folk music. From the Keroncong anthems of independence (traditional folk music deriving from Portugal), to the contemporary rhythms of Dangdut (Indonesian Bollywood), enjoy Indonesian food and drink as you take a sentimental journey through musical history.

To celebrate history, on 12 August, the Indonesian Student’s Association and Indonesian Society Queensland welcome the Brisbane community to the 62nd Indonesian Independence Day, Pesta Rakyat (People’s Party). Throughout the day there will be free performances on the Turbine Platform featuring groups from the local community. Get involved in the traditional games, paint your own umbul umbul (Balinese flag) and plant it on the Powerhouse lawn, fly a kite and tuck into some tasty Indonesian cuisine. This is a day for everyone to come along and enjoy what Indonesia has to offer.

The offerings continue on 12 August with Brisbane Powerhouse hosting Obrolan Sama Tetangga (Conversations with the Neighbour). Many Australians know little about Indonesia’s people, history and present-day situation and there has never been a more important time to talk. Audiences will have their say, joining a range of leading academics, thinkers and social commentators from Australia and Indonesia as they discuss social, political and spiritual perceptions of each nation. What does the future hold for Indonesia and Australia? 

Director Andrew Ross sees Festival Nusantara as an opportunity to experience rare events that you wouldn’t discover as a tourist in the country. “In Indonesia I always seek out the popular music and theatre that the ordinary people go to. It includes karaoke in a variety of local languages, dangdut clubs and my favourite old fashion keroncong, which is featured twice a week in the Elmi Hotel in Surabaya. The hotel also serves great food,” he says. “We have put together events like Klub Keroncong Nusantara (KKN) as a bit of a potted history of popular Indonesian music. Listening to this sort of music in a setting like this is an experience few tourists rarely encounter. KKN (the name is an Indonesian in joke, since KKN stood for the Korupsi, Kolusi and Nepotisma of the Suharto era) is a uniquely Indonesian experience. I think it is a beautiful way to spend an evening.” 


Brisbane Powerhouse presents
FESTIVAL NUSANTARA FREE EVENTS

Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse
Dates: Wed 8 – Sun 12 August
Tickets: FREE
More Info: 3358 8600 or www.brisbanepowerhouse.org

Most read Brisbane reviews

At this moment in our cultural history, as Australia emerges gradually from the restrictions...


Now playing Brisbane