(15/1). The City of Semarang, which is part of the 100 Resilient Network, collaborated with the Centre for Urban and City Resilience Research (CURE) Undip, organize an activity with the theme “City as Catalyzing Resilient Strategy”. In this event, The City of Semarang and CURE Undip wanted to display Batik as a lever for city resilience. Together wiith BAPPEDA (Agency for Regional Planning) of Central Java Province, CURE Undip team previously conducted the rapid assessment to map the profile of Batik, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, existing strategies, and recommendations for developing events that associated with this regard. From this studies, CURE Undip initiates acceleration steps which included trainings and FGDs, which aimed to build a collaboration with resilient SMEs (UMKM). Resilient SMEs is the SMEs that were able to survive during the pandemic. The collaboration was implemented through Batik Innovation City (BIC)

In that program, Resilient Batik SMEs agreed to develop Batik Semarang with premium quality and environmentally friendly, also initiated the implementation of activities in the form of competitions and exhibition with other Batik SMEs in Semarang city. In addition, Resilient Batik SMEs also developing the Digital BIC platform as a forum for education, collaboration, cooperation, and marketing.

In order to create an activity that can encourage the SME’s in Semarang City, the City of Semarang held competition titled “Cipta Kreasi Batik Kota Semarang” (The Creation of Semarang City Batik). This competition aims to not only creating new Batik Semarang patterns (that inspired by surrounding environment), but also to involve the community in the process of making until finishing the Batik itself. This competition was held for 3 consecutive days (with the opening time of 8 hours a day). Located in the Old Town of Semarang (Kawasan Kota Lama), this competition was attended by 63 participants including the craftsmen from sub-districts across the city. The participants also came from diverse background. There are those who came from the diffable group, the elderly (60 years old and over), and the teenagers (19-20 years old). The oldest participant who took part in this competition was 80 years old with a nautical-themed, slick pink based Batik.

The collection of Batik exhibited on “Mahakarya Batik Kota Semarang” Exhibition

During the competition, the participants were also introduced to the education and hands-on practice about the usage of portable IPAL (Wastewater Treatment Plant) to treat the liquid disposal produced during the Batik coloring process. So, not only producing artworks, but this event also educate people about the importance of protecting the nature. The works of the participant’s then exhibited along with other premium Batik at the exhibition entitled “Mahakarya Batik Kota Semarang” (The Masterpieces of Semarang City Batik).

This exhibition was attended by Batik SMEs around the Semarang City and also attended by collectors who are also Batik lovers. This exhibition was held on 12 – 15 January 2023 and took place at Oudetrap Building, Old Town of Semarang. The exhibition was opened by Mayor’s Expert Staff for Goverment, Law, and Political Affairs, Ms. Nurjanah, S.H, M.H.. followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Diponegoro, Prof. Ir. Mochamad Agung Wibowo, Ph.D as a sign that the exhibition was officially opened. The event then continued by a tour around the building to enjoy the beauty of the Batik made by the contestants and collections from the collectors.

the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Diponegoro (left) with Ms Nurjanah, SH.M.H (right), the Mayor’s Expert Staff for Government, Law, and Political Affairs

In this event, the Mayor left a message through the speech delivered by Ms Nurjanah, S.H, M.H, that the community should continue to support the SMEs in Semarang City. In addition, she also said that this Exhibition aims to build the branding for Batik Semarang as environmentally friendly, premium quality products. She hopes that the Batik craftsmen and the Batik SMEs in Semarang City can be more active and more enthusiastic in creating new patterns and pieces so that Batik Semarangan can be increasingly recognized. Supports from various parties including from educational institution in community assistance is also still needed.

FYI, this event broke the MURI (Indonesian Museum of Records) record for the category of the Competition with the Most Participants and the Most Patterns Created in 3 Days! Cool!

Keep the spirit and always protect the environment around us!

Reporter : Dani Ristyawati

Translator : M Rusmul Khandiq