Art and music have always been a part of social change and activism. They have the power to intervene in politics and create lasting impact. In Indonesia, Efek Rumah Kaca is an indie rock band who have been using their music as a tool to protest against government policies and to comment on other important issues. Their song, Mosi Tidak Percaya, (Vote of No Confidence in English), has become an anthem for civil demonstrations in Indonesia. The song can be heard playing in street marches, most recently at the Omnibus Law protest that took place last October and previously at the country’s criminal code protest in 2019.

On this episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Dwitri Amalia speaks to Cholil Mahmud, the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, about using their music to advocate against regressive policies, and the role of art and music in a democracy.

You can listen to Mosi Tidak Percaya here.

Author

New Naratif

Producer

Dwitri Amalia

Dwitri Amalia is a freelance producer from Jakarta, Indonesia. She spent six years in academia thinking she was going to pursue a career as an economist to research on poverty reduction, but she realised her calling is in the arts. She ended up working in film festivals in Amsterdam (CinemAsia Film Festival, World Cinema Amsterdam), managed an arts centre in Jakarta (Salihara Arts Center), and directed a communication consulting business for non-profit organisations (Communication for Change). She co-founded Ramuan Studio in 2020, on its way to its first short film project. To this date, she has produced an ethnographic documentary (The Way We Watch TV, 2015) and an audio drama (Pinangan, 2020). You can reach her at dwitri@gmail.com.

Now that you're here, we have a favour to ask...

New Naratif is a movement for democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of speech in Southeast Asia (see our manifesto). Our articles report on issues that are often overlooked or suppressed by the mainstream media in Southeast Asia. We rely on our members for their support. Every cent of your membership fee goes to supporting our research, journalism, and community organisation activities. Your support enables us to be editorially independent and to conduct hard hitting independent research and journalism. It allows us to give a voice to the powerless and to hold the powerful accountable. Our members are active participants in our movement, helping us to create content and informing us about important issues, which shapes our coverage and content. Join our movement and let us, together, build a better Southeast Asia. Please subscribe to New Naratif—it’s just US$52/year (US$1/week) or US$5/month—and it only takes a minute. If you’d like to learn more, and read more articles, please start here! Thank you!

Subscribe

Get the Newest Naratif

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter to get the scoop on matters concerning Southeast Asia

Join our newsletter