Indonesia has a very vibrant cultural scene with thriving fashion, film and visual arts sectors. Several major art events organized in the country include the Yogyakarta and Jakarta biennales as well as the Bandung Creative City Forum. According to national sources, the cultural and creative industries contribute to 10 % of Indonesia Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year. Moreover, Indonesia exported cultural goods with more than US$ 900 million in 2013 (UNESCO Report on the Globalization of Cultural Trade, 2013).
In recent years, the Indonesian government has made efforts to boost the cultural and creative industries, notably though the creation of Agency for Creative Economy (BEKRAF) in 2015. The Agency assists 16 creative economy sub-sectors, including film, photography, music, publishing, performance art, visual arts, television, and radio. The inclusion of Bandung and Pekalongan to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for design and arts has also been a positive step in further consolidating the role of culture in the country’s development. Indonesia also hosted the first World Culture Forum in 2013 and again in 2016 to specifically discuss the role of culture for sustainable development.
UNESCO’s capacity-building project provides Indonesia with an opportunity to connect the dots of various initiatives, by setting a baseline, strengthening the country’s information system, laying a ground for open policy dialogue about culture through consulting various stakeholders of the culture sector, and collectively defining priority actions for the next years.
The consultation meeting on 8 December 2015 in Jakarta, organized jointly by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the UNESCO Office Jakarta, was the first of its kind in Indonesia, bringing together 55 participants representing government and civil society organizations to take stock of various initiatives taken to implement the 2005 Convention in the country. The consultation served to build a common understanding of the 2005 Convention particularly on issues such as the state of the culture sector, policy environment, capacity-building needs, challenges and successes, youth and gender equality.
The training workshop took place in Jakarta from 1-3 March 2016. Addressed to the 21 members of the national team, the training workshop was opened by high-level government representatives: Mr. Hilmar Farid, the Director General for Culture; H.E. Johanna Brismar Skoog, Ambassador of Sweden to Indonesia; H.E. Triawan Munaf, the Head of the Indonesian Agency for Creative Economy, as well as H.E. Anies Baswedan, Minister of Education and Culture. This represented the political engagement of the Indonesian government and gave a political legitimacy to the periodic reporting process. The three-day workshop resulted in a well-documented draft outline of the Quadrennial Periodic Report as participants had no difficulties identifying the many valuable initiatives undertaken by the national government to develop the creative sector.. Some challenges highlighted by the national team include: the representation of vulnerable/minority groups in the media, and the tension between promoting the creative economy and not treating culture as having solely commercial value. The delicate matter of censorship in film-making and by the broadcasting regulatory authority was also openly debated both with national team members and Ministry officials in the consultations with experts that followed the workshop.
Between March and May 2016, the national team collected relevant data and information by reaching out to a broader set of stakeholders. It met on a regular basis and drafted the periodic report under the long-distance coaching of the international experts. Held on 4 May 2016 in Jakarta, the public presentation of the periodic report brought together 88 participants from civil society and. Using a participatory approach, this event consolidated a sense of ownership by the Indonesian participants. The periodic report was seen as a “map” highlighting the initiatives taken by civil society and the role various actors can play. Furthermore, the project has catalyzed the initiative of the government to draft a new law on culture, which is being elaborated based on the guiding principles of the 2005 Convention. After feedback were integrated, a final report was submitted to UNESCO on 30 June 2016.