Robby Ocktavian is an artist and art organizer born and raised in Samarinda. In that city, he and his friends from Sindikat Sinema / @sindikatsinema, a cinephile community, have visited several places and screened films for the local community. Together with an unnamed music collective, he is also active in performing music with a simple stage featuring bands from Samarinda.

He joined as a participant in Milisifilem, a film learning platform focused on visual language, in 2017. Then in 2018 and 2019, Robby acted as Director of several Festivals, such as the Naladeva Film Festival (with Sindikat Sinema) and the Muarasuara Sound Art Festival. (with fellow artists and sound art activists in Samarinda). Some of his works, such as Baur – GoetheHaus,  Baur: Transmitted (2020) – Studio Hanafi, and Kabar (2020), which used sound and the internet as the medium, were triggered by the idea of ​​responding to the presence of today’s media.

Together with the Kultursinema team, Robby was one of the curators at the Gelora Indonesia archive exhibition at the National Museum, Indonesia.

The transmigration program (Indonesian: Transmigrasi, from Dutch, transmigratie) was an initiative of the Dutch colonial government and later continued by the Indonesian government to move landless people from densely populated areas of Indonesia to less populous areas of the country. This involved moving people permanently from the island of Java, but also to a lesser extent from Bali and Madura to less densely populated areas including Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua. The program is currently coordinated by Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration.

The stated purpose of this program was to reduce the considerable poverty and overpopulation on Java, to provide opportunities for hard-working poor people, and to provide a workforce to utilize better the natural resources of the outer islands. The program, however, has been controversial as fears from native populations of “Javanization” and “Islamization” have strengthened separatist movements and communal violence. (Source: Wikipedia)

Footage taken from Gelora Indonesia archive from Kultursinema

In this episode on Extended Asia Vol. 3, “Discovery,” They have a work entitled A Novel Colony in collaboration with Rama Saputra.


Image by Robby Ocktavian

This work is part of “Islandwide Coverage,” a multi-site, multi-author project by AWKNDAFFR is an artistic operation situated at the intersection of art, theory, and praxis by Wayne Lim and Soh Kay Min.

Part of “Natasha,” Singapore Biennale [SB2022]—across a network of sites, including the Singapore Art Museum [SAM] at Tanjong Pagar Distripark. It will take place from 16 October 2022 to 19 March 2023.