Jakarta and Berlin celebrated 25 years relationship with art and culture performances in style. Photos by MRA Media/NOWJAKARTA​​​​

On 30 November 2019, Kendal Underpass looked different and lively with colourful lamps and rows of Indonesian and Germany flags hanging on the roof of the tunnel. A number of culinary stalls along the Underpass and live music performances from well-known musicians and bands enlivened the atmosphere, provided the visitors a pleasure in enjoying a festival.

The Jakarta-Berlin Festival 2019 was a celebration of the essential friendship of Jakarta and Berlin, as the two cities have a stronger relationship and have been sister cities since 1993. The 25 years of relationship and cooperation had produced a variety of cultural collaboration that encourage creativity and innovations in developing Jakarta, some of them related with integrated transportation and comfortable public spaces.

Opened by the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, this street festival showcased contemporary artworks of German artist Snyder and Indonesian muralist Darbots who collaborated together to spray the wall at the underpass. Brought the theme “Friends Mural”, the artworks reflected the friendship, the development of technology and culture.

It was the first time the festival held in public space, which opened inclusive access to people. Through the spirit of collaboration, Darbotz and Synder created street art that can be seen through public eye, where people also got the chance to understand the long relationship between both cities, making a mural as contemporary art and cultural movement which were able to lead the progressive development among its inhabitants.

People who stopped by at the Underpass also got a chance to taste popular Jakarta and Berlin culinary gems, including Bratwurst, Currywurst, Soto, Asinan and many more. JakJazz, an initiator for jazz festival in Indonesia also participated by inviting renowned musicians and artists such as Barry Likumahuwa, Altetta Stars, Andezzz and 2 Lampu Neon.

Many programs have been implemented from the collaboration in various fields, such as culture, sports, business and infrastructure. The two cities are continues working on a project called Smart Change, related to finding innovative solutions about the sustainable development of developing cities.

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.