Wayang as Ecological Media: A Sourcebook for Creativity in The Age of Climate Change

Wayang is not only a survival from the past but a living art with potential to speak directly to the current global climate change crisis. This sourcebook is written to artists, activists, aparat, and pemerhati budaya who wish to explore how wayang in the past and the most innovative contemporary wayang companies are able to speak about local agrarian issues and global environmental challenges. Key to this are a set of ritual dramas around the rice goddess Dewi Sri that maintain agrarian order and respond to emerging ecological problems. These dramas though originating in the ancient past have the flexibility to be adapted for present concerns and are potent tools for community resilience. With two commissioned essays by leading environmental scientists from the United Kingdom, selections from Dutch colonial literature on wayang as ritual drama, translations of relevant lakon, incantations, academic essays, and profiles of leading contemporary wayang companies, this book offers scope for a new view of wayang as an ecological medium.

Keynote Speaker:

Marianna Lis is a researcher in a project Enabling Wayang to Contribute to Environmental Discourse: Community, Puppet Theatre and Climate Change in Traditional and Post-Traditional Indonesia at Royal Holloway, University of London and Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta. She received her Ph.D. in theatre studies in the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw in 2017. She received her M.A. from the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Warsaw in 2011, where she lectured in 2012-2018. Next, she worked as an assistant professor at the Faculty of the Dance Theatre in Bytom at the Stanis?aw Wyspia?ski National Academy of Theatre Arts in Krakow. In the academic year 2010-11 she studied at the Puppetry Department in the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Surakarta with a Darmasiswa scholarship. Since 2012 she has performed as dalang with Warsaw Gamelan Group. In 2019 she published a book Wayang. Javanese Shadow Puppet Theatre on contemporary wayang summarizing 9 years of her research in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She continues her research focusing on contemporary wayang, theatre and music in post-traditional Indonesia.

Laura Noszlopy, PhD is an anthropologist, editor, and literary translator who has worked for many years on various aspects of contemporary Indonesian culture, and publishing in a range of media. She is also an experienced project manager, specializing in intercultural, interdisciplinary projects with a focus on social and environmental issues. She has worked with the Lontar Foundation as an editor and literary translator, and is assistant editor of the Taylor and Francis journal Indonesia and the Malay World based at SOAS, University of London. She has worked collaboratively for many years with Matthew Cohen, with whom she co-edited Contemporary Southeast Asian Performance: Transnational Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010).