Alun Alun Ratmakan

Part of a 4-month out-of-gallery residency with Jogja Contemporary gallery, Yogyakarta. Facilitated by the Ketjilbergerak artists collective and the residents of kampung Ratmakan.


Alun Alun Ratmakan was a ‘junk playground’ installation undertaken with residents of a marginalised riverbank community in central Yogyakarta threatened by ‘world class’ urban development projects. Inspired by the post WWII ‘junk playground’ movement in Europe, built by children themselves on bombed sites, the playground engaged children’s efforts to reach the world by testing out different configurations of ideas and materials. Through daily play with materials on the playground site, children were invited to implicitly critique and imaginatively reconfigure the relations and built form of their urban environment.


Childhood and youth are sites particularly affected by disruptions of social reproduction caused by global economic and cultural changes, and also sites of dynamic responses to such changes. Throughout the time of the playground project, childhood and youth were engaged as sites of an everyday politics of excess. Children’s disordering of space and intimate engagement with materials can productively accentuate the contradictions between the imaginary order of the world class city and the lived material realities of everyday life.


Materials include bamboo, recycled timber, rope, industrial glad wrap, and salvaged materials such as steel, air conditioning insulation, tyres, tubes, nets, and 44-gallon drums.


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