Since the COVID-19 pandemic was announced by the WHO on March 11 2020, people the world over have been affected by the uncontrolled spread of the virus. Two years on, this pandemic has caused millions of deaths around the world with the WHO and the EDC stating that 6. 089.603 people have died due to COVID-19.
The Indonesian government almost gave up hope of being able to deal with the situation with many sectors experiencing setbacks or bottlenecking. A variety of approaches were put to use to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the number of victims, including in Yogyakarta, which is the second most popular tourism area in Indonesia after Bali. Almost nobody has been up to the task of adapting to the changes of the last two years, given their scope size and significance. Everybody has been forced to adapt and innovate be this mentally, financially or physically. Tembi Village is no exception.
Tembi Village is located 8.5 km south of Yogyakarta’s city center. The inhabitants of Tembi have a close-knit community that was active even before the pandemic. This is not to say that the people of Tembi were ready to face a pandemic, but they did have the advantage of ‘gotong royong’ – a Javanese concept by which members of a community work together to support one and other. Gotong royong along with a variety of endeavors
aimed at promoting and supporting financial independence, were already integral parts of life in the village before the pandemic.
Tembi is home to some 1200 people covering 8 neighborhoods, with a majority of people working as farmers or running small-scale businesses. Over the last two years, nearly everyone participated directly in village projects aimed at dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many unprecedented occurrences, and the inability to go on with business as usual, Batik Leksa Ganesha took it upon themselves to document these unusual conditions in a series of batik images.
The process of creating these batik images went on for 18 months rendering a total of 25 images on cloth that were created with tremendous diligence and heartfelt care. The following is a narrative work rendered in batik on cloth illustrating the activities and staunch determination of the people of Tembi during the pandemic.