What is design activism? In my opinion, it is about using people’s talents as a designer to create a positive impact in the world. In May 2010, in order to help the people of Sidoarjo commemorate the fourth anniversary of this disaster, Taring Padi, a political art collective from Yogyakarta, Central Java joined the people of Sidoarjo for a four-day collaborative project. Known as “Reflection in the Mud,” this project focused on reviving the collective memory of the Sidoarjo community. It is one example of cultural dimensions of activism that exist in Yogyakarta.
There is a high toll of tobacco use in Indonesia. A staggering 225,700 deaths are attributed to tobacco use every year in Indonesia. Two out of three adult men in Indonesia smoke daily. Designers and creative cultural makers play important roles in the success of the tobacco industry in Yogyakarta and surrounds. A research shows that there are four key approaches included in marketing strategy of a cigarette brand. The first one is sponsorship of the music concert series. The second one is a competition to create a limited edition cigarette package. The third is to create and host an brand-centered social networking website and the last one is to post on popular social media channels that leveraged the event promotion. These prove that designers play important roles in the promotion of tobacco industry.
Tobacco advertising pervades newspapers and magazines. Perhaps most prominent in Indonesia is the sponsorship by the industry of local and international jazz and rock concerts, cultural events, and sporting events such as Formula One and national and local basketball and soccer competitions. Between January and October 2007, there were 1350 events sponsored by the tobacco industry, or 135 each month, in Indonesia (Mimi M, 2016).
The designs on package of cigarettes is one important way of advertising, too.
One cigarette package designer states that a cigarette package is unique because the consumer carries it arround with his all day…it’s part of a smoker’s clothing, and when he saunters into a bar and plunks it down, he makes a statement about himself. Therefore, what designers want to do is to design an attractive package. And that’s why tobacco brands foster and support competitions of package of tobacco.
JR Difranza, 2003, Springer Link, Cigarette package design: opportunities for disease prevention, viewed on 20th Dec, 2019, <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1617-9625-1-2-97>
Katherine B. 2015, Seismopolite, Journals of Art and Politics, Art and Social Engagement in Yogyakarta, viewed on 20th Dec, 2019, <http://www.seismopolite.com/art-and-social-engagement-in-yogyakarta-indonesia-ketjilbergerak-and-the-legacy-of-taring-padi-i>.
Martin L.2018, The Conversation, Tobacco Company in Indonesia Skirts Regulation, viewed on 20th Dec 2019, <http://theconversation.com/tobacco-company-in-indonesia-skirts-regulation-uses-music-concerts-and-social-media-for-marketing-93206>
Mimi N.2016, BMJ Journals, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, viewed on 20th Dec, 2019, <https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/18/2/98>
Yayi P., Arika, D 2016, US National Library of Medicine, How do Indonesian youth perceive cigarette advertising? A cross-sectional study among Indonesian high school students viewed on 20th Dec 2019,<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005365/>