POST A- Designers, Creative Culture Makers, and the Tobacco Industry

Local designers and creative culture makers have played an important role in the development of the tobacco industry in Yogyakarta and its surrounds. According to Rakhmat and Tarahita (2018), the smoking rate in Indonesia is increasing throughout the years. One of the greatest contributions to the gross development is made by the tobacco culture.  This is the same saying as per Danardono et al. (2008), in which he suggests tobacco culture is anywhere in Indonesia’s environment. Tobacco advertisements are seen everywhere such as billboards and roadside stalls, while local designers and creative culture makers are great contributors to these advertisements.

Tobacco advertisements in Indonesia (Image: Nicholl, A. 2018, Banjarmasin Cigarette Advertising, 08 January 2018)

The stakeholders in the tobacco industry are those who are involved, including tobacco producers and distributors, designers and creative culture makers, the government, and the customers. Designers are not just those who design advertisements for tobacco, but also include those who design relevant tools for producing and selling of tobacco such as factory machinery, event interiors, and cigarette packaging etc. The role designers and creative culture makers in the tobacco industry interconnects with other stakeholders in that they create and maintain a world for tobacco development. The designers and creative culture makers not only make the tobacco production possible, but also make the distribution smoother. They are the ones pushing things going. A more detailed stakeholder map is drawn by the author to illustrate the interconnections.

The development of the tobacco industry actually fosters and supports the design and creative industries. The development of tobacco industry could not be separated from design and creative culture. As one of the main industries in Central Java, tobacco industry has made great profit, which it provides a lot of financial funding for design and creative industries to grow. Through design activism, if designers and creative culture makers want to participate in health promotion against tobacco, they are more likely to join non-government organizations. This is because, as mentioned above, the government is reluctant to take actions against tobacco industry as the industry is making great profit for the area. This is suggested by Nichter et al. (2009), they proposed that the political and financial power owned by tobacco companies have brought them a lot of privileges as they bring in a large sum of government revenue. Political power, hence, becomes a barrier for designers and creative culture makers who want to raise awareness of tobacco’s negative effects. For this reason, design activism is more likely to be achieved through non-government organizations.

Reference List

Danardono, M., Ng, N., Nichter, M., Padmawati, R., Prabandari, Y. 2008, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, University of Arizona, Arizona.

Nicholl, A. 2018, Banjarmasin Cigarette Advertising, 08 January 2018.

Nichter, M., Padmawati, S., Danardono, M., Ng, N., Prabandari, Y. & Nichter, M. 2009, ‘Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia’, Tobacco Control, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 98-107.

Zulfikar Rakhmat, M. & Tarahita, D. 2018, As the rest of the world quits, indonesia’s smokers increase, newsite, AsiaSentinel, viewed 13 December 2019, <https://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/indonesia-smokers-increase/>.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s