Post C: Tattoo and Tobacco

Although tobacco is depicted to be a social activity in Indonesia, where it is overly associated with positive stereotypes of enhancing masculinity by exercising, indirectly forcing reflection of social and political status. Yet few individuals have recontextualised smoking, integrating tobacco into their lifestyles with completely different reasons and directions compared to the general public of Indonesia. El Kamprettoz, is a tattoo artist located in the centre of Yogyakarta City, who utilises smoking as a method to support creativity and influence artistic vision, stating that his creativity thrives and peaks when relaxing with a cigarette.

Nanjang University of Arts Exhibition 2019, left to right, Setu Legi, Bay Widodo, El Kamprettoz

El Kamprettoz has been doing tattoo for more than twenty years in Indonesia, he uses tattoo to be a platform of this artistic works. Yet being in a mainly conservative Muslim country, where individuals who have tattoos are usually associated with criminal activity and stereotypically of having a mutinous nature, has made strictures for Kamprettoz to freely express his works. Only decades ago Indonesia was exposed to the extrajudicial killings called Petrus Killings during 1983-1985, where Suharto, the second president of Indonesia, unannounced, exercised undercover snipers for alleged criminals  to be publicly executed. This terrorized the general public, creating a paranoia of discrimination to those who appeared in a nonconformist fashion. The public was encouraged to report men with tattoos to the police. This enforced the stigma, eradicating most tattoo business, or forcing them into underground  markets, where tobacco and drugs became a popular source of payment for artworks. Creating a tattoo culture around these devices creates a liability issue for the tattoo artist who reject such drugs, portrayed to be more tamed and less passionate.

Smoking becomes this meditative practice, especially for artists, smoking, psychologically allows a space and time to separate yourself from the hectic nature of life. Kamprettoz, believes smoking is more a statement of the mind. Although, nicotine helps with concentration and relaxation, he states that it is mostly the belief of such effects, which assists him and his daily life. This is understanding of tobacco was once mutual,  during the 15th century, Nicotiana acquired a reputation of being a ‘holy herb’ and ‘God’s remedy’, having a therapeutic medicinal benefit to most bodily ailments such as catarrh, cold, fevers and digestive issues. More recently in 1991, those associated with nicotine lacked the most relationship with neuropsychiatric diseases.

The first published illustration of Nicotiana tabacum by Pena and De L’Obel, 1570-1571

Paul A. Newhouse & John R. Hughs 1991, The role of nicotine and nicotinic mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disease, British Journal of Addiction, Wiley Online Library, viewed 20October 2019

Anne Charlton 2004, Medicinal uses of tobacco in history, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD, USA, viewed 20 October 2019

Benedict R. O’G Anderson 2001, Violence and the State in Suharto’s Indonesia, Southeast Asia Program Publications, Southeast Asia Program Cornell University Ithaca, New York, viewed 20 October 2019

Simon Chapman 1995, Smokers: why do they start- and continue?, World Health Forum, Viewed 20 October 2019

Mimi Nitcher, Mark Nitcher, S. Padmawati, M.Darnardono, N. Ng & Y. Parbandari, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia 2009, Tobacco Control volume 18, Issue 12, BMJ Journals, viewed 20 October 2019

Post D: Kudus, Kretek, Kelamin

Indonesia has the highest smoking rates in the world, a huge influence on such negative health decisions is the austerity of gender roles. Despite there being approximately fifty-seven million individuals participating in tobacco usage, only 5% of smokers are female. This extreme disparity of tobacco intake is encouraged through marketing methods that on social stereotypes and traditions which usually pressures young males. This social stricture becomes a further difficult instrument, as it not only encourages people to smoke but also prevents people from quitting, 30.4% in Indoesnia attempts to quit but only 9.5% are successful, compared to Australia’s statistics of 60.5% of individuals who attempt and successfully cease smoking. Kudus, in Central Java, is one of many regencies impacted by such perception of tobacco. Being the originators of ‘kretek’, a popular Indonesian clove cigarette, they value and symbolise the ‘kretek’ as the “aromatic soul of a nation, the fragment embodiment of all Indonesians”.

Gudang Garam, a tobacco company which sells ‘kretek’, markets towards young Indonesian males, to adopt this prideful, zealous figure of an ideal ‘Indonesian Man’. An advertisement by Gudang Garam, critiques the younger generation on their powerlessness, a television ad where a young woman elucidated to be a tour guide is ignored until the bus driver, an older man, speaks and gains the tourists interest. This compares younger males to this weak perception of women, displaying the elders to be distinguished because of their tradition with cigarettes. This juxtaposition not only disdains women but presents cigarettes as a catalyse to create puissant men. Subtly the advert invites the young males to reflect on their social position and questions their cultural identity.

Tobacco companies further influence the population of young males in Kudus, through sporting sponsorships. Soccer is the most popular sports in Indonesia, highly popular with adolescent males, with 54% of the Indonesian population watching EPL (English Premier League). As a reaction all major tobacco companies sponsor sporting events. In June 2012, Gudang Garam, an Indonesian tobacco company, had a contract with Manchester United and England football star Rio Ferdinand, the sports figure endorsing sweet cinnamon flavoured ‘kretek’ which are particularly popular with children. This ignited great controversy, with the National Commission for Child Protection in Indonesia to intervene, “since Rio Ferdinand is a major role model for children and adolescent in Indonesia”. This marketing method to create a “friendly familiarity” between tobacco and sports enthusiasts, encourages males into tobacco through those they admire. ­

Gudang Garam Intersport, 2012

Overall ‘kretek’ despite the health complications it may cause, it holds an identity to Indonesians. Highly valuing the ‘kretek’ culture in Kudus, combined with the advertisements of gender roles creates a greater influence on the male population.

Soeparna I. 2016, ‘An unseen threat to ‘kretek’, symbol of culture and history’, The Jakarta Post, 1 August, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Dowad J. & Rogers T., M.M. & M.H. (eds) 2012, ‘Rio Ferdinand criticised over advert linked to Asian tobacco firm’, The Guardian, 16 June, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Greenhalgh E.M., Stillman S. & Ford 2017, 7.2 Quitting activity, Tobacco in Australia: facts and issues, Melbourne Cancer Council, Victoria, viewed 25th of November. <>

Hanusz M. 2000, Kertek. The Culture and Heritage of Indonesia’s Clove Cigarettes, Equinox publishing, Jakarta, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Nichter M., Padmawati S., & Danardono M., 2009, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, 2nd edn, BMJ Journals, Arizona, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Ng N., Weinehall L. & Ohman A. 2006, ‘‘If I don’t smoke, I’m not a real man’—Indonesian teenage boys’ views about smoking.’, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Barber S., Adioetomo S.M., Ahsan A & Setyonaluri D. 2017, Tobacco Economics in Indonesia, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Aditama T.Y. 2002, Smoking problem in Indonesia, Research Gates, Berlin, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

The Tobacco Atlas, n.d., Indonesia, poster, American Cancer Society, Inc. & Vital Strategies, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

World Health Organisation 2018, Indonesia, poster, Geneva, Switzerland, viewed 25th November 2019. <>

Post B: Boobs Boobs Boobs

Man-Boobs, is a quirky video campaign posted on April 19th, 2016 which borrows a pair of ‘man-boobs’ to raise awareness on breast cancer and instruct individuals on the methods of early detection in breast cancer. The creators of this viral video were Movimiento Ayuda Cáncer de Mama (MACMA),  a non-profit organisation situated in Argentina and the agency creatives from DAVID Buenos Aires, those involved wanted to utilise social media as their platform to educate those about Breast Self-Examination (BSE) but were highly prevented by censorship laws, as Joaquin Cubria the creative director states “breast are not very welcomed; they are censored”, yet through the involvement of man boobs, not only did they involve the participation of men, but cleverly avoided obscenity.

Breast are not very welcomed; they are censored

Joaquin Cubria

In media man-boobs are usually delineated as an unattractive figure, yet they convert this negative stereotype to humorously enforce a cause.  It was overwhelmingly successful in reaching a wider audience and in result of the campaign, patients, oncologist, psychologists, volunteers, benefactors and brands joined MACMA. The video garnered umpteen exposure at 43 million views and 193 million impressions on social media, even winning first place at the International Festival of Creativity, Cannes Lion Festival 2016. Becoming the most shared BSE video in history, not only did they educate people, it ignited debates on censorship policies and the state of gender equality. This video catalysed education and recognition of the over sexualisation of women breasts in media.

MACMA: Man boobs for boobs, Video campaign

There are several factors which created such success, apart from its humorous, creative demonstration, the clarity, simplicity and concise nature effectively allowed it to be welcomed in the social media environments. Easily accessible and universal everyone could enjoy, understand and appreciate its worth. Also, it further inquired the involvement of men, not only targeting women, they introduced the possibility that men are also exposed to breast cancer. Creating the hashtag ‘#manboobsforboobs, this included the participation of all genders.

From this we can reflect on the importance of policies, despite strictures, designers should creatively circumvent the problem. Especially when designing a tobacco control intervention campaign for Central Java, it becomes important to understand the laws and cultural practices, to relate and socially engage with the audience. Economically, tobacco is a large market in Indonesia, as smoking is believed to enhance masculinity, when influencing behavioural change, it is always important to “prevent possible adverse social and economic impact” [World Health Organization 2005]. Further clearly explaining the justification for  behavioural change, ultimately educating “ people to understand the harmful effect of tobacco better” [World Health Organization 2005] would naturally encourage change.


MACMA 2016, MACMA en los Medios, Florencia Morén, Chaco 40 – 4th B, Buenos Aires City viewed 22 November 2019. <>

World Health Organization 2005, WHO FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.<>

N. HoussamiS. CiattoF. MartinelliR. BonardiS. W. Duffy 2009, Early detection of second breast cancers improves prognosis in breast cancer survivors, Annals of Oncology, Volume 20, Issue 9, Oxford University Press. <>

Maurer Foundations 2019, How to do a Breast Self-Exam, Zubko Media, Melville, New York, viewed 22 November 2019. <>

Mimi NichterS. PadmawatiM. DanardonoN. NgY. PrabandariMark Nichter 2009, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia,  BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.,  Emil Haury Building, Tucson, Arizona, USA. <>


Adsoftheworldvideo 2016, MACMA: Man boobs for boobs, campaign video, Youtube, viewed 22 November 2019. <>