BERTUTUR LEWAT MATA
Photos are more than just the result of focusing the camera lens on something. A photograph can speak and tell a story because it is a medium and even a vehicle for expressing a purpose and intention. Therefore, a photo book is more than just a collection of snapshots or nostalgic memories and flashbacks; it is also a form of literacy in understanding a narrative of life.
Disabilitas Berkarya is an initiative by Leo Arief Budiman to teach photography and batik knowledge to a group of children at UPTD Liponsos Kalijudan in Surabaya. Their names are Pina, Jacky, Omay, Mukidi, and Kiking. They are four deaf and mute children and one child with down syndrome who have exceptional visual abilities that allowed them to participate in a UNICEF workshop (2019) and have their works until their work was shown exhibited at the ‘Gürzenich House’ in Cologne, Germany. Their first photobook, “TUTUR MATA,” was published at the end of 2021. You can follow the #SeruHore activities on Instagram at @disabilitas_berkarya.
On Freitag, Januar 27th, 2023, Wisma Jerman, in collaboration with Disabilitas Berkarya, hosted an event titled “BERTUTUR LEWAT MATA” to celebrate the presence existence of the photo book. Mr. Mike Neuber, Director of Wisma Jerman, opened the event and introduced the audience to the discussion theme “The Existence of Photobooks in the Digital Age”. The discussion presented three speakers: Leo Arief Budiman (founder of Disabilitas Berkarya), Mamuk Ismuntoro (photo book editor “TUTUR MATA”), and Irfan Wahyudi, PhD. (Lecturer of Photography and New Media FISIP UNAIR) and was moderated by Dhahana Adi Pungkas (Cultural Program Assistant of Wisma Jerman). The event was attended by 32 people, including Ms. Sandra Vivier, Director of the Institut Francais Indonesia (IFI) Surabaya, the Dean of FIKOM Ciputra University, Representatives of the US Consul General for Surabaya, and Dr. Ratna Sawitri from Yayasan Peduli Kasih ABK Surabaya.
The publication of this book can serve as a reminder that children without parents like Pina, Jacky, Omay, Mukidi, and Kiking, despite their limitations, can participate in society and create meaningful contributions if given the same space and opportunity. This book offers proof that visual intelligence belongs to everyone, and access should not be limited based on mental or physical health, or for any other reason.
The events were supported by FISIP UNAIR and Komunitas Teman Bicara. We would like to thank them for their support and express our gratitude to everyone who participated. We look forward to welcoming you again at our next event. The continued support from all parties involved and the promotional efforts by BASRA (Berita Anak Surabaya), who covered the event exclusively, contributed to the event’s success.