31 May Wayang Samudra Make Their Début
Raising awareness of marine conservation issues takes many forms, including traditional storytelling. To stimulate public interest, the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) is using wayang, the famed traditional Indonesia shadow puppets, as a medium to highlight marine conservation and showcase the interrelationship between culture and nature.
On May 16, CTC introduced its collection of Wayang Samudra or Ocean Shadow Puppets. Board member, retired lawyer and noted wayang collector Gregory Churchill inspired the creation of the wayang collection.Drawing from the 25 wayang characters, CTC’s first Wayang Samudra performance too place in the office’s pool and featured popular Coral Triangle fish and animal species such as: mandarin fish, sea turtles, tuna and clownfish. In the narrative, the fish discussed their way of life in different marine and coastal ecosystems, the threats they faced and how they could stop the destruction of their home.
The performance was created by two dalang, or puppeteers- Sujono Keron and Sih Agung Prasetyo, from the Lima Gunung Art Community based in Magelang, Central Java. The artists are known for their traditional and innovative storytelling as a way to highlight pressing environmental issues. Their most recent work was on the improper waste management of the river in their hometown.
CTC will keep working with the dalang to enhance Wayang Samudra for a series of performances to be held in Bali in October this year.