So again, while I continue to look for funding so that I can return to Java, I also find ways to continue to build the connections I need to pull this project together, including connections with a couple of new photographers.
With the help of Tino Djumini, I’ve recently met Amran Malik Hakim.
A recent graduate of the Jakarta Art Academy, Hakim brings a totally different element to this project. Like Aumdaya and Djumini, Hakim works is a pretty traditional documentary mode of photography. His subject and approach, however, are quite different.
Hakim photographs children with Autism in Java. He works in a very traditional and composed manner, using a sort of classical portraiture to render his subjects. The children in his photographs seem dignified and vulnerable.
Until recently, children with these kinds of disabilities were ostracized in Indonesia, and not given the right sort of care of resources for education or other needs. It’s really in the post Soeharto era that children with these kinds of disabilities are being integrated into society, and given the right opportunities for education.
The pictures remind me a little bit of Diane Arbus. There is a harsh edge at times, but also a sense of love and gentleness.
I really hope to be back in Java soon so that I can continue putting all of this together.