The Convicted Ireland in Van Diemen’s Land


Footsteps Towards Freedom by Rowan Gillespie

“You know child, these sculpture is about our great great great grandmothers who was convicted into this island years ago.” a granny spoke to me when I was standing and admiring a sculpture in the city of Hobart. I looked at her and smile, feeling still not so good with English conversation, I nod and said that I was curious about it.

“You could read it one the bases, those are their names. Uh, I’ve got to go now, enjoy the weather dear.” the she left with her red bike, I told her to enjoy her day and got back to my camera, tried to capture the sculpture.


I’m not so great.

I am also not a great artist and seeing these somehow made me feel a little jealous. These sculptures made me feel sad alongside with the red bike granny short tale. The next thing I did surely to google these sculptures and found a way to their website, I learnt that it called Footsteps Towards Freedom. It was made by Rowan Gillispie, an Irish sculptor that inspired by a historical even where thousands of women was convicted and stepped into their unknown future along with their children in Van Diemen’s Land or what we called today Tasmania.

This story was happened in March 2018 during an artist residency program in a little town called Cradoc, 30 minutes from Hobart. I wrote this as a form of encouragement of what I’m doing these day. Stepped into unknown future in a land where is not belong to my country with I think a much better circumstances than what those women had.

This is my footsteps toward freedom.

Urang Sunda In Adelaide



City of Adelaide.

I remember clearly how I know that there is a city called Adelaide. It all start by reading Raditya Dika’s Kambing Jantan, a freaking hilarious book that I read in senior high school. This book led me to start listening to Aditya Sofyans’s song, called Adelaide Sky, this song just made me wondering what it looks like sitting in the middle of parks beside the city where I grew up. Those time in senior high school was a very intense time when my mind keep wandering and wondering how would I feel if I go travel the world and somehow those wishful thinking had been led me into Adelaide in November 2018.

I’ve been in Adelaide now for about 3 months exploring this city using Work and Holiday Visa. Sitting in the middle of a park, yes. Strolling around, biking thru the cities, lost to a suburb, swimming in the beach, watching a whole bunch of people go fishing, making friends, and definitely working so I could make a living in this beautiful city. Do you know what do I feel after this 3 months ? That it felt so much like Bandung, the city where I grew up.

Adelaide that I see is a laid back city full with a bunch laid back people, just like Bandung. Everybody is so nice and it happened that I met a whole pack of Sundanese people. I even live with 3 of them and almost every week got to taste Bandung’s street food that I thought I cannot lose in my life. What’s incredible again about this city that it have one Indonesian store called BAKULAN that sell every single snacks that have been my medicine for my feeling of homesick even though I think I’ve never felt one. LOL. So believe me, Indonesian, you would love to live in Adelaide.

Apart from those nostalgic Indonesian things, Adelaide is known as one of the city that have so many festival held in it especially in February and March. This city also have many pop up Sunday markets that sell almost anything. From fruit and veg to vintages, crafts, shoes, soap, even I can found Jamu in here. But my favourite Sunday market so far is Stirling. It held every last Sunday of the month in Stirling, a little town in Adelaide Hills where I think it have the most nice and kindest people across Adelaide.

Adelaide also can be freakishly crowded around public holidays like Christmas, New Years, and of course Australia Day. Those are days when you wonder where are these people come from, because you can occasionally bump into the same stranger in this city and it kind of makes you think that Adelaide is a pretty quite city.

For what it’s worth, Adelaide is a great city for a people who don’t really like crowded place like Jakarta or Melbourne but sometimes love to be standing in a crowd and be part of some exciting events. For me, it makes me feel like I’m not the only Indonesian who love to live in Australia with endless Indonesian food supplies.



I’ve been told that I’m stupid. It was harsh, but hilarious at the same time. Why people should really care about how you couldn’t count numbers without using your hand or about how you couldn’t remember the year of every president’s election. Well, I think the answer is because people simply love to be smarter, maybe just a light smarter, reading one more book or watching film that someone never been. I said it isn’t stupid. People simply never feel everything or experience everything.


Just a short shout, I will make the article tho. Wait.

Larantuka Market


It was about 10 o’clock, I walked with Theo to explore Larantuka and we arrived at that city market. Theo said that traditional market will definitely give us all information the place’s crops and farms by just looking at them. Larantuka’s market was full with colourful vegetable but there wasn’t much fruit in there and since this city is in the end of an island, so they have many fishes in the market. I usually always taste everything that I found interesting if I go to a traditional market, here in Larantuka, my all time favourite is jagung titi. Corns, burned and pounded, a light snack to accompanying coffee and such.

It wasn’t really a busy market, but they all greeted us warmly. They called us a journalist just because we brought a camera, well, it’s one of my dream but, okay no need to talk about it. Yet. So they greeted, we talked, we laughed, asked a lil bit about the corps and of course bought 3 kilos jagung titi.


Mudik (v) : Going back to your hometown

Living in one of Indonesia’s big city such as Bandung for almost 19 years has made me one of that nyunda girl. Talking with Sundanese accent with a ‘teh’ and ‘mah’ in almost every end of sentence like every othere Sundanese girl doesn’t make me feel like we’re all the same. So I started to ask my friends, done some little research, and I found out that Bandung is full with a comer from all other Sunda tribe all over West Java. I love to know that facts because I was actually born in Payakumbuh from a very multi-cultural family (I’ll tell you about it later). So we’re all have no difference in the differences.

Since I was live in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra, where the people are tend to be a bit bolder than Sundanese, I also have those tendency to talk boldly to people. That’s how the first time a question popped up in my head, ‘I traveled to learn about other culture but how come I’ve never travel back to where I was born and I can’t recall any memories of that place ?’

Then I bought a ticket to my hometown.

Well, it’s not that simple. However, I finally arrived in Minangkabau International Airport and my neighbor, Om Ef, who used to babysit me, were standing right in front of the arrival gate. Waiting. To pick me. To going back to my hometown. So we drove, 2 hours long, and he was just keep talking, telling me stories. Stories that I couldn’t even remember and it made me feel blue. But the blue’s blown away when I arrive at my hometown. Payakumbuh.

Om Ef was still living next to our old house, it’s different. Some things change but I could remember the window where I and my brother used to sit hours waiting for our parents to come home in the evening. I could remember the paddy field in front of our house where I fell and cover my face with mud. I could remember the street where I was playing hide and seek then I stumbled to some rock and ripped of my chin. It was magical, how a place can bring back your memories that you’ve desperately have tried but nothing came up and just when you felt the atmosphere of those places, it just popped up.

Yep, the breeze will tell you everything and I bet these pictures could do more story-telling about how I feel. I feel home.


Warmest Regards,

Yang Merindu.

an intro to hopefully a never ending journey

Hi folks,

In June 13, I realized that I will be 23, plus 3 from what I have ever called ‘forever twenty’. That was the time when I committed to always feels like a 20 years old : passionate and ridiculously happy with a little things I have. Well, graduated last April made me feel dazed and confused. Why ? Where are those passions ? What should I do ? Those and all hundreds or maybe thousand question popped up in my head and of course also it has ever popped in your head. Graduating as a visual artist and having a very huge interest in cultures, human, empowering communities, remote area, etc. has made me realized that I have a very long bucket list to fulfill.

So I made this. This one’s for me, for celebrating every single magical (maybe an usual thing for you) thing that ever and would happened in my very humble life. Hoping and making my passions become true.