Sedekah Benih

Vincent Rumahloine and Mang Dian

‘Sedekah’ is a term derived from the Arabic word sadakah, an act of voluntary giving by Muslims without limitations in time or amount. ‘Benih’ means seeds.

Sadaqah comes from the Arabic word sadaqah, which means giving voluntarily. Seeds are seeds, seedlings are small plants. Sedekah Seed tries to build safe spaces and relationships between people from various backgrounds online and offline through collective memories of plants. Through the activity of distributing seeds to the participants of the Sedekah Sedekah, the participants tried to find and explore the public’s memory of tiis leungeun (a person talented in farming). Sedekah Benih tries to find and document the traditional knowledge about ecology in society passed down from generation to generation through art and media. We see that this traditional knowledge can be learned, developed, and shared to solve the current climate change problem. Sedekah Benih consists of three stages: seed selection, seed growing and care, and the harvest festival. We are currently in the second stage.

Through developing this project in Bandung, Indonesia, we discovered how the musical instrument karinding is used as a medium of expression and a map of how we understand and communicate with the environment. Karinding is used on various occasions, one of which is before and after planting seeds. Sound waves from the tutungulan karinding game pattern are believed to be a medium of communication with plants to stimulate plant stomata to open. Karinding is also trusted as a communication medium to ask permission from animals and spirits who have previously occupied the land. We are still collecting traditional ecological knowledge from the people in Bandung and will expand to other places in the future. You can hear the recording sound of tutungulan performed by the traditional musician in our greenhouse installation and their collaboration with electronic music online.

What you see today is the progress of the Sedekah Benih project, which started in April 2021. You are welcome to join and experience our program by following the instructions on our trolley to adopt the plant. Currently, 100 participants are learning to become a tiis leungeun by growing chili plants in their respective homes in Bandung. The public’s collective memory of plants becomes the common ground and safe space. Everyone involved in Sedekah Benih will interact with each other regardless of their respective backgrounds. There are many stories related to plants around the world that have been told from generation to generation. What’s the story like? Is there a tiis leungeun around us? Or do you have a green thumb? Let’s share the story and learn with us.

 

Vincent Rumahloine is a contemporary artist that playfully interrogates the social fabric and the mundane in society. His work mainly revolves around people; from social issues, human rights, traditional values, human relations, collective memories to re-designing historic narratives. Rumahloine is the winner of the sixth Bandung Contemporary Art Award 2019. His winning project Don’t Call Me A Hero was exhibited in the Latiwangi Art Gallery in Bandung and tells the story about an Indonesian exile in Prague, who lost his citizenship after the 1965 tragedy. Vincent’s work bridges the gaps in society by adding a twist of uncanniness and by using artistic strategies to get closer to the experiences and lives of (non-art minded) others. Vincent graduated in Ceramics at The Bandung Institute of Technology in 2009. He worked as an art teacher and as a social worker with HIV/AIDS victims, before becoming a full-time artist. His project has been presented at Pulosari Public Space in Bandung, Contemporary Ujazdowksi Castle in Warsaw (Poland) and The National Gallery of Indonesia in Jakarta.

Mang Dian is an environmental activist that works with the river, waste management and urban farming in Bandung, Indonesia together with Cikapundung Community, Karang Taruna, dan PHL BBWS Citarum. He is now the director of Masagi Community and head of the neighbourhood 04 Cibogo, Bandung. He runs and manages his urban farming activity at his small garden called Urban Organik Farm at Cibogo, Bandung.

Rumahloine and Dian have worked together since 2014, in the projects Kuncen Leuwi and Family Portrait Project. Currently, they are collaborating in Sedekah Benih and Rubicon, a project collaboration between Rakarsa Foundation, IFI Bandung and Goethe Institut Bandung with the support of the German – France Cultural Fund. 

 

Project Credits
Raphael, Zyfra, Djuli Pamungkas, Everyting in Between, Rizki Triyana, Karinding Keos, Bah Echonk, Okid, Mang Aseng, Mang Sandi, Yesyesyes, BottleSmoker, Tegar, Gentra Wirahma, Baya, Nurul, Firdhan, Haikal, Wanti, Mang Ade and Mang Iya. 

Acknowledgments
Our family, Driving The Human production team, Goethe-Institut Bandung, Rakarsa Foundation, Buruan Sae, Masagi Community, Wangunsari News, Sesama, Saujana Doc, Female Plus, Samahita, Srikandi Pasundan, Komuji, Puzzle, Sanggar Seni Rupa Kontemporer, Dapur Musafir, All Participants in Bandung and Berlin, and all tiis leungeun in Bandung.