The Italian cultural institute Jakarta is the official Italian government agency for the promotion of cultural exchanges between Indonesia and Italy. In operation since 2000, the institution cooperates with universities, academies and other organisations and orchestrates impressive Italian cultural events in Indonesia.
Formally the Istituto Cultura di Italiano Jakarta, it also cooperates with Italian studies departments in Indonesian universities and works with them in humanities and natural science studies; it also awards scholarships for study and research in Italy and sets up language courses with examinations for the certification of teachers of Italian as a foreign language. Director Michela Linda Magri shares with Indonesia Tatler the institute’s schedule of events in December and onwards in 2017.
What do you have in store for December? On December 6, we have the launching of a book by Vanni Puccioni about Elio Modigliani’s expedition to southern Nias, then a forbidden territory for foreigners. From 18861894, the famous Italian anthropologist, zoologist and plant collector explored Sumatra and a number of islands off its western coast. Meanwhile, December 8 will see a photography exhibition featuring the works by Elisabetta Zavoli entitled “Mangrove Loss”. Mangroves have been erroneously classified as wastelands and the institute is organising this photo exhibition to increase awareness regarding this issue.
Tell us about the institute’s programmes in 2017. During the first part of the year, we are going to bring Renzo Piano to Indonesia—he is a prominent architect and engineer who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998. We have also contacted a number of architects here to set up seminars with him. To have this maestro here is our dream; he has visited and held seminars in China and Japan but never here. Piano is the 10th most influential person in the “Arts and Entertainment” category of the 2006 TIME 100 list.
What are the institute’s highlights for the second part of 2017? Stefano Bollani will be our highlight for the second part of the year. We are going to match up the Italian jazz pianist from Campi Bisenzio to play together with an Indonesian group and/ or orchestra. We are considering D’Massiv, Avip Priatna or Ananda Sukarlan, but I am not sure whether I can make a deal with one of them.
Do you see enthusiasm among Jakartans regarding Italian culture? They know Italy from common things, like pizza, pasta, football, Vespas and Ferraris. By way of our events, we try to open and broaden their horizons so that Italy also means architecture, the arts, design, fashion, music, science, and more.
(Photo by Heri B Heryanto)