Musician Mata Kai

6355 €

Reclaiming Indonesian Identity for Sexual & Gender Minorities through Music: Dangdut Disco for Queer Liberation

Indonesian LGBTQ+ Musician and activist Kai Mata will compose a celebratory contemporary album orating Indonesian unity, tradition, and hope—while highlighting the struggles faced by Indonesian queer identities from the lens of past, present, and future. They will use Indonesian Dangdut—a genre that blends musical characteristics, of Hindustani, Arabic, Malay, and folk traditions—to showcase the vast diversity of gender and sexual orientations and pride in a multicultural archipelago. This will be the first album in history that explicitly explores queer identities within the Indonesian language. They will modernize this Dangdut interpretation with contemporary disco elements to propel themes of queer liberation. These songs will bring queer discourse into mainstream view while maintaining their roots in traditionally Indonesian soundscapes. Bilingual (English and Indonesian) lyrical themes include, but are not limited to: 1. Queer tolerance from the pre-colonial age through the description of the vibrant Bugis culture—one that celebrates five genders—along with other varying examples of Indonesian queer traditions in arts and music.   2. Ballad for an ideal future focused on Indonesia’s national motto, Unity in Diversity (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika), contextualizing it nto today’s cultural landscape, showcasing to queer Indonesians their right to call this country their homeland. 3. Current-day stories of queer displacement: Indonesians who must choose between living in their home country while hiding their identity, or sacrificing their culture and immigrating to other countries for their marginalized identities. 4. Celebratory pride anthem with Indonesian LGBTQ+ codes/euphemisms to reclaim identity and recognize queerness as inherently Indonesian. With Indonesia's current landscape criminalizing pre-marital sex, raiding LGBTQ+ owned venues, and growing discrimination against minorities, this album will provide much-needed representation for LGBTQ+ Indonesians.