“PENELEH DALAM SKETSA”: Kampung as the Heart of Indonesia’s Urban Life

by Rita Padawangi

Peneleh Dalam Sketsa is a book of sketches on Kampung Peneleh, and is a collaboration between SEANNET and Urban Sketchers Surabaya. Starting with meetings in March and April 2019 to conceptualise the book, the collaboration continued with month-long sketching activities at various locations in Kampung Peneleh. Peneleh Dalam Sketsa portrays meaningful spaces in the everyday life of kampung, the heart of Indonesia’s urban life.

The book consists of five chapters, namely 1) lingkungan (environment), 2) bangunan (buildings), 3) aktivitas (activities), 4) makanan (food), and 5) makam (tombs). The chapters are based on SEANNET research findings, which had documented meaningful spaces and activities in the neighborhood. Each sketch is accompanied with narratives to shed light on the importance of the spaces and activities that the sketcher had drawn.

The sketchbook production process itself was a learning journey for all who were involved. The small public sketching activities culminated in an Urban Sketchers Surabaya event on 5 May 2019, which brought more than 30 urban sketchers to Peneleh. The urban sketchers observed and interacted with community members and the spaces. Starting with sketching the Dutch cemetery in the morning, during the day the sketchers spread to various alleyways of Kampung Peneleh, guided by SEANNET team members to facilitate interaction with community members. The event culminated in a neighborhood gathering, with a complete lunch that featured Peneleh culinary traditions.

The public sketching activity on 5 May 2019 was covered by local newspapers in Surabaya (Image from Jawa Pos, 6 May 2019).

After Urban Sketchers Surabaya conducted selections over more than one hundred sketches from the public sketching event, both SEANNET and Urban Sketchers decided on the sketches that would represent each topic. With layout design by Arkom Jatim, the chosen sketches are now put together with their accompanying narratives in Peneleh Dalam Sketsa. All the topics and narratives are based on SEANNET community-engaged research in Peneleh.

Peneleh Cemetery football, a sketch by Jonathan Irwan (2019). The sketches and their narratives are attempts to capture the soul of Kampung Peneleh through its everyday life.

The sketches and their narratives are attempts to capture the soul of Kampung Peneleh through its everyday life, in the effort to emphasize the importance of kampung as the heart of Indonesia’s urban life. At present, Peneleh Dalam Sketsa is only available in Indonesian language. SEANNET Surabaya Team is now in the process of translating the book into English. The book is available for free PDF (with watermark) download. The version without watermark is available on print-on-demand basis.

SEANNET Surabaya Team would like to express sincere appreciation and gratitude to residents and leaders of Kampung Peneleh, Urban Sketchers Surabaya, and Arkom Jatim. Peneleh Dalam Sketsa will not be possible without their support and participation.

Download the Peneleh Dalam Sketsa here or view it directly on our site.

For more information about Peneleh Dalam Sketsa, please contact SEANNET Surabaya Team at peneleh.seannet@gmail.com.

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