Jakarta Old Town Reborn: Kota Tua Creative Festival 2014

Weekly photo challenge theme was… “relic”!
Prompt from here.

Batavia ©mk17design

Batavia ©mk17design


Pronunciation: /ˈrɛlɪk /

1.    An object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest: a museum of railway relics
1.1  A part of a deceased holy person’s body or belongings kept as an object of reverence: miracles wrought by the relics of St Stephen
1.2 A person or thing that has survived from an earlier time but is now outmoded: the supermodel has become an embarrassing relic from the early 1990s

Middle English: from Old French relique (originally plural), from Latin reliquiae (see reliquiae).

Speaking of the devil.

There was an event called KTCF 2014 last month, short for Kota Tua Creative Festival 2014. “Kota Tua” means “Old Town”, in this context referring to the historical parts of the oh-so-grand Jakarta. If you don’t know where Jakarta is, check the news site. It’s a capital city of the country that’s having a massive presidential election dilemma at the moment.

KTCF 2014

KTCF 2014

The event was focusing on revitalising this particular historical site – Old Town Jakarta. The site had been abandoned for quite some time until the latest governor, the first one who actually gives a damn about this forgotten part of the city, started to take care of it and liven things up.

To start it all, when we say Kota Tua, we usually refer to the area consisting of The Fatahillah Square, the ancient-yet-still-functioning train station (called Stasiun Beos / Stasiun Jakarta Kota), the heaps of abandoned buildings often used for photoshoot, and the line of museums surrounding the site. Those, and probably the river that nobody sane would jump into.

This is what the site normally looks like.

Didn't take this picture but look at that cat. Curiosity hasn't got her!

This is the Fatahillah Square and the Fatahillah Museum.Didn’t take this picture but look at that cat. Curiosity hasn’t got her!

Photo by Ed Wray/Getty Images. Check this amazing building!

The interior of Rumah Akar. Photo by Ed Wray/Getty Images. Check out this amazing building!

Like I said, amazing spots for photoshoot. I once had one in that place – it was awesomely dramatic. Although if you knew the mysteries about this places, you might wanna think twice before doing anything in there.


Kota tua Creative Festival is all about bring this place back to life and making it a part of the current Jakarta life instead of just another weekend spot for the tourists and photo hunters.

There were installations and architecture exhibition of works by international starchitects like MVRDV, Shau, OMA/AMO, and local architects Han Awal and Yori Antar. Projects with visions of mixed-use programs in the old ruins, my favourite project in the exhibitions done by OMA/AMO (check the first photo in this post, the scale model was for this one). And something that reminded me of Marina Bay Sands’s Gardens by The Bay… like, seriously. Wasn’t expecting that from MVRDV. There were a round table discussion that went on with a square table instead (because, as explained by one of the hosts Imelda Akmal, round tables are hard to find). There were museum walks and art exhibitions…

Check out this vid by DGI (Desain Grafis Indonesia).

There were pop-up stalls featuring urban sketchers and local artisans. Live music. This simple yet pretty installations, featuring the dreams of Jakarta citizens of the city.

Dreams ©mk17design

Dreams ©mk17design

The vibe tickled the well-hidden architecture graduate in me. It was all good, all exciting, and all kinds of refreshing. That was how Jakarta is supposed to be.

Our current Jakarta governor goes by the name “Ahok”, used to be the vice-governor to the ever-famous Jokowi. Now that he’s running for the president spot, Ahok filled in the governor seat. Just so you know, this duo was the first ruling officials that actually gave a sh*t about the city and took actions to fix it.

I have high hopes for this city, and I believe if the programs were to be acted on, Jakarta will change into a better place instead of just another piece of forgotten relic.


3 thoughts on “Jakarta Old Town Reborn: Kota Tua Creative Festival 2014

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Relics | WoollyMuses

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