Retyan Sekar, a researcher in this discussion under the theme: The Space and Power in Jogja, got interesting and unusual findings. Retyan drew conclusions from her research (research title: Normalization of Demonstrations at the Jogja Zero Kilometers. He tracked during the pre-reformation era in Indonesia, none of the activists in the 80s and 90s were interested in protesting at the zero kilometer of Jogja. “In that era, the demonstration was usually held at the Gedung Agung or the closest is at Keraton Palace,” said Retyan, who is also a student female activist in Yogyakarta.
There is no big magnet to protest at Zero Kilometers’ Jogja, said one of the research sources. Likewise, during the reform era, the concentration of student demonstrations was not at Zero Kilometers’ Jogja. “In fact, the Gejayan Street, Bundaran UGM, and along the Malioboro Street or the Gedung Agung (National Palace) were the points of action,” Retyan said in the Monthly Routine Discussion of UII Communication Department on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in the RAV (Mini Theatre) Room of UII Communication Department.
The student and civil protest is going to be popular to be held at the zero Kilometer of Jogja is in the post-reform era around 2004. At that time, many artists who protested at zero-kilometer Jogja as a form of counter-discourse to the government. In 2010 until now, the opposite happened. The Provincial Government of Yogyakarta carried out a counter discourse by making the zero kilometer jogja, at the end of Malioboro street, as the center of Jogja’s. What have they done was by revitalizing the infrastructure of the zero kilometers so that Zero Kilometer Jogja become the center of everything. Retyan, by the Geographic Communication perspective and using the Foucoult’s theory that listed in “Discipline and Punish”, saw this practice of space production by this local government as the normalization of protest actions.
There is discipline, supervision, and surveillance, by the local government through the media and various factors in the protest actions that held at the zero-kilometer point of Jogja. The demonstration at the zero kilometers is also being mediated by the media. Even though during the pre-reform and reformation, there was no interest and important point to made the zero kilometer as the peak of the demonstration. In the middle of the discussion, during the question and answer session, one of the discussion participants, Razik, questioned Retyan’s analysis, and quoting Henry Lefebvre’s thought.
“How actually happened, is media the only one that formed a Zero Kilometer as an action/ demonstration space or actually there are other factors or elements that formed? Is zero space important because it is part of “mode of production” of the capitalism model in Jogja?” Asked Razik. Retyan answered that she did not deny that there were other factors that formed the Zero Kilometer of Jogja as space of the center of the demonstration, but her research focus was that the media also contributed to the protest actions so that activists in the post reform era choosing zero kilometers of Jogja rather than at other locations such as other activists in the previous era.
This Discussions that were also carried out while breaking the fasting of ramadhan was became a space of appreciation and meeting of ideas. It also became a forum for sharing stories, methods, and techniques in conducting or doing research at the UII Communication Studies.
This writing is a continuation of What’s Up with Jogja Scrummy and the Zero Kilometer of Jogja?