From The Jakarta Post: http://thejakartapost.com/detailfeatures.asp?fileid=20070317.W04&irec=3
I've browsed through this article and found some basic mistakes: my name is actually Dwinita ("Dinita" is what's spelled in the exhibition's catalogue), I've never studied graphic design and I haven't got my drawings published except for the ones in anthologies (40075km-comics, Belgium and 24HCD, USA and The Netherlands). I'll write a letter to JP soon..
Dinita Larasati: Bridging differences through comics
A. Junaidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
"Tita" Larasati has a doctorate in architecture from the Delft
University of Technology in the Netherlands, but the public at large
would probably better recognize her for her graphic diary comics than
her academic credentials.
One of Tita's comics will soon be published in The 24 Hour Comics book in the United States.
The journey to the U.S. was not easy. Over 1,200 comic writers from 17
countries submitted their stories to the organizing committee, which
chose the 10 best entries to be published in a book titled 24 Hour Comics Day 2007. One of the 10 comics selected was Tita's -- titled Transition -- which is also features at the on-going Indie comics exhibition at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta.
The exhibition, which is being attended by 10 comic writers from Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta, ends today.
deals with the role of cultural differences in human relations, drawing
inspiration mainly from Tita's, and her friends', experiences living in
In one of the drawings, for example, Tita, who is also a lecturer at
the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), describes how her Indonesian
friends, on their first visit to the Netherlands, became infuriated
when her Dutch husband, while stirring coffee, would point to a
location on a map with his foot, an act considered impolite back in
another drawing, Tita shows how Indonesians living in the Netherlands,
including herself, have to learn "small" habits, such as mentioning
their name when answering the phone. In Indonesia, merely saying
"hello" is sufficient.
also points out how two things can have different functions in two
countries with different cultures. In Indonesia, and perhaps in other
developing countries, a house window is a place where children, and
sometimes adults, from the neighborhood would watch from outside a TV
that was in the house, while in the Netherlands and other developed
countries, the same window functions as a place for house owners to
look out of while watching TV.
All Tita's drawings, which are classified as Indie comics, are full of
details and lines placed in small panels. This is thanks to her
background in graphic design.
"All my works are about my personal experiences, such as traveling,"
Tita said in a discussion on Indie comics at Taman Ismail Marzuki Art
Center in Central Jakarta last Saturday.
Transition, along with other works by nine local cartoonists, which are categorized in the Do It Yourself (DIY) genre of comics, has been on exhibition at the center since March 3.
The comics are classified as DIY because the writers produce and
distribute their works by themselves, as mainstream publishing
companies often reject their "market-unfriendly" comics.
Indie comic artists can create whatever they want and address sensitive
themes such as violence perpetrated by military officers or certain
Some observers view Indie comics as a symbol of rejection of the
dictatorial power represented in large publishing companies, be this
political of economical in nature.
Although they do not hate the state or big companies, Indie comic
writers want to highlight the fact that both the state and big
corporations have done nothing to improve their lives and that freedom
is the key concept they are trying to convey.
Tita, 35, has so far published five graphic diary books and two comics -- Re-United and Still Life, which is about the massive earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2005.
In her books, which mostly tell of her journeys, Tita often attaches
items such as tickets and candy wrappers because of their artistic
there are any mainstream companies that want to publish my work, they
have to follow what I want ... in terms of the details of my comics,"
the mother of two said.
Tita, who was born in Jakarta on Dec. 28, 1972, has published most of her works, including those selected in The 24 Hour Comics Day book, in her blog http://esduren.multiply.com.
She knows very well that piracy is rampant in the Indie comics world
and other indie worlds, but still chooses not to care too much about
property rights violations.
"They can steal my works, but they can not steal my ideas," said Tita,
who earned her master's degree in graphic design at Eindhoven
University of Technology in the Netherlands.