BERSATU KITA TEGUH BERCERAI KITA RUNTUH
RIDWAN RAU RAU
In “Bersatu Kita Teguh Bercerai Kita Runtuh,” I—along with invited audience members—tied and strung sticks one by one, and wrapped them around my neck until my entire neck and face were covered with the sticks. This action recalled the theory of sapu lidi, which in the philosophy of the Indonesian nation is a symbol of togetherness and unity. The theory is simple but profound: one stick easily breaks and can not be used for much of anything. However many sticks, if united in one bond, can become a strong and useful broom.
This is a continual project of the familial spirit that my country has long used to unite and reconcile Indonesian society since time immemorial, but is now beginning to be forgotten. Deliberation, familiarity, and mutual cooperation are all hallmarks of the Indonesian nation that I try to highlight in my performance work.