Monday, July 29, 2019


The Asian Network for Industrial Heritage (ANIH) has gathered in Chiayi, Taiwan, 30 June-5 July 2019. The theme was the history of railways heritage. I presented a paper titled "RAILWAYS HERITAGE OF INDONESIA: Celebrating Mobility in the Archipelago" and my junior colleague from Sumatra Heritage Trust, Shindi Indira presented a paper about railways history in Sumatra. 

I tried to bring the ANIH 2020 to Indonesia and I tried to convince all other members of ANIH. Indonesia is relatively left behind in the field of industrial heritage compared to Europe or other Asian countries like Taiwan. It is very challenging to raise awareness about the importance of industrial heritage conservation in Indonesia, moreover about the proper practice of its conservation and adaptive reuse. That is why I was and am motivated to bring the Asian network in 2020 with the hope that it will wake up the Indonesian authorities about how industrial heritage assets might contribute to the country's development.

Sawahlunto could be an attractive venue for ANIH 2020. The local government has a financial commitment already as a host, the former coal mining site has just put in the World Heritage List of UNESCO and it is in Sumatra (I support decentralization for anywhere outside Java!). Sawahlunto can be connected to railways heritage (Mak Itam locomotive), water and heritage (Emma Haven, the local port in West Sumatra) and relation to the Indarung I, the cement factory from the Dutch Indies period. I really need to sit down to formulate the whole program and to mobilize resources before the end of 2019. 

Another result of the ANIH 2019, I brought Shindi Indira with me. A young colleague from Medan whom I knew for about 20 years. This was part of the regeneration that is always becoming my priority. Shindi became a keynote speaker in the Field School program in Chiayi mostly for students. It was an icebreaker for her and she has done it very well. I was and am so proud of her. I took her to the Ten Drums Cultural Park as well to see how the former sugar factory is transformed beautifully into a creative cultural hub to revitalize the traditional music instrument drum in Tainan, Taiwan. We have accompanied by Theresa Tseng, an economics professor who has a mission to bridge dream and reality, money and heritage, accountant and artists. Three of us have come to an idea to organize a field school for Indonesian students to come to the Ten Drums Cultural Park early 2020.