Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cover Story

Hot off the press! Gangs of Indonesia's original gang photograph takes the front cover of the new issue of Jakarta Expat.
Labouring in the centre of the image is a man collecting waste cardboard in the Bendungan Hilir neighbourhood in central Jakarta. It's an inner city gang...the scene of much morning activity...

Hearing a whoop, doors open and a chorus of women in baggy dresses bustle from their homes into the lane. It's a narrow leafy lane with drainage ditches, black and stagnant, on either side. Simple planks cross the open drains; some are bridges to the houses beyond, others hold plants and flowers growing in old paint cans. It's early: the bite of the sun has yet to come.

The whoop is the call of a vegetable vendor, pushing his wares in a wheeled cart. He kicks down the stand of the wooden cart and the women prod the market vegetables. One eye on the produce and an ear for the daily gossip.
This mobile market is a fresh salad of bean sprouts, leafy greens, tomatoes, peppercorns, oncom (fermented soy beans), prawn crackers, boxed coconut milk, and dried noodles. Draping the side of the cart like shiny grey fish scales are layers and layers of transparent plastic bags.
A young mother spoons puree into the pout of her eight-month-old daughter. She sighs. "It's difficult to make her eat." The baby's bare thighs are splattered with sauce. Then a dappled cat trots past. "Puss," coos the mother. "Meow. Where's he going?" But the baby remains tight-lipped and the gruel trickles down her chin.

"Have you got chicken liver?" a woman asks. The vegetable vendor opens a door within the body of the cart. In the gloom a single yellow chicken foot claws upwards from a hillock of bagged entrails. "I've got chicken, beef, and prawns," he lists. The women berate him for his prices and the haggling begins.

1 comment:

  1. hi, I really enjoy this site especially it's portrayal of real and everyday life of the people in the gangs of Indonesia. I have a few pictures of a gang in Malang, which I stumble upon, that I would like to share, let me know if you accept guest pictures! :) cheers.

    ReplyDelete