Upon the invitation of Studio Auntara, we collaborated to host an afternoon tea to fundraise for Amnesty International. The event, ‘AmnesTEH Yogya Style’ was held at Kedai Kebun forum. With a little bit of CWA-esque hall thrown in for good measure (Elly baked scones with jam and cream!), Culture Kitchen FoodLab cooked up corn fritters and steamed cassava treats served with a killer sambal.
The Pièce de résistance was the “AmnesTEH Prisoner of Conscience cup-cakes” by artist Robert Ern-yuan Guth. The chocolate cake sat upon a barbed wire ‘crown’ on top of the the tea cup. I think most people would associate chocolate cake with nice warm-fuzzy type feelings. In this instance however, eating chocolate cup cake as a Prisoner of Conscience stared out at you was both deeply provocative and unsettling. Robert asked people to take the teacup home after they finished eating the cake.
The face taped on the teacup belonged to Pramoedya Anata Toer, a writer of stories, essays and polemics; a true postcolonial historian, who was imprisoned with many other left-wing intellectuals on the island of Buru from 1965-1979 by the Suharto regime. He was adopted by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience because even after his release, his basic and civil rights were curtailed under the New Order regime. He died on 30 April 2006.
Thank you to Elly for the invitation and to Robert for the thought provoking twist to this afternoon’s amnesTEH. Thanks also to Arya Jalu who donated some of profits from the sale of his amazing teapots to AmnesTEH. We received more than double the target of donations!