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Find Literacy Treasure at Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi

Spectr News Theme Isny Dewi R.
28, February 2020
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In early February, the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta inaugurated the new location for Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi, at Jakarta Art Center Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), Jalan Cikini Raya, Menteng, Central Jakarta. Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi which was originally located in the corner next to Graha Bakti Budaya building, has now been moved to the ground floor of Regional Library of DKI Jakarta, TIM.

The artist Jose Rizal Manua as the owner of this book gallery appreciates Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta step to care for artists, literacy and literature. "I thank to Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta. I am surprised that Provincial Government is concerned with literacy," said Jose during the inauguration of Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi, Wednesday (02/02).

Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi itself has been established since 1996, its age is now almost 24 years. Its existence has colored the world of art, culture and literature in Indonesia. In this book gallery, stored thousands of books ranging from literary, cultural, social, and more. In fact, books by Indonesian great poets and from abroad are neatly stored here.

It is not surprising that Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi until now has become a 'hangout' place for poets, cultural figures, artists, academics and activists. Here, they can easily get rare books first published in the original language.

Aside from being the owner, Jose Rizal Manua himself is also a theater director who won an award as the best director in the category of children's theater and best group in the 15th World Festival of Children’s Theater in Germany in 2018.

Together with his daughter, R. Ni Soe, Jose Rizal manages Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi. According to R Ni Soe, the existing book collection is mostly aimed for literary, artistic, cultural and philosophical activists, the books mostly are novels, prose, and poetry. Even so, the book gallery is open to anyone, including visitors who only want to read to simply look for written material.

Of the many books available, books by WS Rendra, Chairil Anwar, Taufik Ismail, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Soe Hoek Gie, Sutardjih Calzoum, and Madilog by Tan Malaka are the most popular. In addition, old literary books such as Babad Tanah Jawa and books on the era of colonial occupation in Batavia are also still in high demand.

According to Ni Soe, the masterpiece book collection at Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi is not only hunted by Indonesian academics, but also sought by book lovers from abroad. They love this book gallery because they can find the original author's book collection and hard to find in other bookstores or libraries.

A number of well-known poets such as Sutardji Calzoum Bachri who was dubbed as the President of Indonesian Poetry also love to visit Galeri Buku Bengkel Deklamasi to look for literary literacy.

Top photo credit: Instagram @uppkjtim

Isny Dewi R.
Isny Dewi R.
Journalist
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