Using Comic as a Media to Introduce Cultural Heritage: A Case Study from The Alea and Forgotten Empire Project in Indonesia

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2021)
Title: Using Comic as a Media to Introduce Cultural Heritage: A Case Study from The Alea and Forgotten Empire Project in Indonesia
Stream: Architecture, Geography and Urban Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Riela Provi Drianda, Waseda University, Japan


Getting young people interested in cultural heritage is always challenging. Reports across the globe indicated the struggle of cultural institutions to increase young people's cultural heritage consumption. However, the cases from Japan demonstrated that the adoption of pop culture content could invite young people to consume cultural heritage and even participate in the revitalization of regional historical resources (Sugawa-Shimada, 2015). Inspired by these trends, the researcher experimented with developing a short comic series to promote the cultural heritage of Srivijaya, an ancient empire that was originated in Palembang, Indonesia. The comic adopted the story of the local historical fantasy novel titled Alea and the Forgotten Empire. To select the suitable episodes and provide proper visual guidance for the illustrators, the researcher worked with various stakeholders, including the Sultan of the Palembang Darussalam, Palembangnese cultural activists, and the local archaeologists. This paper aims to document the process of developing the empire-based content as well as identify the challenges and further opportunities to utilize pop culture for promoting historical resources in Indonesia. While the findings identified the significant contribution of the local stakeholders to support the data collection and develop the storyboard from scratch, they also revealed the challenges of visualizing the landscape and specific characters due to the limited literature on the Srivijaya Empire's civilization. Reflecting on the positive responses from the online readers, the study further suggested some recommendations for the local stakeholders and creative classes to consider adopting pop culture to promote cultural heritage in Indonesia.

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Irina Stanova
Thank you so much for this presentation; it was really interesting to learn about this creative initiative. Wish you all the best with the development of the project!
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