MUSIC

Feminist music event in Indonesia disrupted by Islamic hard-liners; woman attacked, shot fired

Group invades Yogyakarta venue shouting Islamic slogans and threatening mass attack; police evacuate event that featured bands and film about women in country’s hardcore and punk music scene

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 April, 2016, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 04 April, 2016, 4:03pm

Islamic fundamentalists disrupted a feminist music event in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on April 2. A shot was fired by a plain-clothes police officer during the chaos that erupted at the end of the Lady Fast event, according to a report posted by the music blog UniteAsia.org.

Lady Fast featured live shows and the screening of a documentary, Ini Scene Kami Juga! (This Is Our Scene Too), about the involvement of women in Indonesia’s hardcore/punk scene, according to a report posted by the music blog UniteAsia.org.

Kolektif Betina (Female Collective), the group that organised Lady Fast, wrote on its Facebook page that the documentary celebrated the involvement of women in the country’s extreme music scene and dealt with gender issues, sexism, sexuality and activism.

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Towards the end of the event, organisers say, the venue in Yogyakarta’s Bantul town was stormed by about 15 fundamentalists, who insulted people attending the event and attacked at least one woman while shouting Islamic slogans.

“A representative of Lady Fast and the co-owner of the venue continued to try to [engage in] dialogue with the group, but ... were not well received and insults were hurled again. There were accusations of ‘damage of morale’ and this being an ‘immoral place’. The group threatened that 500 people would attack the event. They showed a gesture that would assume physical violence,” Kolektif Betina wrote on its Facebook page.

Police then removed those attending Lady Fast “for their safety”, according to Kolektif Betina.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has long been one of the world capitals of heavy music such as hardcore and punk - even President Joko Widodo is on record as being a fan of extreme British metal band Napalm Death - but Islamic fundamentalists have long complained the music corrupts the young and encourages un-Islamic behaviour.