The permanency of temporality: how grassroots festivals in Indonesia create places in informal settlements

Poeti Nazura Gulfira Akbar, Alexander Jachnow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the impact of place-making on the quality of place through community-organised art festivals, with two case studies in urban informal settlements or kampungs in Indonesia. Design/methodology/approach: Findings presented here are based on data collected and 39 in-depth interviews conducted in 2017 in two kampungs, namely, Kampung Dago Pojok, Bandung and Kampung Bustaman, Semarang. Findings: This paper argues that place-making can happen through temporary practices, such as festivals, and improve the quality of place in informal settlements. It indicates and analyses the kinds of activities that increase the aesthetic value of spaces and build a positive image of the kampungs. The study concludes with the finding that place-making through temporary interventions has the potential to permanently change and reshape public space. At the core of these activities is the collective and voluntary work known as kerja bakti that is done by the kampung communities and the civil society organizations involved. Originality/value: The paper offers a fresh perspective in the context of understanding the implications of place-making in the Global South. Assessing the development of public space, the paper provides insights into the use of grassroots festivals as a tool to permanently reshape urban spaces and engage the local community throughout the process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Place Management and Development
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2022


  • Art festival
  • Community
  • Informal urban settlements
  • Place-making
  • Public spaces


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