Claim: Bandung - “Creative City”
By Andre Vltchek
The Empire has
developed a complex system of slapping faces and
humiliating all those who defy its dictate. It has
also become increasingly generous when rewarding
its allies and lackeys.
course no medals are distributed. But much better
goodies are offered. The Empire uses all sorts of
propaganda tricks, even
“employing” some international organizations, like
the United Nations, to reward its best pawns.
often then, what is obviously black is redefined and
propagated as white. Something dreadful is hailed as
a great indisputable achievement. And some totally
collapsed, failed country or city is suddenly
singled out and showered with praises and rewards.
is exactly what took place in 2015, when the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) put the Indonesian
city of Bandung on its newly created list of “World
is absolutely nothing creative about Bandung. Its
2.5 million inhabitants, like the inhabitants of all
other Indonesian cities, are condemned to only
three “social and cultural activities”: eating,
family gatherings and praying.
permanent concert hall now brightens the life of
this former Dutch hill station turned into some sort
of “city of learning”. There are no art cinemas and
not one decent museum (save one that, had it been
located in the People’s Republic of China, could
serve no more than a city of 50,000 inhabitants).
There are a
few parks in Bandung, but they are tiny, dirty and
disconnected. There are several malls and commercial
cinemas showing the lowest level pop Hollywood junk.
The rest is,
as elsewhere in Indonesia, an over-commercialized
and desperate urban sprawl with no planning.
course there are hundreds of “boutiques”, or more
precisely, of makeshift, badly put together shops
selling fake goods to both locals and
foreigners. These fakes are so openly ‘forgeries’
that the sellers are even rating them; depending on
how closely they resemble the originals. To be
precise, there are 5 levels of “forgeries”.
wonders whether these mountains of counterfeit
garments and apparels are what UNESCO actually
considers to be an expression of “creativity”, as in
Bandung there seems to be very little else.
inspectors and investigators of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) would raid the city, were it on
the territory of a Western foe, like China or
the 1965 massacres orchestrated by the West, during
which between 2 and 3 million local Communists and
intellectuals were slaughtered, Indonesia is firmly
considered a friend and a trusted ally.
seen its share of massacres. Could those slaughters
be considered “creative”, could they still be hailed
and commemorated by the “international community”,
after all those years? Am I being too cynical, or is
it the UN that is cynical?
Bandung has no
public transportation to speak of. Imagine a city
the size of Amsterdam and Brussels combined, or like
Nagoya, choking on its fumes, over flooded by
stinking scooters, a city without subways, without a
heavy-duty train network, without trams, without
But it gets
much worse: there are no large libraries, no art
projects except for one or two decent galleries
located on the outskirts of the city.
Chinese-Indonesian friend (a concert pianist and a
graduate of the renowned Manhattan School of Music)
was forced to return from New York to Bandung by her
conservative Christian family, she tried to resist
the deep gloom by working and trying to enlighten
her city. She bought a keyboard (no tuners were
found for concert pianos) and she practiced day and
night. And she played concerts, at least once a
year. These concerts were of the highest world
caliber. But she did not last long. Her art went
totally unappreciated. The last blow came during
her appearance at the French Cultural
Institute, where she was attempting to play Chopin.
The dirty and small hall was rat-infested, but it
was the only option available with a concert piano.
During the concert, the public would get up and come
up to her. People were sticking their mobile phones
and cameras straight into her face, with
the flashes blinding her. After this, she sold
everything and began losing her hair. That was it
for her, life as a musician in Bandung, “a creative
several bizarre institutions in Bandung, like an
extremely popular Nazi bar, called “Soldaten
Kaffee”. It is full of Swastikas and portraits of
Adolf Hitler. Is this really what UNESCO means by
There is also
an outdoor amphitheater, which periodically
performs Angklung, a traditional form of Indonesian
music, an art form based mainly on bamboo pipes,
which has made it on to the list of
intangible world heritage. The problem is that the
place has cannibalized, literally perverted its own
heritage, as the orchestra mainly performs Western
pop music using traditional instruments. You can
hear plenty of Delilah and I did it my way, and very
little of the great original West Javanese music.
UNESCO should complain and threaten, but it doesn’t.
Yes, a city of
2.5 million, almost entirely stripped of
creativity, is now declared a “World Creative City”.
great music, without theatre, daring architectural
concepts, parks, public places; it is all the result
of 50 years of horrendous turbo-capitalism and
anti-intellectualism injected there by the West
and implemented by the treasonous cadre – General
Suharto – and his cohorts. This is exactly how
things are supposed to function in the Empire’s
colonies. Brainless television shows, pop music,
crappy films, urban fragmentation, collapsed
infrastructure, all sorts of religious and
oppressive family structures. No variations, no
escape. This is where Indonesia has ended up.
celebrate the great “creativity” of the city, which
has redefined boredom and tastelessness!
Right near the
city center, there is a huge statue of Rambo holding
a shoulder missile launcher. There are Hitler’s
posters sold by the road. There is a poor tiny
blindfolded little monkey forced to dance to a
Sudanese tune, right next to the highway entrance
into the city center. And there are child beggars
and vendors and deformed people, all calling for our
I would like
to see UNESCO’s criteria for this inscription. I
would like to meet the person who worked on putting
Bandung on the list; a person no doubt so thoroughly
obsessed with promoting a fascist state and concept
implanted by the Empire. “Shame on you!” I would say
to him or her.*
There is one
place in Bandung that UNESCO should be interested
in, but isn’t. It is perhaps one of the most
important structures in Asia, and it is called the
Museum Of Asia Africa Conference in Bandung. This is
where the great 1955 conference of the non-aligned
movement was held, bringing together nations that
were resisting imperialism.
But it is not
even inscribed as a world heritage site.
magnificent tropical art deco building is where the
roots of Bandung and Indonesia’s collapse really
lie. This is where the great Indonesian leader,
President Ahmed Sukarno spoke against colonialism.
And after that, the West decided: it is time to
destroy the country and its government!
creative city”, is nothing other than a stamp of
approval UNESCO has given to the terror that
Indonesia has been suffering by the United
States, Europe and its own whoring elites.
paradoxical and cynical this stamp really is! UNESCO
stands for the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization. During and
after the 1965 coup, education, culture and science
were thoroughly destroyed in Indonesia. Today, this
fourth most populous nation on earth does not have
one single writer, thinker or scientist of
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker
and investigative journalist. He covered wars and
conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books
Lies Of The Empire”
Against Western Imperialism”.Discussion
with Noam Chomsky:
On Western Terrorism. Point
of No Return is
his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania –
a book on Western imperialism in the South
Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia
– The Archipelago of Fear”.
Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV.
After living for many years in Latin America and
Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East
Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through