Proudly announcing our new book, Jakarta: Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations by Isidro Ramirez.
Isidro first showed me the early images from this project back in 2014, just as we were going to print with Common Love. I was really intrigued by Jakarta, a city I'd never really heard much and knew little about. I really enjoyed Isidro's approach, namely studying the city as an organism.
A little research showed that Jakarta is the 2nd largest megalopolis in the world, after Tokyo-Yokohama. But, in stark contrast to the latter, it lacks considerable resources to be able to sustain its own growth. Many services, such as trash services, are not available to large swathes of the population - as noted by this BBC article. Similarly other services must be improvised.
I enjoyed seeing how the project was progressing. Isidro was travelling to Jakarta from nearby Singapore regularly, and each trip brought new images and a new layer to the project as a whole. It went from an exploration of Jakarta to something far more specific: a documentation of the modest interventions and minor improvisations put into practice everyday by ordinary Jakartans to both order their lives and keep chaos at bay.
When it came to discussing the idea of publishing the project I was very interested in the project as an expression of the efforts of Jakartans to cope in such a city, rather than a more generic photographic exploration of Jakarta. For this reason we decided to have two essays in the book, the first written by Oscar Carracedo Garcia-Villalba on the theme of 'Cities of Opposition', and the second written by Isidro himself.
More information, and to order the book, can be found here: Jakarta: Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations - Isidro Ramirez