M Bloc Leading the Way for Creative Community to Fight Pandemic

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Laila Afifa

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  • M Bloc Space entrance, South Jakarta, Tuesday, November 19, 2019. TEMPO/Bram Setiawan

    M Bloc Space entrance, South Jakarta, Tuesday, November 19, 2019. TEMPO/Bram Setiawan

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - After two months of being put out of operation as South Jakarta became a COVID-19 red zone, M Bloc Space has taken the fight against the pandemic online through the C-19 Creative Solidarity Fund; a fundraiser for informal creative workers who have lost their livelihood during the pandemic.

    In collaboration with MD Media, M Bloc Space organizes fundraising efforts through the ‘Pekan Kreatif di Saat Sulit’ (Creative Week in Difficult Times) program. 

    "Facing the worst global health crisis since Indonesia’s independence has challenged us to act as creatively as possible to handle difficult situations. Moving programs held in our venue to digital platforms is one of the solutions to provide the people with inspiration, entertainment, (a way to) maintain optimism and sanity," said co-founder and Program Director of M Bloc Space, Wendi Putranto, in an official release, on Wednesday, May 13.

    The ‘Creative Week in Difficult Times’ is a week's worth of program filled with numerous creative talk shows focusing on maintaining productivity during the pandemic, streamed on both Youtube and Instagram. 

    With the first volume held from late May until early April, the second volume of the program is set to be held from May 13, until May 22, 2020, featuring a number of speakers from the creative industry, such as Riri Riza, Dewi “Dee” Lestari, and Cholil Mahmud (Efek Rumah Kaca). On top of that, it will also feature musical performances from Hindia, Jason Ranti, and Yura Yunita.

    In addition, M Bloc Space has also launched the M Bloc Academy, a paid online course from practitioners, scholars or experts on various topics of popular culture such as music, design and architecture, film, culinary, comics, clothing, branding, advertising, journalism, as well as business and finance.

    “M Bloc is inviting the entire community to continue to work and be productive, according to the different skill sets and formats,” stated M Bloc Space Co-founder and CEO, Handoko Hendroyono, in the Wednesday's release.

    Meanwhile, M Bloc tenants, who have been forced to close their doors as the capital enact the coronavirus restrictions (PSBB), also contributed to the workers in the frontline of the pandemic by donating food packages through the #GoodFoodToShare movement. 

    Since the movement began in April, #GoodFoodToShare has distributed more than 2000 food packages to the medical personnel of numerous COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta, including Mintohardjo Naval Hospital and Persahabatan Hospital.

    “The #GoodFoodToShare humanitarian movement can hopefully provide relief to problems that have arisen and contribute to the recovery of the social and economic conditions of the affected communities, as we all realize that there is room to do more, to be present for those in need," said an M Bloc tenant and initiator of the movement, Irvan Suryanto, on Wednesday, May 13.

    M Bloc has been inviting audience members to participate and donate to the C-19 Creative Solidarity Fund throughout their numerous online events. With the initiative having fundraised Rp25,130,878 since its initiation on March 30, the proceeds will be donated to the informal creative workers and medical professionals impacted by the pandemic.

    As the fundraiser will remain open until the end of the month, the public can participate in the donation through the link kitabisa.com/kreatifdisaatsulit.

    DIO SUHENDA