sōydivision is

Sōydivision is a collaborative platform and artist group predominantly composed of Indonesian diaspora artists based in Berlin. Positioned at the intersection of art and activism, sōydivision creates and curates various art forms, including performances, workshops, culinary art activities, film screenings, and discussions. The strategies employed focus on fostering socially engaged art creation, such as cathartic experiences, re-questioning, and therapeutic healing, which become prominent themes in their artistic output and activities. Their diasporic perspective offers an alternative approach to contemporary issues through art, inviting a new kind of dialogue and engagement.

Their project curation includes their longest-running series, "Soy and Synth," initiated in 2018. This series is dedicated to fostering profound dialogues and collaborations among the diverse global South diaspora in Berlin through experimental and improvisational music. As of 2023, the project has concluded its 45th edition and has garnered support from Musicboard Berlin, facilitated by the Berlin Senate for Culture and Social Cohesion since 2022. Another noteworthy curation in their portfolio is the KAUM Film and Performing Art Festival, which took place in 2021 and 2023. This festival, supported by Fonds Darstellendekünste and Haupstadtkulturfonds, places a spotlight on the works of Indonesian and other Southeast Asian film and performance practitioners.

Their current curatorial initiative, the Mutating Kinship Lab (MKL), spans from 2022 to 2023. This ongoing project aims to create a think tank, co-creation, and archival platform for a range of artist-led initiatives within the Asian diaspora in Germany. Supported by Fonds Darstellendekünste, MKL's 2022 focus revolves around intergenerational artistic practices within the Asian diaspora in Germany. In 2023, the initiative highlighted challenges and opportunities pertaining to audience engagement in the post-pandemic era, specifically within the context of Asian diaspora art practitioners in Germany. Annual multi format publication of MKL can be found here.

As an artist group, #sōydivisionensemble has produced notable pieces such as the experimental music theater pieces "Aryati," premiered in 2021 at Uferstudios and supported by Haupstadtkulturfonds, and "Kiamat" (2021), supported by Musikfonds e.V. Their latest group work, "Akkuklturasa," consists of multiple channel audio-visual installations and performances, showcased at the Berlin Asian Art Festival 2023 in Movingpoets Novilla, Uferstudios Berlin, Valby Kopenhagen, and Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien.

Since its inception in 2018, sōydivision has been actively involved in various art and cultural project spaces in Berlin. After being based in Sari Sari project space Neukölln (2018-2021) and Uferstudios Wedding (2021-2022), sōydivision is currently rooted in Novilla Schöneweide, collaborating with Movingpoets e.V.: a constellation of artists and cultural practitioners who initiated the Novilla project space in 2014.

As a diaspora group mainly made up of Indonesians, sōydivision actively collaborates in various artistic projects with entities in Indonesia. In 2019 and 2022, sōydivision, along with its sister collective L_KW Berlin, organized two experimental music tours in five Indonesian cities. These tours were done in collaboration with Studio Eksotika Bali, Yes No Wave Yogyakarta, Orange Cliff Bandung, Nu Art Bandung, Norrm Radio Bandung, Rubanah Jakarta, and Rumah Rawa Samarinda.The tours featured a diverse lineup in each city, bringing together Indonesian diaspora sound artists based in Berlin and local sound artists from each of the cities.

In 2023, sōydivision partnered with the Rakarsa Foundation to curate a residency program LINTAS in Bandung, Indonesia. This program focuses on fostering socially and environmentally sustainable art creation. It encourages artists to explore and challenge prevailing narratives on identity, migration, and social justice while using art as a means for community building and activism. The first edition of the residency program took place at the Grey Art Gallery in Bandung and involved the participation of five artists from Berlin. The residency was supported by the Goethe Institute Bandung, Musikfonds e.V., and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

pic taken from ARYATI Premiere in Uferstudios Berlin  by Yusuf Alhazar

pic taken from Empathy Supper (x) Impuls Festival 2023 in Technesphere Leipzig photo by Sophie Vân Schwenke

pic taken from SUARANTAU at Tangente St Pölten Festival 2023 in St Pölten Austria photo by Katie-Aileen Dempsey

Pic taken from “Tanamantra - Salamantra” at Ausfern Festival - Uferstudios Berlin, 2022. Pic by Dico Baskoro

Pictures taken from “Tanamantra” at Fonds Daku Tabori 2023 in HAU2 Berlin, photo by Dico Baskoro