Short Documentary: Voices From Greater Jakarta

Published: Dec 10, 2018

Voices From Greater Jakarta

Australia/ Indonesia | 2018 | Colour | All Ages | 10:00 | Documentary | Producers: Iwu D. Utomo, Ariane J. Utomo, Peter McDonald

As the election year unfolds, Indonesians are being reminded frequently of the tremendous ‘power’ of the young generation. But who are the so-called millennial voters, and do politicians have a good grasp of what the most pertinent issues are that they face in their everyday lives?

According to media coverage, some of these candidates would have us believe that the average millennial voter in Indonesia is an upper middle class city-dwelling tertiary graduate (most likely living in Jakarta); looking for work with a relatively high starting salary in the creative or digital sector; changing jobs every year because they want to travel; and spending their days leisurely sipping an artisan latte in an instagrammable café, daydreaming about running the Tokyo marathon as they swipe their phone.

Nothing could be further from reality. While this millennial lifestyle may apply to a very select group, it does not represent everyday realities for the vast majority. According to a new longitudinal study, it is not even true for many millennials in metropolitan Jakarta where the average level of education among young adults is the highest in Indonesia.

In 2009, a team of Indonesian and Australian researchers began a large study of young adults in Jakarta, Bekasi and Tangerang, otherwise known as the Greater Jakarta region. The study sought to understand their experiences of transitioning into adulthood. According to the 2010 Indonesian Population Census, there were about 61 million people aged 20 to 34 in Indonesia that year. With marked achievements in literacy and education relative to the older generation, this large cohort of young adults was poised to bring about the country’s so-called demographic bonus.