sarahkeenihan

Day 61. Batik

In October 2012 on October 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

Working with American and Indonesians scientists in Indonesia 2000-2002, I was delighted to discover a science-art project: batik created using representations of malaria parasites (shown here) and other infectious bugs as the repeated motif.

Many of us crazy expats used the fabric for shirts, sarongs and even cushions and table wear – my parents have a fabulous giardia table cloth, which I had made for them one Christmas.

In mid 2002, a young Australian man in an expat rugby team in Jakarta emailed me to say he’d heard about the disease batik, and would love to have some shirts made for his team, which was travelling to Bali in October to compete in a rugby competition. I organised the fabric and sent it his way.

That man never came home, killed as a result of bomb attacks in Bali 10 years ago today. One of his team mates also died several months later as a result of burns sustained on that night.

Today I remember those 2 men and their loved ones.

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  1. What a sad and wonderful and beautiful story! I love the idea of using specimens for batik inspiration and have thought of doing something similar for plants and insects in my own work. So glad I found this entry!

    • Hi Chelsea,
      So cool,yeah?!
      As I recall there were the malaria parasites + giardia as mentioned, and also Anopheles mosquitos (carriers of malaria) and a tribal one inspired by Irian Jays featuring lizards.
      Good luck,
      Sarah

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