Dynand

Ashoka Fellow
,
Fellow Since 2006
ESMOD Jakarta

Citation

This profile was prepared when Dynand A. Fariz was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Although fashion is generally accessible only to the consumer elite, Dynand is bringing it to young people in the small Indonesian city of Jember. Using fashion as an entry point, Dynand turns the consumerism usually associated with it on its head. None of the carnival participants buys a costume. Instead, they use what they have, transforming simple materials after studying images and ideas from many sources. The yearlong process of staging the carnival redefines fashion as an alternative, informally educating youth and transforming their lives. Carnival participants learn about important contemporary issues, develop a wide variety of new skills, and, finally, perform for the public. The event’s socially oriented themes encourage participants and spectators alike to engage with other parts of Indonesia and the world.
For youth in Jember, where the traditional economy has eroded, the future can seem quite limited. Dynand addresses this pessimism by demonstrating that an event as seemingly superficial as a fashion carnival can in fact generate widespread change. During its five years in operation, the carnival has reached over four hundred youth, who are directly involved in preparing for the event; thousands of locals, who come to watch the show; and a wide variety of community institutions, ranging from small businesses to schools and even mosques.
Participants in the carnival become like an extended family; that spirit soon spreads, strengthening ties within the community as a whole. Dynand has won the support of community leaders, including Muslim clerics, who initially opposed the carnival. Besides giving young people a way to be acknowledged by their community, the carnival also provides the community with a flourishing tourist attraction. It has stimulated local entrepreneurship and given rise to new economic activity in Jember. Young people who have trained for the carnival have gone on to become professional models, dancers, singers, presenters, instructors, and choreographers. Some now teach, and others have found work in the emerging Indonesian fashion and design industry.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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