Chasing the Jakartan Dream.
Throughout the early 1990's Jakarta’s blend of capitalism and socialism encouraged industrial growth.
the evolving infrastructure provided work for most citizens, the poor
were paid less than the middle class. They could feed their families but
many had nowhere to live, and the government would not accept
responsibility for housing them. Shanty towns emerged, often adjacent to
the high-rise buildings and sprawling factories symbolizing Indonesia’s
industrial boom.The capitalist years moulded Jakarta into a city of
systems. While the government created jobs for the poor, the work was
often menial and class divisions widened.
The industrial boom
encouraged villagers seeking a better future for their children to
migrate to Jakarta. However they were the first to lose their jobs
during the economic crisis in 1997.
The shanty towns became
breeding grounds of hostility and rioting, which resulted in the
government’s downfall. The newly elected government failed to maintain
the infrastructure which provided employment for the poor, and the
scavenging system evolved. As the shanty towns overflowed the Senen
train tracks were transformed into a community of collectors living
under makeshift shelters. Their lives revolve around train timetables
and the schedules of plastic buyers, and they face constant harassment
from government officials demanding money to protect them from eviction.
Despite decentralization, villagers are still lured by the
'Jakartan Dream'. Most provide for their families, but opportunities for
children in the villages are limited. Jakarta is perceived to be a city
of dreams, where employment is abundant and money flows freely. But
villagers arriving on one way tickets are often left to fend for
themselves with no work and limited education.