Green Gentlemen

Written by Alfred Pasifico on . Posted in Navictivism, News

Repost from:

Part 1

Navicula Muir Woods San Francisco

I had the opportunity to watch and hang out with one of the coolest Indonesian bands out there, Navicula. (But then again I don’t know that much about Indonesian music so my opinions might be completely out of context.) They are a Balinese rock band with a big heart, creating songs with a theme of environmental justice. It really is their activism that got me turning my head.

I don’t listen to Indonesian music because there’s a lot (not all) of cheesy, shallow, band wagon-type bands and artists out there. Most of their music also just talks about love and breaking up, which is fine but obviously if that’s all there is that makes for such a bland landscape. They sound the same to me. So when I first heard of them, I was like “okay an Indonesian rock band… great.” I don’t know of that many Indonesian rock bands but hey, they’ll probably rock to love songs and act shallow too – or at least that’s what I thought.

I’m part of the nonprofit that is hosting one of their gigs in SF. But I first met them at 924 Gilman, in Berkeley (the day before the gig we were hosting). I was introduced to them by my friend’s friend. They didn’t say much and maybe that’s partly because of the loud music blaring in our ears. Me and my best friend connected to one of the band members and briefly talked. I didn’t have any strong impression of them honestly. But that’s actually interesting because usually whenever I meet anyone who’s sort of famous, they usually give off a vibe that begs for attention, something that he/she/they are obviously used to. But not with them. I didn’t get any impression. They were quite and, like I said, they didn’t say much. So that’s already something different about them. Maybe they were tired? Who knows what they were going through that day or the past few days.

So then I watched them perform at 11pm (we were there since 8ish and had to listen to two less-than-stellar bands). I was pleasantly surprised! They were really good, they were fucking awesome. And again, this is coming from someone who doesn’t listen to rock music. I loved their musicality, the lyrics, the message they’re bringing and they just rock. They had songs about orangutan, a late activist, and polluted city. I love that! You can tell that they were passionate about what they were doing. I even felt bad because some people left already and missed out to witness how amazing they were. But those that stayed were really enjoying the music, especially in contrast with the band before (sorry to say). I was actually upset when they’re set ended. It felt too soon. Probably because this is the first time I’m hearing they’re music and it was so good I didn’t want it to stop. I want to know more, hear more. Suddenly I was really excited that I’ll be able to watch them AGAIN the next day!

So after that we told them how much awesome it was and talked to their manager. Now that we know how great they are and their music, we didn’t hesitate to help promote them. We invited them to come to this community event the next day before their gig. They’ll be able to do a little announcement or hand fliers or both. I was all of a sudden trying really hard to support them. I tweeted, path-ed and my best friend facebook-ed the gig and announced their next one.

Oh and we learned that they won a video competition and prized with recording at a legendary studio where Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and the like were produced. Uhm.. WHAT?! Crazy right? And they were touring the US on their own budget so they were selling merchandise like tshirts and soap. Robi, the lead vocalist, also announced when they were performing that it would help pay for gas money and food. It’s such a humble thing and such a great cause, at least in my opinion.

It’s such a great story. Activist rock band winning an amazing competition and touring on a budget, spreading an important global environmental message. Just wow.




Part 2: A Reflection

After Navicula’s first show (read about that here), I had time to think more about how significant they are and it really made me think about why I was so excited and impressed. I don’t get impressed easily, especially not by Indonesian bands. There are two contexts that I’d like to position them that will get at why they are so special to me.

The first, and most personal connection I have with them, is in the context of environmental activism. I’ve been interning at an environmental nonprofit for three months now and we are specifically targeting Indonesia as ground zero for deforestation globally. And I’ve been helping with our agribusiness campaign which focuses on palm oil as one of the key driving forces for rainforest destruction.

I didn’t mention this yet but they collaborated with Greenpeace Indonesia and toured Borneo on motor bikes to not only do a music tour but also document the rainforest destruction there due to palm oil expansion. They screened a video of it before their second gig and it was such a moving thing to watch. It had shots of the, what seemed like, never ending landscapes of palm oil plantations. They also talked to indigenous communities and allowed them to tell their stories. All of this captured in video, it was amazing. Watch the trailer here.

I mean I’ve heard people tell me moving stories of what they witnessed and experienced when they visit places like Kalimantan, where palm oil expansion is happening, but I can only imagine what it felt. I can never visualize and capture that same feeling. The video they screened was able to do that! It was able to put faces to the names I often hear and put visuals to the words. Even though I’ve lived in Indonesia for over 6 years, I’ve never been anywhere outside Java (except Bali for a family vacation) let alone speak to indigenous communities in Borneo. I’m so thankful to Navicula for sharing that.

The second is in the context of Indonesian popular culture. It’s already awesome that these musicians are environmental activists, but the fact that they’re a grunge rock band? That’s so precious. If forests and oceans could record in a studio and produce music, I would imagine it being something slow, swaying and rejuvinating. I would never imagine it with an electric guitar let alone a grunge/rock sound. Yet Navicula’s sound somewhat magically captures the message with such a raw quality, urgency and flames a fire within you that many probably aren’t aware existed in them – about the environment. They channel all their energy and emotion from their activism into their rock music, a form that can be spread and shared to the popular masses. And that’s really what they’re about, they’re like a “satellite”.

After talking to Dankie, the lead guitarist, it was apparent that they’ve been involved in environmental activism, in one way or the other, since the 90s. That means this isn’t something that they just started caring about for the past year or so, but for decades! I see so many celebrities/musicians now that just take up a “cause” as a publicity stunt, etc. and it’s horse shit. Knowing that Navicula has been true to the cause makes me respect them so much more.

I feel like this could be a big break for Navicula and Indonesia’s forests. With this whole “hipster” thing going on (as misguided as it is), caring about the environment all of a sudden became cool. And it’s catching on in Indonesia. It’s slow and people are still just taking on the look without the action that is associated with it (that’s also true here too actually), but let’s hope that’ll come soon. When it does, I think Navicula, who is at the intersection of rock band (already something cool) and environmental activism (something that hopefully will be full blown cool soon), will rise to the top as a pop icon that’s fiercely real.

Navicula Dukung Kampanye Greenpeace untuk Hutan Sumatera

Written by Alfred Pasifico on . Posted in Navictivism, News


Navicula akan mengampanyekan penyelamatan hutan Sumatera yang terus terkikis oleh perluasan perkebunan kelapa sawit. Kampanye #ProtectParadise yang diluncurkan Greenpeace Indonesia ini mengangkat spesies harimau Sumatera yang populasinya semakin terancam habitatnya sebagai ikon.

Greenpeace mengajak sejumlah figur publik lain untuk menandatangani Tiger Manifesto untuk menyuarakan penyelamatan hutan dan harimau Sumatera. Mereka adalah Wulan Guritno, Julie Estelle, Poppy Sovia, Jerry Aurum, Denada, Harry Darsono, Fahrani Empel, dan Sausan Machari.

“Tiger Manifesto adalah perwujudan consumer awareness; tanggung jawab memilih produk itu akibatnya merusak hutan atau tidak,” kata Gede Robi, vokalis Navicula pada peluncuran kampanye Protect Paradise di Kemang, Jakarta, 8 November lalu.


Menurut Robi, Navicula akan tetap mengedepankan musik sebagai senjata kampanye. Navicula memiliki single Harimau! Harimau! untuk menyampaikan pesan kampanye Protect Paradise. Lagu yang ditulis oleh Robi itu mengambil sudut pandang seekor harimau Sumatera dalam kesendirian, kehilangan cinta dan hutan rumahnya. Lagu itu menjadi salah satu materi album ke-7 Navicula, Love Bomb, yang akan dirilis bulan November.

Harimau! Harimau! merupakan lagu kedua Navicula yang berbicara tentang satwa langka, setelah lagu Orangutan. Sejak akhir tahun 2011, Navicula mengampanyekan perlindungan terhadap orangutan lewat single dan video Orangutan. Juli 2012 Navicula menggelar konser di Medan, Sumatera Utara untuk kampanye Orangutan. Konser itu merupakan pemanasan sebelum Navicula menjalankan Borneo Tour di Kalimantan pada September 2012.

Navicula membiayai tur di Kalimantan dengan pendanaan oleh khalayak (crowdfunding) lewat dan Upaya penggalangan dukungan publik itu menghasilkan sekitar AS$3500 untuk membiayai tur. “Kebetulan sekali, saat Navicula akan berangkat tur ke Kalimantan, Greenpeace juga akan melakukan Tur Mata Harimau di 3 provinsi, Kalimantan Selatan, Kalimantan Tengah, dan Kalimantan Barat. Akhirnya Navicula ikut dalam tur itu, sebagai rider (pengendara) motor tim Mata Harimau, melintasi 2.500 kilometer mendokumentasi kerusakan dan sisa keindahan hutan Kalimantan.

”Sumatera sedang darurat satwa. Kami siap dan sedang merancang tur di Pulau Sumatera dengan tema harimau dan hutan, terutama di Sumatera Selatan, Riau, Sumatera Utara dan Aceh. Harimau ini simbol kuat, persoalan juga menyangkut satwa langka lain, seperti yang terbaca jelas di media, di Aceh dan Riau sedang tinggi kasus kematian gajah akibat diracun, karena dianggap merusak perkebunan sawit. Di zama kolonialisme dulu, Aceh tersohor sebagai penghasil lada, rempah-rempah. Raja-raja Aceh seperti Iskandar Muda memiliki pasukan gajah yang disegani. Sekarang seperti dipaksa menanam sawit, padahal sudah tahu gajah sangat suka memakan pucuk sawit. Ini kan seperti memberi umpan untuk gajah, dan kemudian membunuhnya.”

Harimau Dihormati
Robi mengatakan pemuliaan kelapa sawit sebagai komoditas Indonesia telah mengabaikan nilai dan jasa lingkungan harimau. “Di pasar gelap harimau harganya sangat mahal, kenapa negara tidak menghargai mereka sebagai aset yang mahal? Harimau punya peranan yang penting terhadap habitat, sebagai indikator kesehatan ekosistem dan rantai makanan. Menjaga habitat harimau berarti juga menjaga kelangsungan peradaban,” kata Robi.

Menurut Robi, sebenarnya masyarakat asli di Sumatera sangat menghormati harimau. “Banyak masyarakat di Sumatera bahkan tidak berani menyebut kata ‘harimau’. Mereka menyebut nenek, opung, atau datuk. Masyarakat tradisional melakukan penghormatan itu menunjukkan mereka ingin hidup berdampingan dengan harimau,” kata Robi.

Namun, kata Robi, penghormatan itu terus meluntur seiring tergerusnya luas hutan berganti menjadi perkebunan monokultur seperti kelapa sawit. “Hutan rumah harimau berkurang drastis, harimau mulai sulit mendapat mangsa alaminya. Lalu konflik antara manusia dan harimau makin meningkat. Harimau diposisikan menjadi musuh manusia, menjadi ancaman ekonomi. Ini juga terjadi pada spesies payung lain yang jadi ikon Indonesia yaitu orangutan dan gajah,” kata Robi.

“Kita harus mengambil hikmah dari Bali, dulu ada spesies harimau Bali. Seperti juga harimau Jawa, harimau Bali sudah punah. Harimau Bali terakhir yang dibunuh tahun 1930an. Sekarang data yang dipakai masih tersisa 400 harimau Sumatera di alam liar, statusnya critically endangered. Dan masih saja ada berita, harimau dibunuh, dijerat sampai mati, dan diperjualbelikan offset atau kulitnya. Kondisi populasi harimau Sumatera sudah di ujung tanduk,” tambah Robi.

Menurut Robi, perspektif tentang harimau harus direkonstruksi, tanpa harus memaksakan perspektif tradisional. Tapi melihat harimau sebagai satwa langka yang bernilai tinggi. Harimau, kata Robi adalah asset negara dan masyarakat harus ikut memiliki kekayaan itu.
“Sekarang di lingkungan, karbon yang tidak terlihat kasat mata saja punya harga. Makanya ada perdagangan karbon. Norwegia membayar Indonesia untuk setiap kilometer luasan hutan agar tidak ditebang, karena menyimpan potensi karbon yang bisa terlepas ke udara dan mendorong pemanasan global,” kata Robi. “Tapi harimau yang kasat mata, satwa yang berwibawa, dianggap tidak punya nilai.”

“Investor hanya membayar dengan harga yang sangat murah per hektarnya bila ingin mendapat konsesi kehutanan atau mengonversi hutan jadi perkebunan sawit. Harusnya bila kita punya nilai tentang seekor harimau Rp 2 miliar misalnya, maka investor yang akan mendapat izin sawit juga harus membayar berapa jumlah harimau di dalam hutan itu dikali Rp 2 miliar. Mahal, karena harimau sangat bernilai. Karena resiko lingkungan yang akan kita hadapi di masa depan juga mahal. Dengan begitu, izin perkebunan sawit tidak akan mudah, hutan terjaga. Harimau selamat.”

Menurut Robi dengan perspektif harimau dan hutan sebagai asset negara yang mahal, maka setiap tindakan mengurangi populasi harimau adalah tindakan menghilangkan asset negara. “Tindakan kejahatan lingkungan adalah korupsi sumber daya alam. Perusak lingkungan sama jahatnya dengan koruptor yang akhirnya berurusan dengan KPK. Koruptor merusak hak warga negara lainnya, penjahat lingkungan juga merusak hak warga negara lain untuk bisa hidup di lingkungan yang sehat,” kata Robi.

Maka itu, Robi ingin mengajak penggemar Navicula dan masyarakat untuk bersikap lebih bijak melihat tren ekonomi kelapa sawit. Tahun lalu, sepulang tur dari Kalimantan, Navicula merilis merchandise band sabun tanpa minyak sawit. “Awalnya ingin menunjukkan sikap kecil, kita bisa punya kok alternatif selain sawit. Ternyata kehadiran sabun tanpa minyak sawit itu sangat disambut. Belum ada band yang merchandise-nya sabun. Agak lucu dan seperti bercanda, tapi pesan dari sabun itu bisa tersampaikan dengan jelas: minyak sawit adalah bom waktu kerusakan lingkungan kita. Maka, mari bersikap sekarang, tunjukkan dukungan dengan mengisi petisi di”


Greenpeace Tiger Manifesto

I’m fearless for forests! I want the products I use to be free from tiger extinction. Clearing their homes to make way for palm oil plantations in Indonesia must stop, especially when there are better solutions.

I look after myself and I want to know what’s in my products. Don’t make me part of the Sumatran tigers’ extinction.

Yes! I want the products I love to be tiger and forest friendly.

  • There are solutions that don’t involve forest destruction. We want clean palm oil and we ask that our favourite brands listen to our voices.
  • We believe immediate action must be taken to stop habitat destruction finding its way into the products we love.
  • We have the right to know if our favourite products are linked to tiger extinction.

Download Jujur & Setia – a song to #SaveBaliDogs

Written by Lakota on . Posted in Navictivism, News


Our song “Jujur & Setia” means “Honest & Faithful” was written by Robi (vocalist of Navicula) for his dog, and was released in 2005 on our 4th album “Alkemis”. We are posting this song today in response to the recent inhumane killings of Bali street dogs by the Indonesian Government. They claim these recent killings are due to another outbreak of rabies, however the timing suggests they are simply cleaning up the streets for APEC2013.

GIGS: Bali Anti-Corruption Fest, 13 April 2013

Written by navicula on . Posted in Gigs, Navictivism, News

Anti-corruption Fest: Tur album kompilasi Frekuensi Perangkap Tikus (unduh gratis di
13 April 2013, Jam 16:00-23:00
di Gd. Sawaka Dharma, Lumintang, Denpasar, Bali

Bands: Navicula, Geekssmile, Scared of Bums, Ripper Clown (Denpasar), Morfem (JKT), Iksan Skuter (JKT)

Teater Kini Berseri, Mural Komunitas Djamur – ISI Denpasar, Painting exhibition Made Bayak.

Free Entry!

Solarizing Borobudur with Greenpeace

Written by Lakota on . Posted in Navictivism, News


Navicula woke up to a BuddhaFull morning under the shadow of Borobudur. We arrived late the night before after finishing a gig at Sangkring Art Space in Jogja and didn’t realize that our hotel, Manohara, was actually located on the Borobudur Temple grounds, just meters from the world’s biggest Buddhist Temple.