Untitled-16Nia S. Amira / Mardiah Faraz
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If you have the opportunity to go to Venezu­ela, you can find an oasis of the archipelago amongst magnificent buildings in the “rich area” of Caracas. Designer Liliana Avila, quite famous, displays the works of Indone­sian Artists featuring Mega Mendung motif of Cirebon, familiar as the city of shrimp. In fact, most of Venezuelan society understand con­cerning batik, the Indonesian heritage, and even outstanding batik in Latin style but keeps the touch of Indonesia has been displaying in many stores in the capital.

Prianti Gagarin Djatmiko-Singgih has just accomplished her duty last January 2016 as Ambassador to the Republic of Bolivarian Ven­ezuela as well as to other five countries; The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Com­monwealth of Dominica, and Saint Lucia has the feeling of high moral responsibility to bring Indonesia in good way in the entire world, in­cluding the introduction of arts and culture in the country. This middle-aged woman who likes to design her own clothes with various Indone­sian textile of various regions and combine with gorgeous jewelry mostly designed by herself al­ways charm her fellow diplomats in the country known as The Land of Grace.

Every work has always a challenge, as well as Prianti when starting her duty as Ambassador of Indonesia in Caracas. There are many threats asking for ransom kidnappings, including fami­lies of the staff of foreign representatives serving in Caracas in a vulnerable economic conditions at that time. Prianti herself reluctantly sent back her only son to Indonesia for security reasons since she had been caught in situations of armed conflict between the National Guard and the demonstrators from the opposition.

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Venezuela has its status as prone country in January 2016 after fighting for three years in order the diplomats who are in charge can get security facilities to support their work, includ­ing Indonesian diplomats in Caracas.

Prianti has tried to introduce various leading Indonesian products previously such as petro­leum, food products, spa products and herbs, cu­linary, furnitures, tourism, including shoes made in Indonesia. But among these products, batik is the most acceptable. Batik is acceptable because batik is unique creative economy product that combines the art and economy so it is more eas­ily accepted in the Latin American countries of Latin that upholds the art and beauty.

From “Kain Show” to the fashion show she wears herself every day in formal occasion to ca­sual clothes, while performing at various events diplomat, which were covered by local printed and electronic media. Her efforts were not in vain and batik began to glance and attract the attention of the Venezuelan, especially among the fashion world.

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Elvira Pares, Director of the Instituto Brivil, the most prestigious Fashion School in Venezu­ela, offered her as the jury of a fashion compe­tition. Prianti accepted willingly and after fin­ished that event, other offers started towards her, one of them was a guest lecturer teaching the knowledge of traditional fabrics.

Through that opportunity, Prianti intro­duced batik, from the history and philosophy, foreign cultural influences in Indonesian batik, a variety of diverse style batik by type and re­gion of origin of manufacture, to the process of making batik.

Her explanation of how to manufacture a piece of batik cloth that requires a long process and creativity of high art amazed her students.

Her students were very enthusiastic and the teaching plan which eventually only for 6 months was extended to 2 years. A number of 35 people from about 300 students at the Insti­tuto Brivil finally chose batik as their topic for the final thesis.

Prianti had the opportunity to broaden her teaching to several cities having the university or fashion institute in Venezuela like in Mara­caibo and Maracay.