An ogoh-ogoh is a typical Balinese statue that is usually paraded on the night before Nyepi, the “Day of Silence” and the Balinese New Year. These symbolise a person’s evil qualities and they are usually frightening giants in various forms. The philosophy behind these figures is to encourage people to reflect on bad qualities and eliminate them before the Balinese New Year arrives, so that during Nyepi, humans can start a new, better life.
Mid-April 2022, the Eco Warriors made four ogoh-ogoh, working in groups at the Learning Centre. In line with Begawan’s principle of raising students’ awareness of the environment, the statues were made with environmentally friendly materials. The frame is made of bamboo, wrapped with waste paper, paper adhesive and clay, and the decorations are made from used cloth. These ogoh-ogoh will be exhibited at the end of the theme festival in May.
Eco Warriors Creativity is Developed
Through such activities, students’ creativity is developed. They learn to think about the concept of ogoh-ogoh decoration, combine colours, form sculptures to make them look more real, arrange flowers, and assemble frames. These statues were not easy to make, several times they encountered obstacles, including difficulties in positioning the ogoh-ogoh so that they would stand up straight, and being able to maximise the limited materials available for the construction. However, they worked to find creative solutions for these challenges.
The ogoh-ogoh that the Eco Warriors made represent a variety of forms of humans living side by side with butterflies and bees, instead of the usual frightening giants. With these statues, the students invite people to reflect on how humans relate to bees and butterflies today. Does our attitude to such insects make the bees and butterflies live without fear of extinction?
In fact, the number of bees and butterflies in the world today is decreasing, although they play an important role in helping to pollinate plants. Without us realising it, there is much human behaviour that can damage the natural habitat and food sources of bees and butterflies, including the use of chemical pesticides for plants and the climate change that is occurring worldwide due to a variety of human activities.
Given the importance of this issue as a topic of environmental conservation, the Eco Warriors are very excited to campaign for bees and butterflies’ conservation at the upcoming festival. Thank you, Eco Warriors, for being good friends to bees and butterflies. (Ketut Desy)