Chidiebube Uba is a participant in the 2019 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum from Western Sydney University. Chidiebube is studying a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Media Arts Production and Journalism. Chidiebube received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum?
I decided to take on the ACICIS program because I had always wanted to undertake an exchange program. With not much time left until I finished my degree, I began to weigh up my options on the various destinations being offered up to me. At the last minute, the ACICIS offer came through and I knew it was perfect. I know plenty of students who have studied across the UK, Europe and the Americas. Indonesia was unique and gave me a chance to experience living in an environment and learn cultural/artistic practices different to what I was familiar with.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
I did receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. This grant meant that I could actually participate in the program to the best of my ability without worrying about my finances.
Q: How will the Creative Arts & Design Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
I believe that art has the power to move people to take social action and that understanding culture in a cross-cultural sense is one of many imperative steps to creating work that truly matters. Indonesia was my first social/ cultural experience and has inspired me to seek out more experiences.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your roles and responsibilities?
I interned with Brahma Tirta Sari, a traditional Javanese Batik art studio. I handled their social media and marketing strategies which would be implemented during the rebranding of their culture house. In my role, I also created short form visual content that would be posted on their social media websites as per a predetermined social media calendar.
Q: How is the work culture of your host organisation different to work experience you have had in Australia?
The work culture was very kind and supportive. Through other experience-based work opportunities I’ve done in Australia, I find that interns are placed either as the runner (who hardly get to participate in daily office activities) or overworked proxy (those who are given the privilege to work but way above what their experience allows them to). At the beginning of my placement, my mentors sat me down and asked about my past experiences, what I think I could do for them and how I believe my time in the studio could be best used. This meant we were all on the same page and there was no confusion on what they expected from me and vice-versa.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
If the chance to work in Indonesia ever came up, I would be delighted to take it up.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
In my spare time, I loved to catch up with friends. We would often head out on touristy type adventures and food safaris. Most of us made a pact to never eat at the same place twice just so we had enough time to explore as many new eateries as we could, but some places were way too good to pass up a second time, or a third!
Q: Favourite place to eat and favourite Indonesian food?
There were way too many places I loved to eat at whilst in Indonesia, but Gado Gado would have to be one of my most favourite Indonesian foods.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
My favourite Indonesian word/phrase is Nongkrong; the act of purposefully doing nothing. I had finally found a word that encapsulated my entire existence!
Q. What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
During the practicum I was lucky enough to stay in both Jakarta and Yogyakarta. I also visited locations in the outer Yogyakarta region and hiked to the villages of outer Baduy where I stayed for a weekend.