Eva Cleven is in Indonesia with the Islamic metal band Purgatory. The seven band members combine their love for metal, perhaps the most western music imaginable, with their love for Allah and aversion of the Western decadence. But can you still keep the western and non-western culture strictly separate in 2017?
With 204 million Muslims, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. The country is also home to an immense metal subculture, according to some, the largest in the world. For example, a place near Bandung has been known since 2000 as kampung metal, the metal village. From dear fourteen-year-old girls to heavy metal boys; they are all in for the headbanging. Even the current president, Joko Widodo, is a proud metalhead.
Purgatory is a well-known example from the one finger metal movement: Purgatory mixes metal with Islamic values and texts that call for reflection and rejection of Western decadence. The band members are worried about the increasing Western influences on their compatriots who like to adopt Western standards.
Eva follows the band and also goes to the mosque, were she is very welcome to look around, on the condition that she is not on her period and therefore unclean.
Day and night, one of our program makers follows remarkable young people who take us into their world. A world that is no longer waiting for Western ideals. Partying, hating, loving, praying and working: we experience adventures with people who are different in life than we are; looking for new ideas, amazing insights and totally different truths.
The westerners step out of their own comfort zone, directly into someone else's existence elsewhere. With an open mind, sharpness, empathy and humor they attract people who are completely different in life. Each and every one of them act from their own perspective and also have to criticize Western ideals such as democracy, religious freedom, women's emancipation or animal welfare. This leads to astonishing insights and confrontations with other truths, on which own prejudices can be tested and perhaps also revised.
Looking beyond our own navel, beyond our Western dogmas - to be able to reflect on what it actually means to be 'Western'. The Westerners combine participatory journalism with telling stories that surprise, move and defy our world view.
One Westerner, one week, somewhere in the world in a completely different culture, challenging the western privilege. With: Nicolaas Veul, Maral Noshad Sharifi, Eva Cleven, Willem Timmers and Stef Biemans
Presented by: Maral Noshad Sharifi, Stef Biemans, Willem Timmers, Nicholas Veul, Eva Cleven,
© VPRO May 2017
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