Komunitas Salihara is an arts center active since August 8, 2008 and the first private multidisciplinary arts center in Indonesia.

Located on a 3,800 m2 plot of land on Jalan Salihara 16, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, the Komunitas Salihara complex consists of three main buildings: Teater Salihara, Galeri Salihara, and office space. The black-box Teater Salihara is the only theater of its kind in Indonesia at this time.  Currently, the Komunitas Salihara complex is expanding with additional facilities to include a rehearsal studio, guesthouse, and amphitheater.

Komunitas Salihara was formed by a number of writers, artists, journalists, and art lovers.  Since it was established, Komunitas Salihara has presented a wide range of programs in arts and ideas; some of which are from abroad and world class quality.

Once named “The Best Art Space” (2010) by the magazine Time Out Jakarta and as one of the “10 Most Unique Places in Jakarta” (2010) by Metro TV, the architecture of Komunitas Salihara has also been described as, “Architecture which applies environmentally friendly aspects” by Green Design Award 2009.

 Today Komunitas Salihara is visited by many people who wish to enjoy the high quality programs on arts and ideas, both classic and contemporary. Komunitas Salihara has also become a meeting place for groups with varied interests—such as writers, filmmakers, choreographers, young architects, those interested in philosophy, translators, book lovers, and others.

Komunitas Salihara can be called an alternative cultural center: it is not owned by the central government, regional government, or a foreign embassy.

The vision of Komunitas Salihara is to maintain freedom of thought and expression, respect differences and diversity, and to foster and spread artistic and intellectual resources.  We need to assert this vision, because in Indonesia today, where electoral democracy has been implemented for the last two decades, freedom of thought and expression is still threatened from above (by instruments of the State) or from the side (by sectors in society itself, especially groups acting in the name of some religious or ethnic group).

In its programming, Komunitas Salihara gives priority to new arts.  This innovation is not merely a sign for us that people support arts which are dynamic, but it is also a creative attitude towards the diverse artistic heritage of Indonesia and the world. Komunitas Salihara invites audiences to support this innovation. However, to achieve this ideal situation will require a rather long process.  For that reason, Komunitas Salihara still presents arts of an “ordinary” nature which we see as a bridge for general audiences to move towards the new arts which we mean.  In this way, we hope that in the years to come, Komunitas Salihara can hold more performances of new arts and expand the circle of audiences with a new perspective.

In undertaking our programs, Komunitas Salihara has been assisted by various institutions, mainly private institutions or individuals. Besides this, Komunitas Salihara always tries to work in cooperation with a number of foreign institutions, for example, foreign cultural centers in Jakarta, in bringing groups to Indonesia.


Komunitas Salihara's Program

In one year, Komunitas Salihara presents about 100 events of dance and theater performances, music concerts, literary readings and discussions, art exhibitions, films, and dance, literature and music workshops.  Besides that, Komunitas Salihara also holds discussions and talks to activate public debate for which currently there is little space; both about currently hot issues or the ideas of specific figures in the humanities. The Board of Curators whose members are leading Indonesian writers and artists design all the programs with relatively long-term planning.  

Besides programs in arts and ideas held regularly each month, currently Komunitas Salihara has several special programs described below:



Starting 2016, Salihara Festival will be given a new name: Salihara International Performing Arts Festival (SIPFEST). This Festival held every two years presents top performing arts, that is, performance pieces which as a whole and in combination with one another are the ideal selections of the Board of Curators of Komunitas Salihara.  Included are creations by Indonesian artists regarded to be on a par with world class works, as well as a number of premiere performances by leading international artists.  SIPFEST is a series of works in dance, theater and music from assorted genres and backgrounds.

 SIPFEST is an offering from Komunitas Salihara for Indonesia, so that this country can show it exists at a high level in the international realm.  Specifically, SIPFEST is also an offering for the city of Jakarta where we live. We hope this series of top performances can help to enliven Jakarta, a city full of political and economic conflicts, traffic jams, and an entertainment industry of television and malls.

Held for the first time in 2008, SIPFEST has become a kind of gala of events for a wide audience. Every day for the month-long festival, spectators witness a series of performances in the Blackbox Theater and Salihara Gallery that expand the horizons of their appreciation.  Meanwhile, at the Salihara complex there are a number of supporting events taking place all of which enrich the series of SIPFEST.


Literature & Ideas Festival

LIFEs (Literature and Ideas Festival) is a new name and format that evolves out of Salihara Literary Biennale which itself originated in a 2001 format by Komunitas Utan Kayu. LIFEs culminates in October. Nationally, October is celebrated as the Month of Language, which is also a reason behind our choice of timing.

The duration of LIFEs itself differs between odd and even years. During odd-numbered years, LIFEs is held for a whole month in October, while in even-numbered years, LIFEs is held only for one week in the same month.

LIFEs present classic gems alongside the latest outputs in the world of literature and ideas, providing a stage to showcase the development of contemporary literature in Indonesia and beyond. LIFEs programs include: literature on stage, discussions, literary talks, interesting workshops, as well as a Literary Critique competition for High School Students.



Helateater Salihara (Salihara Theaterfest) is an evolution of Komunitas Salihara’s theater program. From a performance staged every one-and-a-half months by a single group of artists, Salihara Theaterfest has evolved into a small annual festival featuring several theater groups. Previously, the festival was known as Salihara Theater Forum and presented works reflecting certain themes via such events as Forum Teater Realis (Realist Theater Forum) and Forum Lakon Adaptasi (Forum for Adapted Plays).

Salihara Theaterfest endeavors to promote the acting potential of Indonesian theater. With its motto, “Returning to the strength of acting”, the first three years of this program attempted to encourage the art of storytelling and of stage acting art across Indonesia, something that has long been neglected due to the dearth of theater

acting here and also due to a preference for the body-theater genre. In future years, we may also expand Salihara Theaterfest to embrace other forms of theater, while endeavoring to maintain the program’s high quality.



Salihara Jazz Buzz is a series of jazz concerts presenting the latest compositions which are explorative, smart, full of innovation, and fresh, not found on the usual jazz stages.  For this forum, leading jazz composer-musicians present their latest formations and collections of their work.

Salihara Jazz Buzz is aimed at offering the public a standard of quality in the world of jazz.  By coming to this series of high-quality jazz concerts, the public will expand their appreciation and at the same time join in encouraging the development of jazz in Indonesia.



Helatari is a dance festival presenting the newest works by a number of the best choreographers from Indonesia and abroad.  Helatari Salihara was held for the first time in 2015 taking as its theme, “New Dances from the Treasury of Archipelago Traditions”, providing the stage for a series of contemporary dance pieces which have absorbed influences from various corners of Indonesia.  Hopefully from this, new innovations will emerge in the traditional and contemporary dance worlds of Indonesia. This program is made to encourage public appreciation and prove there is still a lot of material and values to be explored in traditional dance and to give new perspectives to the performers and the audience.    



Forum World Music is a new program of Komunitas Salihara to be initiated in 2015.  In this forum we will present musicians and groups whose repertoires are often categorized as world music, a broad term encompassing assorted ethnic music from around the world, various traditional music mixed with new innovations and elements of modern music, as well as music which combines a number of traditions. Forum World Music will stage the works of Indonesian musicians who have undertaken creative dialogues with numerous forms of traditional music of Indonesia and the world.



Class is a program which reinforces the educational mission of Komunitas Salihara through the field of arts. In Philosophy Class, for example, the public can take part in a lecture package for an entire month with meetings held four times.  By studying a particular theme intensively, participants will be ushered into systematic ways of thinking as well as new interpretations of various socio-cultural phenomena.  Besides the Philosophy Class, we also hold a Writing Class and Creative Thinking Class (Literature), Water Painting Class (Visual Arts), Acting Class (Theater) and a number of other short workshops led by performers and presenters in various events of Komunitas Salihara.  



Lectures present the views of key figures within certain disciplines regarding the recent situation within their discipline, for example architecture, education, or public policy, in the development of Indonesian society.  The Lectures attempt to contribute to cultivating transformative knowledge activities which until now have been undertaken by educational institutions, but seem to be not well disseminated and restricted by certain academic requirements.  The lecture notes of the speakers can be obtained as reference material for those participating in the program.



Discussions present various figures who we consider to have keen and serious perspectives in examining a proposed issue.  With the format of two speakers and one moderator, Discussions offer heated and in depth debates on certain themes which are current conversation topics.  Lately, Discussion events are crafted in such a way as to add to the intellectual value of the various programs or festivals running at Komunitas Salihara. The themes are actualized, allowing each Discussion to become an opportunity where participants can, deeply and cordially, analyze the diverse forms of art on offer.



Conversation on Books are programs of Komunitas Salihara in cooperation with publishers or book lovers’ communities.  This program presents the latest books on arts and humanities discussed in a serious yet relaxed fashion.  We often work together with small scale (indie) publishers who publish books which are important and suitable to share in discussions amongst book lovers. 



Komunitas Salihara provides a spacious opportunity for exploration, so artists may achieve a higher level of artistry. It is also open to multidisciplinary collaborations, to expand cooperation and networking among artists, researchers, art institutions, and international art society.

            Komunitas Salihara encourages the creation of site-specific installation works, and opens its doors to a wide variety of discussions with artists and art practitioners, to facilitate greater art appreciation among the public.

            Every three years, Komunitas Salihara holds Three-dimensional Artworks Co Competition aimed at young artists. Winners—those considered to have succeeded in expanding three-dimensional art praxis across disciplines—will have the opportunity to participate in overseas residency programs.