Lomba Merpati: Place-making and Communal Signalling within Javanese Pigeon Racing.

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Leyla Stevens


The project, Lomba Merpati, is a series of photographs and video works documenting pigeon racing in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Associated as a lower socio-economic class sport and tied up with expressions of Javanese masculinity, pigeon racing occupies a central position within much of the daily social activity of Javanese villages.  The project explores the significance of pigeon training grounds as communal gathering points for young men in Yogyakarta. Comprising short video and photographic portraits, the series focuses on the performative gestures enacted by pigeon fanciers as they train their pigeons for short distance sprinting.

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Curated Works: The Transcultural Edge
Author Biography

Leyla Stevens, University of Technology Sydney

Leyla Stevens is a Sydney based artist whose practice involves photographic and video based media that shift between documentary image making and performative imaginations. Her current research focuses on social spaces and embodied practices that address transcultural histories and relations. She holds a MFA by Research from Sydney College of the Arts and since graduating in 2011 has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include being selected for the 2014 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging) at Artspace, 63rd Blake Prize at UNSW Galleries and the 2014 SafARI biennale. In 2015 she was awarded a Skills and Development (General) grant through the Australia Council for the Arts which was used to undertake an artist mentorship program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She is currently undertaking doctoral research at the University of Technology Sydney.