Somewhere Over the Rainbow

By Danielle Pope

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
How art has helped transform an Indonesian village

In a small village in Semarang in Central Java, over 200 houses have undergone quite the transformation.

Inspired by the colours and vibrancy of the local flower markets, local junior high school principal Slamet Widodo spearheaded a project that has turned at least 232 homes in Kampung Pelangi into works of art.

“I saw that our village looked like a slum,” Widodo told the ABC. “I dreamed about how my village would turn into a rainbow and how it would be so good it would be a tourist destination.”

The painting began about a month ago, and was funded by the Semarang Government and local businesses. The hills are now covered with houses painted in psychedelic colours, while creative murals adorning the walls of narrow passageways burst with life, giving a new sense of vigour to the community.

Local businesses say that the move has already increased tourism to the area, while Widodo says that it has helped reinstate local pride in the village. “After seeing all the houses are painted, people will be more aware of cleanliness,” he told the ABC. “Once they’ve seen their houses are painted and they look good, there are lot of people who come to see.



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