From Slum to Tourist Attraction

The brightly painted Warna-warni kampong or shanty town (slum), Malang, Java, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Asia

Imagine that there is a dirty, nasty, slum area in your city. The city residents don’t like it, yet the slum dwellers don’t want to go elsewhere. What can you do about it? Force them to move somewhere else or leave them alone and put up with your city looking dirty? Well, that’s the predicament facing many mayors, including that of Malang City. However, there is an alternative solution to the problem; turn the slum into a tourist attraction.

Jodipan, a slum area which is situated in Malang City, had been a problem for a long time. The local government really wanted to fix the problem, yet they were unable to. This was because the slum area had been in Malang for a long time. Had they been relocated with force, the dwellers there would have retaliated. However, things changed in 2016, when a group of university students from Muhammadiyah University of Malang City arrived. 

This group, called “GuysPro”, had a public relation practice to look for a client and set out to save the problem through an event. Then, GuysPro gave their proposal to the local paint producer called PT. Inti Daya Guna Aneka Warna, or “Indana” for short. Unfortunately, it was rejected. Furthermore, Indana challenged the group to hold a corporate social responsibility. Long story short, the group accepted the challenge to get the Indana’s support.

GuysPro then consulted their difficulties to their lecturer, who was also their supervisor. Then, they came with a conclusion to go through the slum areas within Malang City and, long story short, they decided to transform Jodipan. 

To transform a slum area, they needed a lot of work. First of all, they tackled the root of the whole problem; there was no dumpster anywhere near the slum area. Therefore, the dwellers there were forced to throw their waste into the nearby river. To solve the problem, they set out to change this bad habit by transforming the slum area into a colorful one. By decorating the area, it would not only create a more pleasant appearance, but would also benefit the paint company, Indana.

They also started to educate the dwellers through influential locals, explaining the reason behind the painting project, which is to decorate the area and remind the dwellers not to throw away their waste to the river in order to maintain the decoration. The project’s execution began on the 22nd May 2016. The dwellers, Indonesia Special Air Forces (Paskhas), and 10 painters from Indana started to paint. People were keen to paint their houses with the preferred color. In addition, a group of mural activists in Malang also played their role in decorating the slum area with their creativity.

After the painting was completed, the mayor of Malang City at that time, Mochamad Anton, and the vice president of Indana, Steven Antonius Sugiharto, visited Jodipan. Then, the mayor suggested implementing the same thing in the other slum area located on the other side of Jodipan, separated by a river. He also suggested building a bridge to connect the two slum areas. Therefore, the university students from the engineering faculty of Muhammadiyah University of Malang City tried to build it.

By the 4th September 2016, Jodipan had been transformed from a slum area into a a tourist attraction known as “Kampung Warna-Warni Jodipan” (the Colorful Village) after the mayor and the vice president of Indana had inaugurated it. Although it had been inaugurated, the bridge which connected two slum areas was not yet complete. This was finished on the 7th October 2017 and became one of the best photo spots. The process of transforming this slum area required approximately 3 tons of paint. 

Inilah Sosok Mahasiswa Kreatif Penggagas Kampung Warna-Warni Jodipan di  Kota Malang - Ublik.id

After the inauguration, “Kampung Warna-Warni” became a famous local tourism site. Not only because of the amazing transformation, but the place is also famous for its cheap entrance tickets. With only IDR 3.000 (USD 0.21), you can explore the place and take as many photos as you like, for there are plenty Instagrammable spots in this place. If you visit Malang City, try to visit this place. You may even seize the opportunity to post a picture on Instagram. 

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