“Creating a better world for everyone is a calling that cannot be avoided as long as we live. Struggle, in whatever form, must first strengthen the capacity of those who live as citizens, no matter the country.”

Eka Putra Nggalu is an artist and activist who uses art to empower communities of widely varying economic, religious, cultural, and educational backgrounds, primarily in Maumere, Flores Island, Indonesia. He has worked as a curator, producer, and artistic director across many different mediums, including the Siselo Susurang Festival, a community-based cultural festival; the Maumere Exhibition, a presentation of visual art and archives; the Flores Writers Festival; and the Maumerelogia theater festival.

Eka was one of the founders of Komunitas KAHE, a community organization and art space that opens inclusive dialogues and encourages collective action through art. He also writes at Lau Ne, Komunitas KAHE’s digital cultural journal.

Eka believes in the power of art to inform and activate civic responsibility, to dissolve tensions between disparate groups, and to foster democratic participation. Through research, archival work, writing, and collaborative art projects such as festivals and exhibitions, Eka brings more voices into conversations about new forms of systemic inequality. He believes art can play a role in creating empathy and it also challenges us to ask how political systems can be fair and how everyone can be empowered to determine their own destiny.