September 30, 2020
My oxygen is love
My oxygen is joy
My oxygen is forgiveness
My oxygen is nature
My oxygen is togetherness
Their oxygen is money
Their oxygen is power
Their oxygen is war
Their oxygen is killing
Their oxygen is hate
They took my oxygen away,
So they can breathe.
They killed my oxygen,
So they can be the King.
They raped my oxygen,
So they can make me a slave.
When will my oxygen be
When will my oxygen be happy?
I miss my oxygen.
Please give it back to me,
So that I may live again…
About the Poem and Dance
I created my poem and dance
for a world that is really sick right now. I rebel against the extinction of
the world’s biocultural diversity from my own experience as a young Indigenous
person. As one of the Indigenous youths of Indonesia, I am upset that we as
human beings are causing the loss of biocultural diversity. All living
creatures need one another to make our world healthy and beautiful. People need
other people to help one another. People also need biodiversity so that they
can survive and thrive. But if biodiversity is lost, people suffer. And if
people suffer, they cannot protect biodiversity.
I learned to create poetry
when I was fifteen years old. I took literature in senior high school and
learned about fiction, drama, and poetry, including traditional Malay poetry. I
have been composing poetry since I was sixteen. All of my poetry is about my
experience and what happens in the world. In senior high school, I twice
received an award as the best student of Malay literature.
I have also been a dancer
since the age of seven. I learned various genres of modern dance such as
hip-hop, popping, twerk, and contemporary dance. I really like contemporary
dance because it allows me to express my protest about our way of life. I am a
coach of modern dance in two private high schools in Maumere, the city where I
live in Indonesia. I not only guide students in dance practice but also teach
them to appreciate other people and other living things, so as to make this
world wonderful not only with our dances but also with our attitude.
I created my artwork to
show people around the world that we as living things need to heal the world.
The way to make this world better comes from within ourselves as human beings.
We need to appreciate one another—not only other people but also other living
things. We need to create this new world with love, forgiveness, and caring.
Today we are losing biocultural diversity because people are always selfish,
minding their own business and chasing power and money in the world.
Human activities are
responsible for the extinction of species and habitats and the loss of
biodiversity. The extinction of species and ecosystems means the extinction of
the life systems that support human life. And people are at war with one
another, too—killing, bullying, discriminating, and hating so that they can get
ahead in this world. The COVID-19 pandemic and mounting racial and ethnic
tensions around the globe are creating a devastating social, economic, and
political crisis that also contributes to the loss of biocultural diversity.
Watching the news of what’s
happening in the world right now, as an Indigenous youth I wanted to rebel. We
need nature and nature needs us, so we shouldn’t destroy each other. I created
my poetry when I was at the beach in Maumere. There I saw people in nature, saw
them enjoy the beauty of nature. We need to care for this beautiful nature so
it can still be there for future generations, instead of causing it to be gone
forever because of our destructive actions. That gave me the idea of making
poetry about biocultural diversity—not just about people but also about other
My poem is about what we
had before, like love, joy, forgiveness, togetherness, and nature—all the
things we are losing because of people who only care about money and power. We
and all other living things need the world to get better soon—and not only
because of COVID-19 but also because of the loss of togetherness and of caring
for one another and for the natural world. Plants and animals are vital
elements in the balance of nature and are essential to the health of the earth.
Breaking the balance of nature will make the earth no longer a comfortable home
for humans. As residents of the earth, we are obliged to preserve the existence
of plants and animals, in order to maintain the natural balance and ensure our
As for my dance, I created
it in one day to express my extinction rebellion. Many contemporary dancers
want to convey a message about love within a couple, but that’s not what I
wanted to do. In my choreography, I showed my feelings and emotions about the world
right now. I feel I am alone because many people don’t care about biocultural
diversity. We need to change all that and care for one another as human beings
and for other living things. In this video I used my stage name as a dancer,
FAUZ MA, which I have been using since I performed in senior high school. The
video of my dance was shot at one of the beaches in Maumere, with a nice view
of the sea and the islands in the background.
I offer my poetry and dance
as oxygen for the world. We need to learn to appreciate other people and other
living things so that we can help our world heal and make it better than it was