[Public Talk] Our Voice Comedy for Change

7 March 2023

[Public Talk] Our Voice Comedy for Change



Comedy is a highly effective tool for communications and campaigns that provides opportunities for conversations on issues considered too sensitive or taboo in ordinary discussions. Comedy also provides an effective tool for the marginalized, harmed, discriminated communities to speak up, share their stories, empower themselves and their communities, and significantly contribute to changing narratives. Throughout the history of comedy especially stand-up comedy, the world witnessed women, women of color, people with disabilities, people from diverse minority groups finding their voice, claiming their space and reflecting injustices back to the society through stand-up comedy. As Lawrence E. Mintz coined, “Stand-up comedy is a social and cultural mediation,” providing space for dialogue and social campaign (Mintz, Stand-up Comedy as Social and Cultural Mediation, American Humor Quarterly Journal). In such case, stand-up comedy functions as a medium for dismantling stigmas and stereotypes, producing new meanings, promoting in-group cohesion, in-group and out-group cohesions, and releasing tension.

 Sakdiyah started a movement namely Our Voice Comedy for Change in 2020 where Sakdiyah wrote module and prepared training and workshop to address discrimination against women in comedy scene and promoting equality, inclusion, dialog, tolerance, diversity, and social change through comedy. Our Voice Comedy for Change workshop has been implemented in collaboration with various organizations including UN WOMEN, UNFPA, CREATE WEST JAVA, and MUBADALAH.ID with pre-dominantly women participants.

Performance by Sakdiyah Ma’ruf

Opening Act by Gloria Exelcise Muhammad and Vania Sharleen

Language: Bahasa Indonesia and English


Sakdiyah is Indonesia's First Muslim Female Stand-up Comic taking the stage to promote gender equality and fighting violence against women and religious fundamentalism.

Sakdiyah received several recognitions including Havel Prize for Creative Dissent 2015, BBC 100 Women 2018, Human Rights Foundation’s Freedom Fellows 2021, U.S. State Department IVLP 2021, and International Art Leaders Fellowship from Australia Council for the Art 2022.

Her comedy shows include Comedy Jihad, Born A Woman, Indonesia is Supposed to be Home for All and other shows. She is the founder of Our Voice for Change Workshop, an initiative to promote social change and equality through comedy and story-telling. The workshop has engaged 80 participants across Indonesia in 6 batches of training with great impact to the participants and gender equality causes. She lives with her husband and daughter in a bamboo house in a village in Central Java, Indonesia, where she is currently at early stage of developing a community creative space. Her upcoming performance will be at Melbourne International Comedy Festival stage March – April, 2023.