In 2014, I spent some time with the Brajamusti supporter group of Yogyakarta. They actively support and work for the team, PSIM: a second division club with a long history. Indonesia has tens of millions of enthusiastic football fans. It is a football mad country. Many of the fans, however, support English, Italian or Spanish football teams. Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus have official websites in Indonesian. There are supporter groups for these clubs throughout Indonesia, but mainly in Jakarta. The top division of domestic football doesn’t receive much media coverage, let alone the second division. I was interested in meeting with football fans who ‘supported their local team’. As I was living in Yogyakarta, I met with PSIM fans. PSS Sleman is to the north of the city of Yogyakarta (but a part of the province of DIY), and Persiba Bantul to the city’s south. PSIM was hardly a glamorous team, and is undergoing difficulties. I was interested in how the fans made their culture and what they did to maintain and galvanise support for their club.
I made these two recordings of a rehearsal of their chants at Mandala Krida Stadium. The temperature was well-above 30 and the sun was out. The supporters warmed themselves up with some drinking in the shade of the stadium. The supporters were led by the two conductors, Ari and Unyil. The event was organised by the then President of Brajamusti, Pak Eko. Dimaz Maulana, of Bawah Skor, also helped rally the supporters. Adnan D. Kusuma, of punk group, DOM 65 was also instrumental in bringing the fans together. This was the off-season. And now, the season-proper has been interrupted after Indonesia has been expelled from FIFA and the Sports Minister has frozen the activities of the PSSI. I was accepted easily into the broader community of PSIM supporters, and they appreciated my interest. This was my first proper foray into football supporter culture. The supporters work year-round, producing PSIM (and Brajamusti) merchandise, developing chants, banners and flags. PSIM would disappear in a day were it not for these, and other, supporters. Support your local team: wherever you are, whoever they are.