Indonesian Publishers Association
This is IKAPI:
A PROFILE AND WORK OF MORE THAN SEVEN DECADES
When the name Ikapi is mentioned, the Indonesian public would instantly relate it to book or literacy. Ikapi (The Indonesian Publishing Community) is highly identical to book publishing, book exhibitions, as the major educational book provider, and it is also seen as the symbol of the struggle in enhancing reading and writing interest within the Indonesian public.
Ikapi’s existence is highly grounded since the organization has been around since 17 may 1950 – 10 years following the proclamation of Indonesia’s independence. For more than seven decades, Ikapi has kept growing together with the book-based Indonesian educational development. Ignas Kleden’s thesis in the “Buku dalam Indonesia Baru” (“Books in the New Indonesia”) (1999) said that books are a cultural behavior; books are the process of cultural production; books are a cultural product. So, each attention given to books shows our cultural sense of value. That is why Ikapi continues to fight for the existence of books within the context of culture, which serves as the pillar of the nation’s development in the future.
17 May 1950 was a historical day for Ikapi. This was the day when the three literacy figures initiated the establishment of the publishing organization. Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, M. Jusuf Ahmad and Mrs A. Notosoetardjo were the ones who founded Ikapi with their nationalism spirit following Indonesia’s independence in 1945. Prior to the country’s independence, Indonesia’s book publishing was dominated by the Dutch Colonial government, whereas the indegeneous people’s publishing companies could only did it in restrictedly and secretly. So the history of Ikapi’s establishment is highly related with the movements during Indonesia’s independence period.
Ikapi was established as an organization based on Pancasila, collaboration and a sense of close-knit. Based on the agreement among the founders of Ikapi, Achmad Notosoetardjo was chosen as the first head of Ikapi, Mrs Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana was chosen as the vice head, Machmoed as the secretary, M. Jusuf Ahmad as the treasurer, and John Sirie was chosen to be the commissioner. 13 publishers from the Java Island joined the organization in the first years of Ikapi’s establishment.
Five years later, Ikapi was able to gather 46 publisher members where most of them were from Jakarta and the rest were from the Java and Sumatra Islands. Ikapi was centralized in Indonesia’s capitol Jakarta, and North Sumatra was made as the organization’s first branch, created in October 1953.
The 1st Ikapi Congress was held on 16-18 March 1954 in Jakarta. The congress passed the establishment of Ikapi branches for the areas of Jakarta, Central Java, East Java, West Sumatra and North Sumatra. Within four years Ikapi’s existence in Indonesia became more and more stronger.
Being an Influence in the Dynamics of Indonesian Literacy
As a pioneering literacy organization in Indonesia, Ikapi was involved in various dynamic policy making of Indonesian literacy , from the Old Order, New Order until the Reform period. Ikapi was also faced with hard times during the monetary crisis in 1998, leading to the emergence of reform demands within the national literacy. For more than seven decades Ikapi had fought for the interests of literacy actors, such as promoting reading interest through exhibitions, the removal of book tax, paper price control by the government, empowerment of human resource in the field of literacy, and the management of educational book commerce.
Ikapi positions itself as an active, progressive, critical and initative partner of the government, that offers solutions in addressing the problems surrounding national literacy, particularly that of educational books. Until today Ikapi has cooperated with various institutions and Ministries in Indonesia, such as the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), including the Literacy and Language Development Board, the Indonesian National Library, and Kemendikbud’s national Book Committee, the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf); the Ministry of Research and High Education (Kemenristekdikti); the Ministry of Religion (Kemenag); and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kemenkominfo).
One of Ikapi’s significant involvements together with the Indonesian government was for organizing the 1st National Literacy Congress in 1995. During the reform period, Ikapi also pushed for the application of the National Literacy Reform, leading to the establishment of the National Book Board. And then Ikapi also acted as a strategic partner of the government when Indonesia was chosen as the guest of honor in Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015.
Following the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair, Ikapi was increasingly being involved in international book exhibitions, like the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and the London Book Fair, as well as exhibitions held in Asian and ASEAN countries. Ikapi supported the ease of access for Indonesian writers and publishers to take their works globally through their copyrights selling in various countries. From here we witness the significance of the government support in regards to promotional and cultural diplomacy projects through books.
The government’s support is also essential on national level. Ikapi has obtained a highly valuable support from Bekraf and the Kemendikbud for the 2018 Indonesia International Book Fair (IIBF), which served as the biggest literacy event in Indonesia. 2018 marked Ikapi’s 37th literacy event since the establishment of the organization. Ikapi acknowledges that the problems and challenges of Indonesian literacy still need to be addressed through Ikapi’s initiatives and active role on national level. So Ikapi welcomes the implementation of Law No. 3 2017 About Literacy System, which was initiated by the Indonesian’s People’s Representative Council (DPR-RI) and supported by the government. The Law will become a new chapter in the effort to develop national literacy, which inevitably will put Ikapi as one of the agents of change within the literacy ecosystem.
As one of the responds to the issued Law No 3/2017 About Literacy System, particularly in regards to the mandate of quality guarantee, Ikapi together with Kemkominfo have initiated to set up the Indonesian Standard of the National Work Competition (SKKNI) in the Book Publishing Division which has been passed by the Indonesian Minister of Labor in 2018. SKKNI has become as the first standard of competition in Indonesia particularly in terms of book publishing. Ikapi wishes that in the future, literacy actors could be certified and expected to work in accordance to the literacy standard.
Ikapi is also actively involved in setting up the literacy standard initiated by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the National Standard Board. It is paramount for literacy industry to also be implemented in accordance to the applied international standard.
Taking Part in Creative Industry
Book publishing is included as one of Indonesia’s 16 potential creative industries. Even so, according to Bekraf, book publishing creative industry has contributed significant income following culinary and fashion industries. This is something to be proud of and comes with great expectation for the country’s future literacy industry. Today, with more than 1.950 publisher members spread in Indonesia’s 26 provinces, Ikapi aims to become a haven for the development of Indonesian literacy – and bring about creative literacy products to the world. In order to realize that aim, being a mother literacy organization, Ikapi also takes part in training literacy artisans including writers, translators, editors, illustrator and designers.
Ikapi also serves as an essential element in bridging the transfer of technology in the field of publishing, from analog to digital system. This is why Ikapi is calling its entire members to adapt in a digital ecosystem by adjusting the paradigm about content as the main power of book publishers. Ikapi also offers membership for digital/E-book publishers. It is hoped that Ikapi could also contribute in creating books of the future that could interact with the Z and Alpha generations.
As an independent organization, Ikapi had developed a number of business lines in responding to the literacy industry development. The first business line established was the Literacy Academy and the Indonesian Publishing (Alinea) that focuses in the area of training and short courses provisions in the field of writing and publishing. The second business line is the Borobudur Agency that works in the area of literacy agency, created to assist Indonesian publishers to sell their copyrights globally. Ikapi has also established the Ikapi Store as an online bookshop that bridges the trade of printed and digital books online.
Welcoming a New Era
After seven decades, Ikapi is has been headed by 14 of the best Indonesian men and woman in literacy. Today Ikapi is headed by Eng. Rosidayati Rozalina who was chosen in the 2015 National Work Meeting. Each of the chosen leaders always served as an agent of change in their own time.
The same is also done today. A new era has come, and Ikapi has recognized it since the beginning of the Internet penetration into the public lives. The new era is called as the Disruption Era where the industry world has come into the 4.0 Industry Revolution, which has altered the industry paradigm significantly. The revolution has of course influenced changes within the book industry.
Digital technology has made book publishing easier and cheaper, but the main power still lies on the creativity and innovation of the people, as in the literacy actors. Ikapi recognizes that soon a wave of change is coming, and it will come in the form of the rising of publishers managed by the Millenials. The world would witness so many surprising patterns in book publishing. The signs have already been seen earlier from the way the social media has influenced the effect of the selling of books.
Applications of stories such as Wattpadd has given birth to talented new writers. Online shops have made books easier to get. Information about books, writers, and how books are being published has become massively spread. The literacy world is no longer an unknown world, but it has turned into a world that influences lifestyle. Ikapi realizes the rapid changes that are taking place. The impression of an old and conservative organization must also be altered moderately during literacy events, in social media interactions, as well as Ikapi’s events that are oriented in the development of youth literacy. Ikapi plays a great role in embracing the entire society from different social backgrounds, education levels, and age, considering books are not published simply as intellectual products, but they are products that also hase their own generic characteristics.
A book is the window to the world. This classical jargon is still ever relevant until now. Ikapi has made those windows open in Indonesia for more than seven decades now. It is from those windows, the wind of change comes to mature and develop Indonesia’s reading and writing interest. Ikapi is the literacy icon of Indonesia – on organization of book publishers, stretched from Sabang until Merauke. This is Ikapi.