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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Muslim Ladies Buy Tickets for the Monas Tower

Muslim Ladies Buy Tickets for the Monas Tower

Year: 2013, Month: March

Indonesia > Jakarta Raya > Djakarta

'Monas', the 132 metre high 'Monumen Nasional' (National Monument) is both Jakarta's principal landmark and the most famous architectural extravagance of Indonesia's former dictator President Soekarno, who did not live long enough to see its completion. It took 14 years to build, and was officially opened in 1975 by the next president, President Soeharto. Clad with Italian marble and topped with a sculpted flame gilded with 35kg of gold leaf, it is an impressive structure, visible from most of central Jakarta, or 'Djakarta' as the capital city of Indonesia should more properly be called.

In the base of the National Monument is the National History Museum - a huge underground chamber lined and floored with more Italian marble, which contains 48 large dioramas that tell the story of the birth of the Indonesian nation. The highlight of most people's visit, though, is a trip by elevator to the top of the huge tower, and a chance to look out over the sprawling Jakarta skyline and spot the different buildings that make up this huge city. The ladies in this image are standing in line to buy tickets for this experience, waiting for their turn to reach the 'Loket' windows in the background. Their pink headscarves identify them as Muslim ladies, and their uniform dress suggests that they are part of a group of some kind, perhaps on a visit to the capital from some remote regional town, and intent on seeing as many of the capital's attractions as possible.

I like this photo for its element of repetition: the pink headscarves of the ladies, and the blue of their tunics. The central dot of orange provides an element of relief for the scene, and something for the viewers eye to momentarily rest upon before it starts to scan the image once again.

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