This ongoing photo project delves into the rich tapestry of life along the southern coast of Java, where ancient beliefs intersect with modern realities. Through the lens of Sundanese and Javanese mythology, the rituals honoring Nyi Roro Kidul, the queen the southern sea, provide a fascinating glimpse into local traditions (the rituals) and practices. 

Traversing the coastline, remnants of colonialism loom large in the form of the Daendels path, a historic route constructed by August Dirk Daendels during his tenure as Assistant Ambal Resident. Contrasting with the modern POS (De Grote Postweg) highway, this path holds significance as the route once traversed by Prince Diponegoro in his resistance against Dutch colonial rule. Today, the 130-kilometer-long Jalan Daendels, now known as the South Ring Road (JLSS) serves as a vital artery connecting the east of Cilacap to Wates, Yogyakarta. Rebuilt between 2015 and 2018, it annually facilitates the Lebaran homecoming pilgrimage.

Amidst these tales of cultural heritage and historical significante, a looming threat shadows the lives of those along the southern coast. The potential for a megathrust earthquake, predicated to occur every 400 years, poses a grave risk of triggering a devastating tsunami. According to researcher Sri Widiyantoro, in a publication in the journal Nature, the worst scenario entails simultaneous rupture of two megathrust segments, resulting in tsunami reaching heights of up to 20 meters and 12 meters along the southern coast of West Java and East Java, with an average maximum height of 4.5 meters along the Java’s southern coastline.

Using Format