Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the mayor of Solo city, once again proves his talent in grasping the public interest through his mischievousness. During the recent celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day (Aug 17, 2023), Gibran wore a shirt of parking service.
When other politicians and public figures wore national costumes, cosplaying national heroes or wayang orang, Gibran was just being himself. A young politician who knows how to take public interest. When he was asked about his costume, Gibran calmly answered, “the concept is retribution, there is no hidden meaning behind it.” Means Gibran sees parking service attendants as heroes who help cities with retribution income from parking.
Despite saying that there was no hidden meaning, it’s always possible to analyze Gibran’s decision making regarding his parking uniform. Moreover, Political Communications or Political Marketing is always about that subtle text or hidden message that people perceived from every action.
There was one funny moment when Yenny Wahid, the daughter of former president Adurrahman Wahid, commented, “Oh petugas parkir, kirain petugas par…”. She was being playful with him by stating that Gibran was a parking staff (petugas parkir) instead of staff for his political party (petugas partai).
It’s just an analysis for one possibility about Gibran’s subtle statement through his fashion. He might be positioning himself as a not political party’s staff and showing his satirical statement about the organizational culture of his political party.
There is another possibility. It can be analyzed that Gibran is linking himself or building a standpoint that he is indeed on the side of parking staff. In another word, he is a political figure who cares about the poor and the marginalized people, that’s why he dressed as a parking staff.
Going against the mainstream narrative of cosplaying national heroes. Gibran might want to send a message that “the people are the heroes”.
Well, whatever he wanted to show from his fashion statement during the Independence Day celebration, both possibilities are benefiting him. It was a well-played political statement, executed at the right time.
By: Putu Radar Bahurekso