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Miniature Superhero Models Boost Jakarta Governor's Re-election Campaign in Indonesia

Miniature model of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, more popularly known as Ahok. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

Miniature model of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, more popularly known as “Ahok.” Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

A series of pictures showing a miniature model of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, more popularly known as “Ahok,” has gone viral on social media.

The Ahok miniature models were created by artist Dennys Wang, a miniaturist who specializes in making superhero action figures. This time he chose to create a miniature model of his personal superhero, the governor of Indonesia's capital.

Giving the photos their real vital appeal, Wang then took pictures of the miniature governor campaigning and greeting constituents in various public places in the city. He posted the photos on Facebook and named it the “Miniature Campaign” (Kampanye Miniatur).

Ahok, who is running for re-election this year, has been at the center of a blasphemy scandal since last year that even required him to appear in court.

In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim-dominated country in the world, Islamic militants often condemn Ahok for his religious beliefs and ethnicity. Last year, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the streets, calling for Ahok's ouster because of claims that he insulted Islam.

Also groups also criticize Ahok's leadership style, saying he panders to the middle class at the expense of the poor.

Though his popularity took a hit with the blasphemy allegations, Ahok remains the gubernatorial race's frontrunner, according to early surveys.

Speaking to Global Voices, Dennys shared his reasons for creating the Ahok miniature models:

Di US dan luar negeri lainnya udah banyak action figure seperti Barrack Obama, Abraham Lincoln. Winston Churchill, mereka semua orang hebat. Jadi Saya rasa Ahok cocok untuk dibikin Action figurenya dari Indonesia

In the U.S. and abroad, there are many [political] action figures, such as Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and all of them are great men. I believe Ahok deserves his own action figure, to represent Indonesia.

Dennys said that many Jakartans are enthusiastic to see the miniature governor greeting them in the streets. Below are some photos from the “Miniature Campaign” project:

Governor Ahok's miniature. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

Governor Ahok's miniature. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

Miniature Ahok greeting the residents

Miniature Ahok greeting residents of Jakarta. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

‘Ahok’ greets his constituents. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

Miniature Ahok greeting a supporter

Miniature Ahok greets a supporter. Photo by Dennys Wang, used with permission.

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