Works (in English)

A collection of works originally published in English.

May 18, 2017

Foreword from Makassar International Writers Festival

by Lily Yulianti Farid
With Diversity as the main theme, MIWF opens more room/space for meaningful conversations, intriguing insights and stimulating intellectual exchanges. We want to learn from past conflicts and the ongoing social and political escalations. We hope that through this exchange writers, readers and the general audience will maintain their hopes for a better and humanised Indonesia, a better and humanised World.
Apr 01, 2017

Blood Like Water

by Eve Shi
My friend Budi told me that Pak Eko saw the creature toward midnight. The pensioner was watching a dangdut singing competition on TV when a faint thump came from his front porch. The second time ...
Mar 27, 2017

[Let them eat] Cake

by Ninda Daianti
Ray, always hot tempered, tapped his fingers every three seconds on the table. He hated waiting. Lola, as usual, hadn’t arrived just yet; Ray looked at his watch. They’ve been coming here for the past ...
Jan 30, 2016

I hated gays, and they weren’t real — back then

by Okky Madasari
Sometimes we hate something just because we don’t understand it. This is exactly what happened to me when it comes to homosexuality. Ten years ago, I was in my early 20s and had just moved ...
Jan 01, 2016

After ’98: Censorship, compromises and resistance

by Eliza Vitri Handayani
October 2015 was a busy and controversial month for Indonesian literature dealing with the history of the 1965–66 mass killings in Indonesia. First, there was the Frankfurt Book Fair where Indonesia was the focus country ...
Dec 17, 2015

A Bloody Past: On Censorship in Indonesia

by Eliza Vitri Handayani
On October 23, I received news from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival: due to warnings from local police, the festival had to cancel sessions related to 1965 anti-communist massacres and their aftermath. I was ...
Oct 27, 2015

Censorship is returning to Indonesia in the name of the 1965 purges

by Laksmi Pamuntjak
A week ago I received a message from Janet DeNeefe, director of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. “I just wanted to let you know that the UWRF is being censored this year, and we have been told to remove all programs to do with ‘1965’,” she wrote. “Or else next year they will not give us a permit to hold the festival.”
Oct 13, 2015

Road Trip to NaNo: Exploring the Writer’s Heritage

by Eve Shi
First, a disclaimer: Indonesia is a vast archipelagic country. I live in Bogor, a town near Jakarta, the capital. The past write-ins I’ve been a part of have mostly taken place in Jakarta. However, thanks ...
Sep 24, 2015

Why I Wrote a Novel About Indonesian Political Exiles

by Leila S. Chudori
‘For me, who grew up and became an adult during the New Order period, I was conscious of a historical and political absurdity. I began to feel that there were some Indonesians who had become invisible.’ The year was 1988 and I had traveled to Paris on my way back home to Jakarta after graduating from Trent University in Ontario, Canada. At Rue de Vaugirard, in Paris’s sixth arrondissement, stood the restaurant Indonésia, a cooperative set up six years prior, in 1982, by Indonesian political exiles who had fled to Paris in the 1960s: Oemar Said, Sobron Aidit, J.J. Kusni, and Sudharsono. It was through my encounter with that restaurant that the novel Pulang or Home was born.
Nov 21, 2014

The Look of Silence and Indonesia’s dark mirror

by Intan Paramaditha
With eyes fixed on his television screen, Adi Rukun, the main character followed by documentary maker Joshua Oppenheimer in his new film, The Look Of Silence, seems to face a mirror that resurrects a nightmarish ...