A roar for nature in Indonesia: Q&A with the poet behind ‘Indigenous Species’

What Media Says


About Khairani Barokka,
Written by Basten Gokkon, and was originally published in Mongabay,
Oct 30, 2017


Two decades after the catastrophic Indonesian wildfires of 1998-9, writer and artist Khairani Barokka revisits her feelings about the disaster in a book-length poem that highlights environmental degradation and indigenous rights violations.

Barokka wrote “Indigenous Species” in 2013 for a performance at the Melbourne Emerging Writers’ Festival, and published it last December through Tilted Axis, a nonprofit press based in London.

As an adolescent, Barokka witnessed her parents, an urban planner and an ecologist, try to deal with the fallout from the fires. Though no longer as severe, the burning still occurs every year across Sumatra, Borneo and other Indonesian regions, the result of large-scale peatland drainage and slash-and-burn practices. In 2015, smoke from the fires sickened half a million people.

Read the full article here.