Burning bright

What Media Says


About Eka Kurniawan,
and was originally published in The Economist,
Jan 23, 2016


MASSIVE, chaotic, endless and, despite it all, also charming, Jakarta can seem less a city than some sort of organic life form inexorably consuming north-western Java. More people live in greater Jakarta than in Australia; its residents send out more tweets than those in any other city. Yet millions of Jakartans also live in slums with pirated electricity and no running water. Traffic clogs the streets from dawn until well after nightfall—kita tua di jalan (“We grow old in the streets”), complain the city’s eternally harried drivers—and people from every corner of Indonesia cram into every available corner of the city.

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