“Cemeteries Are Everyday Life”―Five Indonesian Writers Talk Pandemic Normality

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This article mentions Agustinus Wibowo Azhari Aiyub Faisal Oddang Intan Paramaditha Ziggy Zezsyazeo viennazabrizkie
Written by Raka Ibrahim
Originally published in The Asia Center.
Mar 08, 2022


Roundtable talk / Asian Literature Project "YOMU" (Indonesia) Nothing remains the same after the pandemic, and Indonesian writers struggle, too. They must contend with personal battles, economic woes, and the realities of a book industry ill-prepared to face a global crisis. For the project YOMU, the Japan Foundation asked five well-known authors to reflect on their new normal life from their own perspective. What came out of this was five emotionally-charged short stories and essays. Ziggy Zezsyazeoviennazabrizkie wrote about child welfare issues and domestic violence, Azhari Aiyub used the durian craze as a metaphor for fighting back against collective trauma, Intan Paramaditha mused on the nature of borders and privileges, Faisal Oddang spoke of dreams and the spectre of death, while Agustinus Wibowo reflected on his identity and personal journeys. In September 2021, they spoke with Lily Yulianti Farid, writer and translator, and director of the Makassar International Writers Festival, about loss, the tasks of the literature scene after the pandemic, and the rapeutic snake dreams. Moderator: Lily Yulianti Farid Text (Indonesian and English): Raka Ibrahim

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