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The Problem With Promoting Indonesian Literature Abroad?: A Simplistic White Gaze

Media Clippings

Many foreigners hold a mental image of a primitive Indonesia that is full of slums and dirty rivers and piles of garbage. They imagine, at best, the bamboo huts, the rice paddies and pastoral scenes. The Indonesia filtered, then presented by foreign translators and well-meaning international organizations has been selected to compound this image of a provincial country, one fragranced with nose-biting spices and jasmine blooms. But Indonesian writers tell a more expansive story. In their books, Indonesia is rich with bustling, vibrant cities, glass airports, museums full of art. The cities burst with becak and kopaja and buses and trains; every minute a plane leaves an airport. People fall in love in a grand mall, fall to their knees in a mosque; they fall out of love in a coffee shop. Families dance until night falls, and the people are not so different from you and I.

Read the full article here.

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For short, our main feature, the writer's directory, provides a way for writers to find one another, but more importantly, the resources provided make it easy for event hosts—especially for international event hosts—literary organizers, arts administrators, librarians, booksellers, and readers to get in touch with writers. It's a HOME FOR INDONESIAN WRITERS. We strive to break down the language barriers that have prevented Indonesian books or literature from becoming more widespread.

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