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Indigenous Species: Poetry Book Connects Vietnam and Indonesia

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In this article:
Indigenous Species

Written by Paul Christiansen, originally published in Urbanist Hanoi

Jul 28, 2018

Massive fish die-offs, sewage-smothered lakes, natural parks gashed by cable cars, soot-sullied skies and overflowing landfills — when considering environmental issues, it is easy to view them from a localized, Vietnam-specific perspective. The same problems the country is facing, however, are occurring all over the world. By learning about them in other locations, we not only better understand the urgency of preserving natural spaces here, we also empathize with diverse populations through recognition of shared experiences and challenges. Indigenous Species, a book-length, art-accompanied poem by Indonesian author Khairani Barokka, which was recently translated into Vietnamese, helps connect Vietnamese readers with other populations through ruminations on ecological impact, identity, feminism and disability. When you abduct me down the rotten river, You make sure to wrap some rope around the hull, Lest the current gets swept into dreaming, And the dugout boat loses sight Of carvings and knives For the vision of ancestor breath, Calling us away from great hulks of islands And into water culled from the saliva of tigers Whose bloodlines we clotted to death on Java, Stabbed out of life on Bali.

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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