The City and the Writer: In Yogyakarta, Indonesia with Tia Setiadi

What Media Says


About Tia Setiadi,
Written by Nathalie Handal, and was originally published in Words Without Borders,
Jul 04, 2016


If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.
—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Can you describe the mood of Yogyakarta as you feel/see it?

Yogyakarta is a permissive city. Like a sponge, it absorbs anything and everything. But, like a big lake, it receives and embraces every influence and culture it encounters without being polluted by them. So the modern exists side by side with the traditional, and traces of history unfurl between malls and supermarkets. Walking down the streets or the alleys of this city, you will feel that you are part of this world and another world at the same time, and that there is no separation between the past, the present, and the future tenses. You will feel here and there at the same time. I suspect poets from all around the world would enjoy living in this city.

Read the full article here.