W.S.Rendra (1935-2009)

What Media Says

About Rendra, W. S.,
Written by Barbara Hatley, and was originally published in Inside Indonesia,
Aug 16, 2009

On Thursday 6 August W.S. Rendra, the renowned dramatist and poet, famed for his flamboyant, strutting ways as well as his huge literary talent and bold, anti-authoritarian political positions, passed away in Jakarta.

Rendra was a controversial figure, and opinions differed about some of his political and personal choices. But no-one who ever saw him perform in a play or read his poetry could doubt his amazing acting talent and magnetic personal charisma. No-one who knew the arts scene in Yogyakarta in the 1970s when his Bengkel theatre was active there could deny the centrality of his presence to the cultural life of the city. The impact of his model of theatre, politically-critical and closely tied to its social and cultural context, has been enormous, shaping the course of modern Indonesian theatre until today. His poetry too, from the early free-flowing ballads to the extended political reflections of later years, presented a distinctive and powerful voice that was influential for many.

Read the full article here.