Sep 21, 2021 Last Updated 4:59 AM, Sep 20, 2021

Fiction & Essays

Essay: Redefining Indonesia

Almost twenty years after reformasi, journalist and novelist Leila S. Chudori ponders on the successes and failures of this historic period for Indonesia

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In Memoriam & Ten weeks in Bali, Java, Singapore and Sumatra, December 1981 - March 1982

Many older readers of Inside Indonesia will remember John Barnard, who died earlier this year in Melbourne after a brief illness. John, who worked as a technician in the science laboratory at Monash University, was a regular attendee at the regular Centre for Southeast Asian Studies seminars where he loved to meet up with old friends and make new ones. A shy retiring person and a bachelor all his life, visiting Indonesia was always a significant annual event for him as his travel diary clearly shows. 

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Review: Man Tiger strikes!

Man Tiger Cover Image

Longlisted for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize Eka Kurniawan’s novel signals the birth of a sophisticated crime noir genre in Indonesian literature

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The Crocodile Hole

Indonesia, beginning of the 1980s. The young journalist Tommy comes into contact with the survivors of the genocide that the New Order regime of General Suharto carried out. To her bewilderment she hears stories about lurid dancing, castrations and the murder by young girls of a number of generals in the night of October 1 1965.  Guided by Ibu Sri, herself a former prisoner and a member of the women’s organisation that was held responsible for these alleged sexual and sadistic perversions she sets herself the task to unravel these fantasies.  Who invented these hateful lies which were meant to incite mass organizations to murder possibly one million of their neighbors?  Tommy is betrayed and thrown into prison. 

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Freedom

Putu Wijaya.   Image courtesy of Lontar Publishing

Arguably Indonesia's finest living writer of fiction, Putu Wijaya reflects on Indonesia's nationhood in his short story, 'Freedom'.

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What are your true colours?: A conversation

A brief conversation between strangers provokes thoughts on Australia–Indonesia relations

Essays and Fiction is a new series of writing in Inside Indonesia that aims to give voice to more personal stories about Indonesia. We welcome submissions in the form of reflective pieces, fiction, artwork, or essays about travel and fieldwork experiences.
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Putu gives God a hand

Putu gives God a hand

Recipient of the 2014 Khatulistiwa prize for poetry, Oka Rusmini's award-winning short story 'Putu Gives God a Hand' is a sharply witty critique of Balinese culture

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Chinese whispers: The art of reflection

Chinese whispers: The art of reflection

Essays and Fiction is a new series of writing in Inside Indonesia that aims to give voice to more personal stories about Indonesia. We welcome submissions in the form of reflective pieces, fiction, artwork, or essays about travel and fieldwork experiences.

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Latest Articles

Reshaping masculine cultures of terrorism

Sep 20, 2021 - NOOR HUDA ISMAIL

Young men gather at Monas, Jakarta / Francisco Anzola @Flickr creative commons

Former members of terror networks are focussing on masculinity’s role in encouraging violent extremism in Indonesia

A lost generation

Sep 01, 2021 - ANTON LUCANUS

'Where we used to be', Central Jakarta, 2020 / ATH

Thousands of children have been orphaned and ostracised as the pandemic crisis continues to spiral

Film review: Kinipan

Aug 31, 2021 - ARFAN AZIZ

How forest restoration and food estate policies affect local communities

Photo essay: Banyutowo harmony

Aug 28, 2021 - HUTAMA LIMARTA

Locally bought fishermen’s catch at Banyutowo Fish Auction House

A fishing village on the northern tip of Java stays true to its roots

Rethinking development

Aug 11, 2021 - VENANSIUS HARYANTO

Farmers work a potato farm near a geothermal plant on the Dieng Plateau, on the Indonesian island of Java / Raditya Mahendra Yasa via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

A deadly accident at a geothermal power plant in North Sumatra in January 2021 has galvanised local indigenous community-led opposition to a similar planned development on Flores Island

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Lontar Modern Indonesia

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A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar