Jul 19, 2024 Last Updated 5:22 AM, Jul 16, 2024

Politics

More than a fatal attraction

Outsiders see arak consumption as a highly dangerous activity, but arak plays an important role in Balinese society

Review: Suharto’s guardians and reluctant reformers

A new publication tells the story of the first graduates of the joint Indonesian Armed Forces Military Academy

Review: Lieutenant General Djaja Suparman tells his story

Editor’s note: For Indonesia-watchers the activities of the military and its leaders remain largely opaque and perhaps even menacing. In recent years the steady stream of memoirs and biographies by and about military leaders has, in some cases, assuaged some of this mystery and in others, added to the intrigue. As the public and judicial gaze has increasingly turned to the actions of military leaders with connections to the New Order, the memoir has been engaged by some as a form of testimony in an effort to ‘clear their name’. Whatever the motivation, with each new addition to this genre, we are offered new insights into the fractious and often treacherous ‘interior’ world of the Indonesian Armed Forces. Suparman holds the line but reveals some new insights into the transition of power after the fall of the New Order

Big prison, little prison

Stories from Papua’s political prisoners show life at the edge of freedom

On the struggle for press freedom

Former political prisoner Eko Maryadi speaks to Nikki Edwards about his incarceration during the New Order

Turning away from terror

Prison can be a place of radicalisation or rehabilitation

Married with children

The second round of direct elections for governors and district heads shows that democratisation is allowing powerful families to entrench themselves in local politics

Haunted house, haunted history

Visitors to Semarang’s Lawang Sewu find competing narratives of history, memory and popular culture

Review: My name is Khan

This Indian film’s popularity reveals a popular critique of the US

Land of ghosts

Papua’s rural lowlands are being transformed by an encroaching global economy, but what happens to the people there is an open question

Review: From the dark side

Jusuf Wanandi’s memoir allows glimpses into the mindset of Suharto-era officialdom

Review: When perpetrators speak

Joshua Oppenheimer’s groundbreaking new film raises disturbing questions about why perpetrators of the 1965-66 mass killings still enjoy impunity for their actions

'Truth takes a while, justice even longer'

In 2012 significant new information exposed critical truths about the 1965 massacres in Indonesia, but there remain major obstacles to recovery and reconciliation

Art and the city

Indonesian artists are using new media to rethink urban space

Soft diplomacy in heavy metal

Indonesia’s liberal art scene attracts adventurous Australian artists

What gives rise to moral outrage?

Rather than being merely the result of religious extremism, recent cases of moral outrage point to a wide range of current political and social problems

Indonesia’s secret police weapon

Perfectly coiffed hair and rose-pink cheeks underpin Polri’s latest policing tactic

Joke of the month?

What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin and an Islamic polygamist? Meet Rhoma Irama – Indonesia’s king of dangdut

The middle of nowhere

Highland communities in Papua are demanding access to services, but there is a limit to what can be offered in the most remote settlements

Staying the executioners' guns?

There are signs that Indonesia may move towards abolition of the death penalty

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Hearing about my mother's experiences in May 1998 became a pivotal moment that has shaped my life. 

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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.