Articles


Articles

Indonesian Cinema as Part of The World Cultural Heritage

In his remarks on the film Lewat Djam Malam or After the Curfew (Director: Usmar Ismail, 1954), legendary director Martin Scorcese said that the film was “an eye opener”. Scorsese, as the founder of the World Cinema Foundation, became involved in the restoration of the film halfway through the laboratory process from August 2011 to early to 2012. World Cinema Foundation’s decision to help fund the restoration ofLewat Djam Malam marks the film as an important part of world cinema heritage.

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Naming

It was a ship’s doctor who gave a name to Indonesia. In 1861, Adolf Bastian, from Bremen in Germany, was sailing in Southeast Asia. Later he wrote a few books. One of them became widely read: Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884-1894. And it was from this book that ‘Indonesia’ began to be widely used to name the archipelago.

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Where is the World Literature?

About four decades ago, literary critic H. B. Jassin said that Indonesian literature is part of world literature. These days, we must admit that he’s right about one thing: world literature is ours and it is part of contemporary Indonesian literary life. Especially in a state of “globalization” like today. At the very least, by having access to “world literature”, our writers can have a benchmark against which to measure their creations and evaluations.

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Making a New Conversation (Preface from Goenawan Mohamad)

For Indonesia, to be the Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair is to jump into the circle of visibility. Indonesia, especially its works of contemporary arts and literarture, is virtually out of sight in Germany and the rest of Europe.

Theoritically, it is impossible to overlook a country of 250 million people living in 17,000 islands.

But this is the paradox of our time. Distances shrink as the world being closely connected by the internet, but the map is continuously highlighted by the remote control of the high and the mighty.

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Translation Funding Program

LitRI Translation Grant

LitRI is a program intended to foster the translation of Indonesian literature and other works about Indonesian culture into foreign languages. Run by the National Book Committee of Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture, LitRI provides financial assistance to foreign publishers who have purchased translation rights for works of Indonesian literature and other titles of literary quality (including fiction, nonfiction, children's books, and comic books).

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Island of Writing

Modern Indonesian literature—most precisely literature written in the Indonesian language—can be perceived as the consistent effort to free storytelling from the realm of the spoken word. This journey toward the peak of accomplishing a literary culture has been accomplished in stages. Yet there is irony within it. Modern Indonesian literature is an island of writing within a sea of oral tradition.

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A Fledgling Democracy: Indonesia in 2015

Indonesia’s transition to democracy started in 1998 after the fall of Suharto who ruled the country for 32 years. Not long after that, coincidentally, the global war on terrorism also started at about the same time as Indonesia struggles to consolidate its fledgling democracy. Being a country with a Muslim majority population and a new democracy at a time when the two are seen as being incompatible with each other has brought Indonesia into a new level of international attention.

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Indonesia’s Love Affair With Social Media, How Long Will It Last?

A common nightmare scenario for most Jakartans: a rainy Friday night with seemingly endless traffic jams when all you want is just to get home from work.

Many usually just give up and choose to start home when the traffic dies down, or to stop by somewhere for dinner or to hang out with friends before deciding to go home.

During this scenario, 30-minute travel time can easily become 2-3 hours of horrendous traffic, if you are lucky.

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Indonesia, the World’s Metal Nation

One of the most interesting international reactions upon Joko Widodo’s victory as the president of Indonesia for 2014-2019 came from the world’s metalheads. Randy Blythe, the front man of Lamb of God –one of Joko Widodo’s favorite metal bands– enthusiastically congratulated and informed through his Instagram: “This is the world’s first heavy metal president, and might be the only one who is openly a metalhead”.

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Clara Ng: Urban World and Fairy Tales

Clara Ng is a successful writer in both metropop and children’s literature genre. She is one of the faces of contemporary publishing in Indonesia. In this 2000 era when the metropop genre is popular in Indonesia, an independent urban woman who is very involved in the public field often emerged as an archetype character.

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