Goenawan Mohamad

Goenawan Mohamad is an Indonesian poet and man of letters born in Batang, Central Java. He is the founder and editor of Tempo (“Time”) magazine in Indonesia, which was twice forcibly closed by the Suharto’s New Order administration because of its vocal criticism of the authoritarian regime. In 1999, Mohamad was named International Editor of the Year by World Press Review magazine. In 1998, he was one of four winners of the CPJ International Press Freedom Awards, and in 2006 he received the Dan David Prize award. The World Press Review awarded him its International Editor of the Year Award in 1999. Goenawan was one of the founders of the Lontar Foundation and is on the advisory boards of the human rights group ARTICLE 19 and the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. He is an alumnus of the College of Europe 1966-1967 promotion. As a writer, Goenawan Mohamad was well known for his weekly column in Tempo, “Catatan Pinggir” (Sidelines), which is mainly commentary and critique on current affairs and the media ‘headlines’. He expressed criticism of one- dimensional, narrow-minded viewpoints and thoughts in Sidelines, which have been compiled into six books. In Sidelines, Mohamad never ended with a definitive conclusion, but always with either questions or open-ended comments intended to encourage readers to continue thinking.