Although freedom of religion and freedom of expression are guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution, these guarantees have not been sufficient to protect non-religious expression in the public sphere. Ismail Hasani looks back at the case of Alexander An, jailed for writing “God does not exist” in a Facebook post.

Over the past couple of weeks, security officials have confiscated books on the 1965 violence and leftist ideas to prevent what they describe as a “reawakening of communism”. Hendri Yulius looks at the long history of book banning and book burning in Indonesia and examines what this recent episode means for freedom of expression in the country.

On 18-19 April, Indonesia held an unprecedented national symposium to discuss the violence of 1965, involving victims, activists, and government and military officials. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey present a detailed analysis of last week’s events.

Last week, pressure from mass organisations forced the cancellation and relocation of the Belok Kiri Fest, a cultural event that aimed to challenge dominant discourses of Indonesian history. Dr Ken Setiawan writes that the incident is the latest example of the ongoing repression of alternative discourses on leftism and the events of 1965 in democratic Indonesia.

It is often assumed that Indonesian visual artists began highlighting social and political issues in earnest following the end of authoritarianism in 1998. But to what extent is this assumption correct? In Talking Indonesia this week, Dr Ken Setiawan explores this issue and more with Dr Wulan Dirgantoro from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore.

In January, President Joko Widodo twice instructed senior officials to resolve past violations of human rights by the end of the year. Yati Andriyani and Nurkholis Hidayat write that unless major changes are made to the reconciliation process, prospects for meaningful resolution do not look good.

Last month, the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 crimes against humanity provoked a predictably strong response in Indonesia. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey reflect on the tribunal and its consequences for the activists who participated.

Indonesian authorities have silenced discussion of the 1965 massacre at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Coordinators of the cancelled programs, Associate Professor Kate McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey, question why discussion of 1965 is now considered a threat to security. Image by Andrew Dyson.

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) was forced on Friday to cancel planned sessions on the 1965 massacre following pressure from local authorities. Dr Ken Setiawan, whose father was imprisoned on Buru Island by the Soeharto regime, reflects on this extraordinary crackdown on freedom of expression.

President Joko Widodo came to power one year ago with promises to combat impunity for past human rights violations, safeguard freedom of religion and improve welfare in Papua. Has the president met any of these pledges? Former LBH Jakarta director Nurkholis Hidayat takes a look at Jokowi’s human rights record.

Fifty years after the beginning of the 1965 violence, many children and grandchildren of those targeted also continue to feel its impact. Dr Kate McGregor examines two cultural memory projects that involve collaboration across generations and aim to crack the resilience of anti-communist versions of history.

Wednesday will mark 50 years since the events that triggered the brutal repression of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Ken Setiawan writes that while political elites appear to be able to stomach the idea of reconciliation, an apology is far more contested.