Category: Arts

2015 has been a stellar year for Indonesian cinema, with more than a dozen films competing at international festivals. Dr Gaston Soehadi writes that this success has been achieved in the almost complete absence of government support.

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.

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.

Beauty Is a Wound, the just-released English translation of Eka Kurniawan’s 2002 epic novel, Cantik Itu Luka, is receiving glowing reviews, and has prompted comparisons with Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Indonesia at Melbourne had a fascinating chat with Eka before his appearance at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 28 August.

Kuda Lumping is a Javanese trance dance that will be performed for the first time in Australia on 7 August. Indonesian producer Kristie Monfries explains the tradition and reflects on some of the challenges of bringing the ritual to a western performance space.