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« October 2006 | Blog home | December 2006 »

November 2006

Rehearsals have begun for the Jakarta production of NYAI ONTOSOROH, a play written by Faiza Mardzoeki, based on the novel THIS EARTH OF MANKIND by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. A Bandung production will be performed in late December.

This project still needs your financial support. Read below for more information and how to donate.

Cultural coalition for liberation

A broad coalition of arts, human rights and political activists around Indonesia have taken on the mammoth task of adapting the novel, THIS EARTH OF MANKIND by Pramoedya Ananta Toer for the stage. This first ever dramatic adaptation has been written by women's rights and cultural activist, Faiza Mardzoeki. The play will be performed in 13 cities by thirteen different theatrial groups. In Jakarta, the director will be Ken Zuraida from Bengkel Teater, with actors and the artistic team drawn from a range of traditions and backgrounds.

Ken Zuraida, director of NYAI ONTOSOROHin Jakarta

Rehearsal session in Jakarta

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Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Faiza Mardzoeki, April, 2006
Photos from the Press Conference launching the project.

Below is a brief description of the project and a funding appeal.

The “Nyai Ontosoroh” Theatre Project- Adapted from the novel Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind), by Pramoedya Ananta Toer -

Produced by Perguruan Rakyat Merdeka (PRM – Free Peoples Forum) and supported by Elsam, Institut Ungu, Jaringan Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, JARI, Kalyanamitra,
Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, Komunitas Ciliwung, LBH APIK, Pramoedya Institute, Pantau, Perkumpulan Praxis, Perkumpulan Seni Indonesia, and Solidaritas Perempuan


I posted on this Blog some time back an Indonesian media report on the role of Cuban medical teams in Indonesia after the earthquake and tsunami which hit central Java.

I post below also a statement by the East Timorese government on the role of Cuban medical aid in East Timor.

Both reports speak for themselves as to the quality of the aid given by Cuba. I will post something later reflecting on how is it that such a poor country as Cuba is able to provide such aid.

East Timorese politics and the Cuban aid

There has been some discussion among observers of East Timorese politics – mainly in Australia – that recent instability in the East Timorese government and in Dili society has reflected conflict within the government between two significantly differing political perspectives: one represented by former Prime Minister Alkatiri and one represented by current Prime Minister Ramos Horta.



When undemocratic state authorities share "intelligence" the following can happen.
ON Saturday, November 11, 2006, Dr. George Junus Aditjondro, an Indonesian academic known for his extensive worldwide studies of Soeharto’s corruption, was put on a Thai Airlines plane to Jakarta, after spending one night at the Immigration Detention Centre at the Suwarnabhumi airport.

Dr George Aditjondro


There are hundreds of great and enriching novelists in the world's literature of which I have read probably less than 1%. My two favourites, from what I have read, are Pramoedya Ananta Toer from Indonesia and Howard Fast from the United States. Pramoedya's four volume series: THIS EARTH OF MANKIND, CHILD OF ALL NATIONS, FOOTSTEPS and HOUSE OF GLASS are my favourite Pramoedya novels. SPARTACUS and CITIZEN TOM PAINE are my favourite Fast novels.

Here are two links to websites about these authors: Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Howard Fast.

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Please let me know if there are better websites on these authors.

Here is a link to the full text of the above agreement

Read on for some selected quotes


The earlier ruminations on this theme have now appeared as an opinion piece in the Jakarta Post

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Lecturing at a seminar on Pramoedya Ananta Toer at Fordham University, New York, April, 2006

The Australian government is about to sign a new security agreement with the Indonesian government. I have not seen the text of this agreement, however regardless of any specifics this is not a good development in terms of the Australian government's intervention into political processes in Indonesia. Any security agreement with the Indonesian government will require intensified cooperation with the Indonesian Armed Forces. (click 'more' below to continue reading, incl. for review of RELUCTANT SAVIOUR.).)

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A friend recently sent me a copy of a review I wrote in the 1980s of the Australian film "A Year of Living Dangerously" based on the novel of the same name. Click below to read. (You will have to use your Adobe commands to turn the article the right way round, sorry.)

Download file

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This blog is aimed to foster serious discussion on international and asian affairs.