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« June 2008 | Blog home | August 2008 »

July 2008

JI with my partner, Faiza.JPG

Joesoef autographing his book. There was a LONG queue!


On Sunday July 13 more than 300 people gathered to honour Joesoef Isak on the occcasion of his 80th year. At a three hour event in the Theatre Kecil at the Jakarta Arts Centre that featured speeches by a range of activists and intellectuals, a 35 minute documentary, music, cutting of a traditional rice cake, the editors of the book, Bonnie Triyana and Max Lane presented it to Joesoef Isak.

Joesoef Isak has been a journalist, publisher and editor since the 1950s.

Bonnie Triyana is a historian and journalist. He has become a prolific writer on the history of the peoples movement and the Left, until recently editing the history pages in the daily Jurnas. He is part of the leadership of Masyarakat Indonesia Sadar Sejarah. In 2003 he co-edited, revolusi Belum Selesai: Kumpulan Pidato Soekarno 30 September 1965 - Pelengkap Nawaksara. he is almost finsihed a new book, Republik Bandit. He was the primary editor of the new book.

JI present book to contributors.JPG

Joesoef presenting copies of the book to some of the contributors

The several excellent short speeches were from mainly young people, but including the most respected figure from the Indonesian Netherlands exile community.

The film was a very effective 35 min documentary with a great spirit done on a shoestring budget by Daniel Indrakusuma. The film ws produced by Wilson bin Nurtias, who - along with Irina Dyarsih and many others - also played a key role in organising the Sunday event.

There was a wonderful singing group of 60 year old tapol women or from tapol families, who had everybody on their feet singing the Internationale as well as other songs; and funny and moving comments from Joesoef and a good atmosphere when we presented the book to him.

Max and Boni Triyana presenting book.JPG

Bonnie Triyana and Max Lane presenting the new book to Joesoef.

Zely Ariane - national spokesperson KPRM.JPG

More autograph signing



07 July
"Unfinished Nation" has been released in Singapore for about a week now.


I just finished reading Max Lane's Unfinished Nation -
a fairly concise recollection of Indonesia's political
events including that of President Suharto who was
pushed out of power. Suharto was abandoned by
his close aides and generals at a time when he was
faced with unrests and demostrations by radicals,
students and workers under the banner of aksi and


Recently the first issue of a new progressive jounral, Journal Bersatu (Unity Journal - JB), was published. The JB was obe product of an on-off process of collaboration discussions between a range isrocessof groups which began in 2007. The up and down nature of the process relects the newness of the collaboration process itself as well as the newness of some of the groups. Apart fromn gropups, the process also involved activists and others becoming involved in their individual capacity.

While not reflecting the full spectrum of peopkle involved at one time or another in the past, the JB collaboration continues. While formally separate from the National Liberation Front (FPN), many of the groups keeping the project going are now playing active roles in the FPN.

One of the interesting sections of the first issue is a series of 13 interviews with different progressive organisations. I think most of these were carried out in later 2007 or early 2008. They include organisations that have gone on to be active in FPN, as well as a few outside the FPN today.

English language translations of these interviews are progressively being put up on the Asia Pacific Solidarity Network website. Thgey can be found under the heading 10 Years after the Fall of Suharto – Views from the People’s Organisations . At the moment seven translations are on the website.ore will be posted as ASPN Website Editor and translator, James Balowski, completes them.

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