Indonesia Projects

On the Record: Indonesian Literary Figures

Indonesia’s writers have been instrumental in the creation of national identity, the encouragement of debate about the direction of Indonesia’s future, and the interpretation of Indonesia’s past. The history of modern Indonesian literature, especially in the twentieth century, is marked by incredible variety and vitality, despite lengthy periods of political repression. From the colonial past to the present, Indonesian writers have also shown incredible versatility and maintained a consistent ability to cross genres.

"On the Record: Indonesian Literary Figures" features filmed interviews with prominent Indonesian authors, poets and playwrights. Each film in the series focuses on a specific individual writer and offers viewers a direct look at the people behind the books. All films (stock footage and final/edited versions) are in Indonesian. Each final/edited film in the series has a runtime of approximately 24-30 minutes and is in Indonesian with English subtitles. A film log (in Indonesian) is also available as a text document. This film series is part of the Lontar Digital Library, which provides preservation and access to materials produced and gathered by the Lontar Foundation over its 25+ year history including:

• Books and journals: publications by Lontar, Amanah and Godown (imprints of the Lontar Foundation), as well as information about Lontar’s library holdings (a collections of over 3,000 books, periodicals and other research materials related to Indonesian history, literature, drama, language, poetry and other topics;
• Video: films from On the Record: Indonesian Literary Figures, Indonesian Performance Traditions, and Wayang Kulit/Shadow Puppet Theater Series (including stock footage and final versions).
• Audio interviews with Indonesian writers and eyewitness accounts of significant events in Indonesian history;
• Images: archival photographs of traditional manuscripts, colonial-era postcards, and historical images from the New Order to the present.

The Lontar Digital Library uses linked data and the Semantic Web to share information about our collections with the online community on the Internet. You can find information about Lontar materials and authors in Freebase, OpenLibrary and Wikipedia.

Materials digitized under this project and available on the SEADL website include:



The Living Memory Project

 A few years ago, prison doors in Indonesia and East Timor swung open to release hundreds of East Timorese nationalists imprisoned for supporting their country's 24-year struggle for independence. The most famous was José Alexandre 'Xanana' Gusmão, today president of the Democratic Republic of East Timor who returned to his country to the acclaim of wildly-cheering crowds.

In the following period ex-prisoners organised themselves into the Associação dos ex-Prisoneiros Politícos do Timor-Leste (Association of former Political Prisoners of East Timor, ASEPPOL), which estimated that around 10,000 people living in East Timor today suffered imprisonment. Many of these had been tortured. Countless others died in prison or disappeared without a trace. For each person imprisoned, a wider circle of family and friends was affected — by the anguish of separation from the victim, by knowledge of his or her suffering, by the loss of a breadwinner, and by stigmatisation and political persecution arising from the relationship. Children were especially marked by the imprisonment of family members.

Working with ASEPPOL, the Living Memory project aims to create a video archive based on interviews with these ex-prisoners. Inspired in part by Stephen Spielberg's Shoah Visual History Foundation, the project will collect, preserve and catalogue testimony from political prisoners, to be held for future generations as part of East Timor's national heritage. The archive will also be accessible in various formats as an educational and media resource nationally and internationally.

Interviews will be formulated to elicit information on the impact of imprisonment on ex-prisoners' health, providing an invaluable database to plan strategies for treatment, especially in the case of torture victims.

The Living Memory Project at East Timor is managed by Jill Jolliffe and provides videos and images of ex-prisoners in East Timor.

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Video Archive: Television Program, Indonesia

There are two collections available in this project. The first one is a collection of several programs produced by Manajemen Qolbu Television (MQTV). The second collection consists of several episodes of a program called Republik Mimpi.

About MQTV
With the passing of the Regional Autonomy Law (Law No 22/1999) and the Regional Fiscal Law (Law No 25/1999), both enacted on 2 January 2001, many people in Indonesia believed that a new era of prosperity was beckoning. Suddenly, each province in Indonesia would be allowed to determine its own economic direction with less intervention from Jakarta. For the first time, the authority and responsibility to control economic resources and activities shifted from center to region. These two laws opened opportunities for people who live outside Jakarta to establish local television stations. In addition, when President Abdul Rahman Wahid disbanded the Ministry of Information in October 1999, which controlled licenses for any mass media operations, permission was no longer needed from Jakarta. Read more. . .

About Republik Mimpi

Republik Mimpi (RM), which can be translated either as Dreaming Republic or Republic of Dreams, is the first (and one might argue the only) political satire program of its caliber in the history of Indonesian Television. It has inspired several other programs, but none so far has come close to the reputation of RM. It is very smart, bold, and respectful to the intelligence of its audience. The program is created and co-produced by Effendi Gazali (MA, Cornell University, USA; PhD, Radboud Nijmegen University, The Netherlands), a faculty member in the Communication Department of the University of Indonesia. He was influenced by Jon Stewart's Daily Show and the now defunct British television program called Spitting Image (Ed Davies, 2007). Read more . . . .

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Indonesian Illuminated Manuscripts

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Pesantren Sabili Muttaquin Manuscrupts

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