Articles on Indonesia

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By telling the stories of Boni, Titi and Ho, Jalanan brings to the screen the hardships and precarious lives of marginalised people in one of the most economically promising Asian countries. Courtesy of Jalanan Movie Team

Jalanan: Busking and dreaming in the city

Daniel Ziv’s documentary feature Jalanan (Streetside), currently screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival, is a film that seeks to move its audience. Documentaries sometimes invite viewers…
Not amused by reports linking him to a suppression order, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono demanded transparency. AAP Image/Yuli Seperi

Audio Q&A: Indonesia’s reaction to suppression order

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently called for Australia to be “transparent” following its attempt at protecting international relations by suppressing details of an international bribery…
A new law aims to eliminate the national practice of shackling people with mental disorders. Akaris Tafoei/Shutterstock

Indonesia aims to free the mentally ill from their shackles

On July 8, a day before Indonesia held its presidential election, the parliament passed the bill on mental health into law. The election coverage drowned the news of the new law, but not its significance…
Jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar recently declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). EPA/Adi Weda

Indonesian cleric’s support for ISIS increases the security threat

Behind bars in Indonesia’s version of Alcatraz, radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir has declared his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). After taking over Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul…
Tony Abbott’s responses to Indonesian concerns about spying suggested a weak understanding of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s different cultural milieu. EPA/Tanaya Pramudita

Cultural intelligence key to future of Australia-Indonesia relationship

The official result in Indonesia’s presidential election contest between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto is still some days away, with both claiming victory. But no matter who the next president is, there…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
The big question around Indonesia’s presidential election is whether it will be able to provide a new kind of political leadership. AAP/W.F Srihardian

Prabowo vs Jokowi: the race between Indonesia’s old and new guard

Indonesians will next month cast their votes in their third presidential election since the end of president Suharto’s “New Order” regime in 1998. The new democracy has struggled to establish effective…
Australia under the Abbott government has so far been treated to a succession of foreign policy gaffes, including with Indonesia. EPA/Adi Weda

The state of Australia: our international standing

In the lead-up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may have been Australia’s ‘best friend’ in southeast Asia, but not any more. EPA/Adi Weda

Abbott spurning Indonesia’s invite confirms relationship troubles

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision not to accept Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s invitation to meet at the Open Government Partnership forum Yudhoyono is chairing in Bali…
Joko Widodo is seen as the most committed to human rights of Indonesia’s potential leaders, but it’s not a big issue in coming legislative and presidential elections. EPA/Mast Irham

Half a century on, victims’ voices haunt a democratic Indonesia

The Indonesian army and civilian vigilantes killed at least half a million people between 1965 and 1968. Hundreds of thousands more were imprisoned without trial for long periods. Some were sent to remote…
Jokowi, the current favourite to be Indonesia’s next president, represents a break from the old Indonesian political elites. EPA/Adi Weda

Indonesian elections: nationalism and the men most likely

On Wednesday, Indonesians will go to the polls to elect their national, provincial and area representatives for the next five years. These elections will not only determine who controls parliament, but…
Largely lost in the politics of Tony Abbott’s campaign to ‘stop the boats’ is the fate of refugees. AAP/Ava Benny-Morrison

From Darfur to Cipayung: refugees are left stranded

The Abbott government has celebrated the 100th day without any asylum seeker boats reaching Australian territory. This is the result of policies that favour the protection of borders rather than of people…
An Indo-European family form part of a new photography exhibition. National Gallery of Australia

Garden of the East – a look at how we look at Indonesia

Say “Indonesia” today and what visual associations does the word prompt? For many Australians, an ambivalent mix of pleasant and troubled images, no doubt. But a new photography exhibition at the National…
The decision to investigate the Australian navy’s actions in towing back asylum boats could have been an opportunity for greater transparency. AAP/Scott Fisher

Indonesia incursion report provides more questions than answers on turn-backs

The release on Wednesday of the review into the circumstances of how and why the Australian navy repeatedly entered Indonesian waters might have been expected finally to reveal information about Australia’s…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Pitching the saga of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby as one of gender inequality is laughable. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Do feminists have a duty to care about ‘Our Schapelle’?

I’d written a piece for the ABC about “Our Schapelle”. As is often my approach it was largely a think piece. Not a condemnation, not a defence, it was simply some observations – some talking points – about…

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