Museum of Communist Treachery.
Chris Woodrich/Wikimedia Commons
The Indonesian military recently announced that foreign researchers must request a permit to visit the museums it runs.
Abdurrashim, 72, who served 12 years in detention for links to the communist party, attends a state-backed event on the controversial 1965 anti-communist purge.
For decades, Indonesia’s official national history was silent about the murders and incarceration of hundred thousands of people. Moving beyond that will require a new understanding of what happened.
Boosted by the anti-communist purge of 1965-66, Suharto ruled Indonesia for 32 years.
While the details of exactly what happened during Indonesia’s 1965-66 massacre of ‘communists’ remain buried in the depths of time, here’s what we do know.
Resolution and reconciliation following major conflicts takes time, has many dimensions, and takes place at all levels of society.
Indonesia needs a combination of retributive and restorative justice for the reconciliation of the 1965-66 anti-communist killings.
Why do vigilante groups in Indonesia get away with harassing and threatening leftists?
Courtesy of Belok Kiri Festival
Non-state actors in Indonesia use violence and intimidation against a critical civil society as a means for the political and business elites to maintain wealth and power.
Adi Rukun questions Commander Amir Siahaan, one of the death squad leaders responsible for his brother’s death during the Indonesian genocide, in Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Look of Silence.
Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media.
Oscar nominated documentary The Look of Silence follows an optometrist whose brother was killed in Indonesia’s 1965 massacre. But to understand the bigger picture, viewers should watch its prequels.
After 17 years of democratic rule, Indonesia still censors discussions on the 1965 communist purge.
The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival has cancelled events discussing the 1965 Indonesian massacres, after police threatened to revoke the festival permit.
The anti-communist pogrom in Indonesia 50 years ago not only destroyed human lives but also significant cultural works made by the country’s left-inspired artists.
Arguably Indonesia’s most significant leftist film director and theorist, Bachtiar Siagian, was among the millions who fell prey to the communist purge carried out between 1965 and 1966.
Back in 1965, bodies of victims of the anti-communist massacre floated along the Brantas River in Kediri East Java.
Wibowo Djatmiko/Wikimedia Commons
In a watershed moment for Indonesia’s history, the deadly 1965 anti-communist purge transformed Indonesia from an independent Asian nation in the midst of Cold War into a pro-Western country.
Indonesia’s Communist Party had been part of the national political fabric since the 1920s and had contributed both major leaders and influential ideas to the nationalist movement.
The killing of six army generals on October 1, 1965, became a pretext to destroy Indonesia’s communist party.
Getting away with murder.
The Look of Silence eschews its predecessor’s gory glamour and offers a harder message for modern Indonesia.
Anti-communist groups recently attacked victims of Indonesia’s 1965 anti-communist purge, unfurling banners with violent messages. This one reads ‘Crush the PKI from the motherland!!!’.
Joint Secretariat on '65
Gatherings of victims of Indonesia’s 1965 anti-communist purge were attacked by groups of people last week in West Sumatra and Central Java.
Like its prequel The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Look of Silence holds a mirror to its subjects and viewers who are forced to face a horrifying truth.
Lars Skree/Final Cut for Real
With eyes fixed on his television screen, Adi Rukun, the main character followed by documentary maker Joshua Oppenheimer in his new film, The Look Of Silence, seems to face a mirror that resurrects a nightmarish…
Symbols such as the monument of the slain Indonesian generals continue to propagate Suharto’s version of events to today’s Indonesian youth.
Chez Julius Livre 1/Flickr
Next year it will be 50 years since a group of middle-ranking army officers abducted the top brass of the Indonesian army. They had planned to bring them before President Sukarno, as they had heard rumours…
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.
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…