The auditory landscape of the 1965-66 anti-communist repression in Indonesia and sound-based projects to reexamine the ‘1965’ case

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)

Abstract

The 1965-66 anti-communist repression, in which half a million Indonesians were killed and approximately the same number detained, impacted on various types of art, performance, music and songs. Certain songs, for example, were not to be performed after the repression, due to their association with the Communist left and the rule of deposed President Sukarno. The song Genjer-genjer, for example, that depicts the hard lives of Javanese peasants who were forced to eat water hyacinths during the Japanese occupation of World War II, was no longer performed. Drawing on oral history interviews and memoirs about the period, this paper firstly discusses the auditory landscape of the violence and long-term imprisonment against the Indonesian Left. It then discusses why Indonesians have turned to the auditory sphere to examine this past violence today. In this paper, I examine how intergenerational memory work on ‘1965’ has occurred through the medium of sound and why the auditory landscape, never being fully under the control of one side or the other, is an important arena of contestation. Sound-based memory projects include the Prison Songs collection by the group Taman 65 (65 Park) in Bali, the musical and artistic collaboration between younger artists and former political detainees at the Jogja Biennale in 2015 and the Dialita Women’s Choir.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventTracing the agency of sound - University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 8 Feb 20199 Feb 2019
http://agency.soundscapesoftheshoah.org/program/

Workshop

WorkshopTracing the agency of sound
CountrySwitzerland
CityBern
Period8/02/199/02/19
Internet address

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