Indonesien 1965 ff. Die Gegenwart eines Massenmordes — Ein politisches Lesebuch (Indonesia 1965 ff. The presence of mass murder: A political reader)
Indonesien 1965 ff., edited by journalist Anett Keller for the Southeast Asia information center in Cologne, is about the anti-communist mass murder in Indonesia in which hundreds of thousands of people died in the mid-1960s. This political reader is part of the Indonesia program of the regiospectra publishing house and gives readers a unique insight into one of the biggest mass murders of the twentieth century by bringing together academic and artistic contributions, survivor accounts as well as descriptions of civil society initiatives aimed at reckoning with the country’s past. The book sheds light on the historical background and analyzes the political and societal aftermath of the genocide. Six first-hand accounts by survivors describe physical and psychological destruction, dehumanization, systematic sexual violence against female prisoners and stigmatization of the victims into the present day. Featuring exclusively Indonesian authors, the book foregrounds the perspectives of those affected and contemporary Indonesian society’s engagement with the issue. One of the editor’s aims, in view of the German media’s Eurocentrism, is to make the killings known to the German public. Indeed, there is little awareness of the events outside of Indonesia, and even less awareness of the Indonesian civil society initiatives aimed at working through this history. The book also draws attention to the responsibility of the West, which financially and logistically supported Suharto’s military dictatorship, much as it did military dictatorships in Latin America, and profited from the economic opening of the country under Suharto.
The Asia working group supported the making of the book as well as book presentations, readings and discussions in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Münster and Bremen hosted by the Southeast Asia information center in collaboration with the Asienhaus Foundation, regiospectra-Verlag, the German-Indonesian Society Cologne and Hamburg, taz, Watch Indonesia!, Universität Hamburg, the Münster Indonesian student association as well as the Bremen Information Center for Human Rights and Development. The public relations surrounding the book reached journalists, academics, activists, politicians and generally interested readers.
The Frankfurt Book Fair, where Indonesia was the guest of honor in 2015, as well as the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the mass murder, also contributed to raising public awareness. Indonesien 1965 ff. was reviewed in numerous media(1), including interviews(2) with the editor and readings(3) from the survivor accounts broadcast on the radio. The work has been praised for its complexity(4) and has been described as a symbol of solidarity(5).
References: (1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5)
South-South exchange for trainees
Since 1994, the Philippine NGO Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) has frequently mediated in conflicts and peace negotiations, such as in Myanmar, East Timor and Mindanao (Philippines). Especially the activities concerning awareness-raising and building solidarity for the struggle of the East Timorese were very effective. Over the course of many years IID has acquired outstanding competencies in conflict resolution, which it can now pass on to others. IID has been training interns from various South and Southeast Asian countries for many years. During these three- to six-month traineeships, emphasis is put on strengthening civil society members, civil conflict measures and tutoring junior employees for nongovernmental organizations in the field of development policiy.
The Asia working group financed the internships for two East Timorese who visited IID in the Philippines and supported the stay of an NGO consultant in East Timor with over € 5,000.