Film review: ‘1987: Untracing the Conspiracy’ by Jason Soo and ex-political detainees

PoP’s resident oral historian Nien Yuan Cheng attended a screening of Jason Soo’s documentary 1987: Untracing the Conspiracy on 11 February 2017 at The Projector in Singapore. This is a film about 1987’s Operation Spectrum, where 22 people, accused of being involved in a ‘Marxist Conspiracy’ to overthrow the government, were detained without trial under … Continue reading Film review: ‘1987: Untracing the Conspiracy’ by Jason Soo and ex-political detainees

Pramoedya’s Message to the Youth of Indonesia

Today would have been the 92nd birthday of the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer, the most important writer in Indonesia. His stature as a leading artist and his leftist politics led to his persecution by the Army-led government of Suharto. International audiences tended to focus on his imprisonment on Buru island between 1969 and 1979, during which he produced four novels … Continue reading Pramoedya’s Message to the Youth of Indonesia

Treasure Island meets Lord of the Flies: rediscovering the Batavia shipwreck

Natali Pearson, PoP’s resident museologist, visits the site of one of Australia’s bloodiest maritime disasters, and discovers the remarkable technology that is being used to make Beacon Island accessible to everyone From our tiny 6-seater plane, the 122 islands that make up the Houtman Abrolhos are deceptively close to the Western Australian coast. Taking off from … Continue reading Treasure Island meets Lord of the Flies: rediscovering the Batavia shipwreck

The Art of Dating in Javanese History

PoP's textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan explores the aesthetic uses of time in Javanese historical traditions. Universal history has no theoretical armature. Its method is additive; it musters a mass of data to fill the homogeneous, empty time. Walter Benjamin, ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’ Memorising dates is one of the worst things about … Continue reading The Art of Dating in Javanese History

Ex-political detainee Dr Poh Soo Kai’s (Singapore) book launch for ‘Living in a Time of Deception’ at Sydney University

This book launch, organised by the Sydney Southeast Centre and held at the Law Lounge at the University, was attended by PoP!'s Natali Pearson and Cheng Nien Yuan. Here are Nien Yuan's thoughts on the successful, and important, night below. All photos of the launch are credited to SSEAC's Samuel Bashfield. Singapore turned 51 this year. To celebrate … Continue reading Ex-political detainee Dr Poh Soo Kai’s (Singapore) book launch for ‘Living in a Time of Deception’ at Sydney University

Mabuhay from Singapore

PoP's archaeologist Michael Leadbetter stumbles into the world of Filipino dance and culture at the Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore. Cheers, rhythms, claps, whirling colours and an urge to dance are not what usually greets you when you enter a museum. However, Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum was ablaze with colour, culture and sound for the Love, Light, Living festival. The … Continue reading Mabuhay from Singapore

Crossing the Wall: Teaching Asian archaeology with the University of Sydney’s collections

Understanding the ancient history of Asia is increasingly becoming a significant part of historical studies for Australian school students. Sydney University Museums Education Officer and PoP's Archaeologist Michael Leadbetter explores some of the ways Asian artefacts are being incorporated into the museum’s school educational activities.  The Asian art collection in the Sydney University Museums collection provides … Continue reading Crossing the Wall: Teaching Asian archaeology with the University of Sydney’s collections