PoP’s textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan studies the pseudo-history of the Majapahit kingdom, and what it can tell us about history-making in Indonesia today. Indonesians love a good conspiracy. Just check out the sales table on any mainstream bookstore like Gramedia, or the display racks of used-book street stalls, and you'll find hidden truths and uncovered secrets … Continue reading Setting the Record Crooked: Conspiracy History in Indonesia
Devin Smith is an American musician/videographer who wrote to us asking if we would be interested in publishing his Medium piece on Lim Bo Seng, Singaporean resistance fighter and regarded war hero. While his piece was too long for this blog, PoP was interested in asking Devin about how he came across this topic, why … Continue reading An American in Singapore: Devin Smith on the story of Lim Bo Seng
Graves told stories of geographical, familial ties, folklore and culture, and spanned the realms of the sacred and profane.
This Thursday, 8 June, is World Oceans Day and so critical are the issues facing our oceans - including climate change and plastic pollution - that the United Nations has convened a high-level conference on their future. While its focus is ocean conservation, another aspect of our seas has been conspicuously neglected: the vast array … Continue reading When it comes to disappearing ocean history, HMAS Perth is the tip of the iceberg
PoP's textual historian Wayan Jarrah Sastrawan, a student of Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney, looks in the mirror of Australian Studies at the University of Indonesia. Here at PoP, we welcome fresh and challenging perspectives on Southeast Asian pasts. But we mustn't forget that as Australia-based researchers of Southeast Asia, we are accustomed to visiting, … Continue reading Through the Looking-Glass: Indonesian Reflections on Australian History
The ongoing fallout from the criminal charges brought against disgraced Asian antiquities dealers Subhash Kapoor and Nancy Wiener has put a spotlight on the Asian collections of many of the world’s great museums, raising questions about provenance, ownership and the hunt for stolen antiquities. An exhibition of collection masterpieces at New York’s Asia Society Museum … Continue reading Museums, masterpieces and morals
February/March 2017 marks 75 years since the sinking of many Allied ships in Indonesian waters in World War II. Now the resting place of thousands of sailors, divers were surprised to find five of the wrecks in the Java Sea have completely vanished, likely the work of salvagers. In an extended version of an article first … Continue reading Ghost ships: why are World War II naval wrecks vanishing in Indonesia?
We are pleased to welcome back guest blogger and acclaimed food and travel writer, Sheridan Rogers, who shares a mouth-watering account of the development of Nyonya cuisine. I’ve come to talk to Carol SelvaRajah about her recently released food memoir, Dining with Dragons. SelvaRajah grew up surrounded by Nyonya cooking at her childhood home in Klang, Malaysia, … Continue reading The Sensual Art of Nyonya Cuisine
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
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