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Festival showcases Indonesia's 'wild literature' of the colonial era

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Fri, August 23, 2019  /  02:45 pm
Festival showcases Indonesia's 'wild literature' of the colonial era

Forgotten: The colonial authority labeled books, magazines, and other reading materials written by writers affiliated to the resistance movement as "wild literatures". (JP/Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak)

The exhibition’s title, “Colonial Bastard: The Forbidden Fictions”, is as intriguing as the collection of magazines, newspapers and pocketbooks that were published in the country since the early 1900s. Although only a few of them have been put on display at Teater Kecil in the Taman Ismail Marzuki arts and culture center in Central Jakarta, the numbers of copies, as well as the varied genres, are enough to show how rich the nation’s literary tradition was in the past. Mandatory reading material: A visitor looks at the original copies of Balai Pustaka's canons. Some of the books are still reprinted and used in schools. (JP/Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak) “While we question the nation’s reading interests today, we have the record in history as a comparison,” Isyana Artharini, one of the curators of the Jakarta International Literary Festival, tol...