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Author delivers strong message about art, bigotry

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, December 1, 2019  /  03:01 pm
Author delivers strong message about art, bigotry

A voice within: Author Laksmi Pamuntjak published her latest novel "Fall Baby" last month. The sequel to "Amba" (The Question of Red) is one of very few novels written in English by an Indonesian author. It was published by Penguin Random House. (Courtesy of Laksmi Pamuntjak/-)

Prominent Indonesian author Laksmi Pamuntjak showed slides of the work of I GAK Murniasih, the late Balinese contemporary artist. They contained pastel-colored paintings of men and women's genitals as symbols of women’s erotic experiences. “[Murniasih’s works] are extraordinarily bold, irreverent and confident. They make a case for art that dares to challenge, subvert and also say it the way it is,” explained Laksmi, who took the artist as her inspiration for Srikandi, or Siri, the protagonist of her latest novel Fall Baby. Laksmi prepared the slides to accompany her keynote address titled "Claiming Ownership of One’s Freed Selves: Freedom, Art and Morality in Indonesia" on Nov. 20 for the Indonesia Council Open Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, a part of her Australian book tour. In her speech, La...