The Jakarta Post
“They’re dancing with the missing
They’re dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid.”
— “They Dance Alone”, Sting
There is a similarity between the grieving Chilean women described in the English musician’s protest song against the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and the Indonesian political exiles blamed for the attempted coup in 1965.
The women in “They Dance Alone”, having lost their husbands and sons, are described as dancing the national dance of Chile alone with photographs of their vanished loved ones in their hands.
In Indonesia’s case, the “lonely dancers” are the purported supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), their friends and family members forced into exile following the abortive coup, in which the now-defunct party was held responsible as the masterm...