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Jakarta Post

Essay: Claiming Space

  • Eliza Vitri Handayani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 12 2016   /  08:18 am

When I was in high school, the drama club put on a play that criticized the principal. The club’s leader was then called to the principal’s office and suspended. The play was inspired by N. Riantiarno’s Opera Kecoa (Cockroach), which was critical of the New Order —its performances were banned and attacked.

In 1992 a researcher in Bengkulu reported that 27 percent of teenagers in the province were having sex — for his findings, his institute reprimanded him.

In 1996 my family hotly discussed the July 27 incidents, but when I wrote down our discussion for a school assignment, my parents told me to delete what I’d written as it might cause problems for our family.

Censorship affects very many aspects of life.

Those of us who grew up under the New Order learned that to avoid trouble we had to police what we said in public. It was hard to learn about...