News & Updates 29 August 2017

Indonesia: Women Survivors Voiced Their Truth through Theatre

On 13 July 2017, a group of elderly women performed a theatre play called Gejolak Makam Keramat in Yogyakarta. Adapted from another script entitled Leng, the play told the struggle of community members when faced with a factory’s expansion efforts that threatened to evict them as well as their sacred cemetery. As a realist play, the performance offered social criticism and highlighted the importance of survivors’ memories.

Highlights of theatre performance “Gejolak Makam Keramat”.

These women are a part of KIPPER (Kiprah Perempuan – Women in Action), a women survivors’ group for former political prisoners of 1965, who have organised themselves to strengthen and empower each other. With AJAR’s support, they have conducted truth-seeking efforts through participatory action research. In cooperation with director Agung Kurniawan and other artists in Yogyakarta, KIPPER established a theatre group called TAMARA (Tak Mudah Menyerah, meaning not to surrender easily).

Attended by more than 200 people—most of them youth—Gejolak Makam Keramat was a collaboration among KIPPER, AJAR, the Ministry of Culture and Education, the Europalia Arts Festival, Pusat Kebudayaan Koesnadi Hardjasoemantri – Universitas Gadjah Mada, the Indonesian Contemporary Art Network, the Kedai Kebun Forum, FOPPERHAM, Warung Arsip, the Community of Kroncongan Agawe Santoso, the Yogyakarta Documentary Film Festival, and the Gadjah Mada Theater.