From silence to speech: witnessing and trauma of the anti-communist mass killings in Indonesian contemporary art
Source TitleWorld Art
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
University of Melbourne Author/sDirgantoro, Wulandani
AffiliationSchool of Culture and Communication
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDirgantoro, W. (2020). From silence to speech: witnessing and trauma of the anti-communist mass killings in Indonesian contemporary art. World Art, 10 (2-3), pp.301-322. https://doi.org/10.1080/21500894.2020.1812113.
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Despite the positive reception around Indonesian modern and contemporary art, some key issues remain sensitive to the Indonesian public and art world. One of the most prominent concerns is the anti-communist mass killings of 1965–1966. In the absence of public discussion of the 1965–1966 events, contemporary art functions as an insightful prism for understanding the traumatic effects of the killings and reveals the highly nuanced and sometimes contradictory experiences generated by conflict and authoritarianism. This paper discusses the artworks of two Indonesian artists, Dadang Christanto and Tintin Wulia, to examine different trajectories of the representation of the 1965–1966 mass killings and the pluralities of trauma. By focusing on the intersection between witnessing and ethical spectatorship, the discussion explores how art practices introduce new ways of understanding and responding to historical trauma in Indonesia.
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