Opinion

There and Back Again, Indonesia

10:25LPM Campus

source: LPM Campus


Every country could not be separated from dark history and nowadays, we just need to accept it as the part of our history. Just like what has been described by Han Kang in his novel entitled "Mata  Malam". It tells the story about one bloody incidents in South Korea. The tragedy, blood, and tears in the "Gwangju Massacre" are neatly illustrated by Dong Ho and Jong Dae. Besides novel, a similar incident also filmed in “A Taxi Driver” which is nominated in The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

In Germany, the country sincerely permits the show of Dunkirk movie. The movie, which is directed by Christopher Nolan, shows the atmosphere of World War 2 where Germany lost in this war. There are also movies such as “Schindler's List” and “Life is Beautiful” that show Germany as the bad guy. Various forms of terror, grief, and insanity that are bred by the state are realized in works of art in the form of books and movies.

Back to Indonesia, we also cannot deny that we have some dark history of human massacre. A movie that has an iconic dialogue "Darah itu Merah, Jendral" tries to write history and cover up many things. In 2012, there were some movies that tried to provide a new perception of history. The titles are "The Act of Killing" and "Silence". Both of them are Joshua Oppenheimer's works and nominated for Academy Awards in 2014.

It doesn’t need an in-depth analysis to find out that the movie was banned by the government. Although, now it can be easily accessed on Youtube. For books, the magnumopus Pramoedya Ananta Toer namely “Tetralogi Pulau Buru” was once banned by the government too. It is because the author was considered as the enemy of the state. Anyone who is found carrying the book will be caught by the army. It just ended in these few years.

History is the past, no matter how good or bad it is. Wrong memories block us from understanding what badness we have done and what injuries we should heal.

In 1999, Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid tried to diminish this complicated grudge. He lowered his ego, proposed a reconciliation with one of the vicgtims of a historical defection, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. That goodwill was rejected by Pram for the reason that many things cannot be finished just by an apologize. "It's too easy," said Pram in an interview with "Forum Keadilan" on March 26th 2000.

The new movement of human right was an action known as Kamisan. This action was strive for the justice for May 1998 riots. Till now, the only reaction from government is just a dinner without any real solutions. Even some of the defendants is now appointed as a minister and participate in high-level politics.

I do not think I have enough words to talk about 1984 Tanjung Priok Massacre, Ketapang 1998, Munir, Udin, Wiji, Marsinah and people who fight for the environment in Sukoharjo, Kulonprogo, Kendeng, Papua, and others area in Indonesia. Why don't we talk about it when we are in discussion? Instead talking about some useless opinion from our dumb-noisy politician.

South Korea dares to show its dark history in movies and books. Germany even built a monument to keep its dark history in mind. While here, in Indonesia we still don't know about ours. The most obvious thing is the inability to distinguish simple things like the name of an economic system with a religious system. Also, maybe just to understand this article, which is simple and does not contain any kind of complexity, then responds it without a ridiculous misunderstanding.

We simply fools ourselves into believing that we have move on from our dark past because of ignorance and misguided information. How can we move on when we haven’t even known our dark history?

Dark history may cause injury and shame. On the other hand, it makes us understand who we are and makes us understand the bad things as a mistakes. Therefore, it will not be repeated in the future. Because it is not only the justice and fair law that must be built, but also the currents below, the past hatred need to be released, and then it lost, drowned. I still hope that it will come true, how about you?


Written by Ardhi Setiawan and Ika Eriyana

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