Inaugural Herb Feith Professorial Lecture: Professor Ariel Heryanto


Thursday, 1 June 2017
HB40, H Building, Monash University, Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145
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Dinner: 6:00pm-6:45pm
Lecture: 6:45pm-8pm
RSVP is essential. Click here to register


‘STORIES OF SUBVERSION, SUBVERSIVE STORIES: A Critique of Indonesia’s Politics of Identity’

ABSTRACT: One dominant, durable and most dangerous idea has poisoned social life in Indonesia since independence. It is the modern notion that pure or authentic social identities are possible and highly desirable. This notion has repeatedly led not only to ambitious pursuits for the idealised identities (authentically Indonesian, purely Eastern, truly masculine, essential motherhood, or correctly Islamic). It has also prompted the combative commitments to disavow or mutilate elements of the nation deemed impure, less authentic, mixed or deviant. Stories of the early formation of the nation, or the national revolution that led to Indonesia’s independence, have the potential to be radically subversive to this obsession, as inauthenticity and hybridity are the hallmarks of that history. In order to sustain the status quo, much of the rich and complex history of the colonialism and decolonisation must continue to be hidden, suppressed or denied to this day.

Ariel Heryanto was born and raised in Indonesia under the military dictatorship of the New Order during the Cold War. Since March 2017 he is the Herbert Feith Professor for the Study of Indonesia at Monash University. Previously he worked at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (Indonesia), The National University of Singapore, The University of Melbourne, and The Australian National University. He is the author of Identity and Pleasure; the politics of Indonesian screen culture (2014); State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (2007), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (2008). His current research investigates Indonesia’s postcoloniality.

*Presented by Herb Feith Foundation and Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Monash University


Launch of ‘Bridges of Friendship’, 26 April, 6pm at AVI

Launch of

Bridges of Friendship: Reflections on Indonesia’s Early Independence and Australia’s Volunteer Graduate Scheme, 1950s-1960s (edited by Ann McCarthy and Ailsa Thomson Zainuddin) , Herb Feith Publications Series, Monash University Publishing, 2017.

DATE: Wednesday 26 April, 6pm – 7.30pm

VENUE: AVI, 88 Kerr Street, Fitzroy

Click here to Register: Registration is essential as light refreshments will be served.

*Parking is available in nearby streets and in the Coles carpark accessible from Argyle Street.
**For those requiring wheelchair access be advised there is a single step to negotiate at the venue entrance.

About ‘Bridges’

Bridges of Friendship unveils personal ties between Indonesians and Australians in the early days of the Indonesian Republic.

Betty Feith provides a bird’s-eye history of the 1950–63 Volunteer Graduate Scheme in Indonesia, an initiative under which Australian graduates were employed in the Indonesian civil service. The Volunteer Graduate Scheme pioneered the concept of international volunteering as we understand it today. Feith’s nuanced and insightful narrative demonstrates the ideals of equality and support for the newly formed Indonesian Republic that were at the heart of the Scheme.

The reminiscences of Kurnianingrat Ali Sastroamijoyo, an educator who worked extensively in English language teaching and training, and took an active part in the Indonesian Revolution, include a fascinating and moving account of daily life in occupied Yogyakarta during the struggle for independence against the Dutch. Kurnianingrat illuminates Indonesian social and cultural history at this critical time for the nation.

A common thread across these two accounts is the friendship of Kurnianingrat and Harumani Rudolph-Sudirdjo with Australian volunteer graduates Feith and Ailsa Thomson Zainuddin: all four women worked together at the English Language Inspectorate in Jakarta in the mid-1950s. Extracts from correspondence, in a final section, illustrate the mutual interests and lasting connections and commitments of this circle.

Taken as a whole, Bridges of Friendship suggests the depth of human connection between Australia and Indonesia, fostered by the international spirit common to both the Indonesian Revolution and the Volunteer Graduate Scheme.

For more details and to order an advance copy visit:


The Act of Living Exhibition at Footscray Community Arts Centre, April-May 2017

A Photo Exhibition of Women Survivors of Indonesia’s Violence in 1965

In this landmark exhibition 16 women survivors of the 1965 violence in Indonesia including former political prisoners and their children share their stories.

The result of a unique participatory research project by Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), the exhibition attempts to unravel the complex legacy of violence and highlight the struggles and triumphs of these incredible women.

OPENING: Thursday 6 April, 6pm – 8pm
EXHIBITION: Friday 7 April – Saturday 20 May
VENUE: FCAC Roslyn Smorgon Gallery

Act of Living @FCAC, Launch 8 April 2017
Faiza Mardzoeki, Speaker
Bern Fitzgerald, FCAC, Curator


Lecture and film screening -‘1965: Distorting memory against democracy, reviving memory for empathy’

Herb Feith Foundation with the Asia Institute and the Indonesia Forum at the University of Melbourne present a Lecture and Film Screening:

‘1965: Distorting memory against democracy, reviving memory for empathy’

Tuesday, 4 April 2017
5:45pm – 9:00pm
Room 353 (Interactive Cinema), North Wing, Arts West
The University of Melbourne

5.45pm-6.50pm: Lecture
‘1965 and the emergence of rightist populism in Indonesia?’
Dr Max Lane

7.30pm-9.30pm: Screening and discussion
‘”Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers”: theatre, memory and women’
with Faiza Mardzoeki

Register here

Download event poster



John Darling Fellows for 2017 announced

The Herb Feith Foundation is pleased to announce the John Darling Fellows for 2017 are filmmakers Dery Pranada and Kartika Pratiwi.

The John Darling Fellowship was first offered in 2013 and again in 2015. The fellowship is designed to train emerging Indonesian documentary filmmakers in Australia so that their film making skills, commercial knowledge and awareness of archiving principles are enhanced. The fellow will undertake an intensive unit in ‘Video-making as Research’ at Monash University, School of Film and Journalism.

The Fellowships are named in honour of Australian-born filmmaker, John Darling (1946-2011). In 1969, Darling began living and researching in Bali for some 20 years. Beginning in 1978 he directed, produced and researched nine documentary films about Indonesia that have been screened internationally. They include Lempad of Bali about a 116-year-old Master-Artist with Lorne Blair, the 3 part Bali Triptych series on Balinese culture, Bali Hash and Below the Wind. After the 2002 Bali bombings, he co-produced with his wife Sara, The Healing of Bali. Darling also wrote books and poetry on Bali.


Kartika Pratiwi was born in Malang, Indonesia and graduated from a Master Program in Cultural Studies. She has been an independent researcher with an interest in narrative discourse on the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, Chinese-Indonesian issues and digital storytelling. Since 2008, she has been part of kotakhitam Forum – an independent organization, dedicated to research; workshops and documentary movie production for social and political changes. During that time, she has been involved in documentary film productions including Api Kartini (2012); and several video archives on Indonesian political history and collective memory. With kotakhitam Forum, she regularly runs Seroean Sedjarah, History on Screen, and RePLAY project to facilitate history teachers and youth to use popular media as a learning tools in schools.  Since 2015, she has worked for EngageMedia, a non-profit organisation to provide strategies for the effective use of video distribution, connecting video makers, journalists, and activists.


Dery Prananda began learning to make films in 2005. He is currently completing his final project at Institut Seni Indonesia, Surakarta. His documentary films include those advocating environmental, social and human rights issues in collaboration with several institutions. In 2014 he made The Years Of Blur, a documentary about the murder of Udin, a journalist from Yogyakarta. In 2016, he made a documentary entitled Blessing From the Sea that took place in Lamalera, East Nusa Tenggara. His sort fiction film Amelis, was winner of Best Film and Best Fiction Film in the ReelOzInd Australia Indonesia Short Film Festival 2016.

The Herb Feith Foundation was established in 2003 to commemorate the life and work of Herb Feith (1930-2001), volunteer, scholar, teacher and peace activist. Set up by the Council of Monash University, the mission of the Foundation is to promote and support work of the kind to which Herb Feith devoted his life.


Australia Plus: Putu Oka Sukanta Raih Penghargaan HAM dari Australia

Australia Plus: Putu Oka Sukanta Raih Penghargaan HAM dari Australia


Putu Oka Sukanta inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award recipient


Putu Oka Sukanta named inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award recipient

To mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the Herb Feith Foundation is delighted to announce the awarding of the inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award to acclaimed Indonesian writer and activist, Putu Oka Sukanta.

The award seeks to recognise individuals of Indonesian or East Timorese background who have made a significant contribution to human rights education in Indonesia and/ or Timor Leste. The award reflects Herb Feith’s commitment as a scholar and activist to human rights and peace activism and education in Indonesia and Timor Leste.

The award will be presented to Pak Putu Oka Sukanta in Jakarta on Thursday 1st December, 4-6pm, KEKINI Co-working space, Jalan Cikini Raya 45, Jakarta hosted by AJAR (Asia Justice and Rights).

Putu Oka Sukanta was chosen for this award in recognition of his many contributions to human rights education in Indonesia through his writing (fiction and non-fiction) editing, film production and community education activities. Putu Oka Sukanta was born in Singaraja, July 29th 1939. He began writing literature when he was 16 years old. Putu obtained his Bachelor’s degree in education and became a high school teacher. In the early 1960s also worked as a freelance journalist and radio announcer for RRI in Singaraja and Jakarta. He was an activist of the leftist cultural organisation, the People’s Cultural Institute or Lekra until the organisation was banned following the 1965 coup attempt. Arrested in 1966, he spent 10 years in prison without trial. Putu is active in literary and cultural organisations and is a prominent human rights campaigner. He lives in Jakarta where he works as an acupuncture specialist. He has been invited to present his works and ideas all over the world. His books, including novels, short stories, and poems have been translated to English, German, and French. Putu is the founder of the NGO, Lembaga Kreatifitas Kemanusiaan, which publishes books, produces films and organises educational activities focused on restoring humanity related to the 1965 case. In 2012 he received the Hellman/Hammet Award for his commitment to freedom of expression and for his dedication to confronting persecution.

The Herb Feith Foundation was established in 2003 to commemorate the life and work of Herb Feith (1930-2001), volunteer, scholar, teacher and peace activist. Set up by the Council of Monash University, the mission of the Foundation is to promote and support work of the kind to which Herb Feith devoted his life.

Read Pat Walsh’s recent article in Inside Indonesia on Putu and the award ceremony in Jakarta.

For more information contact Herb Feith Foundation Board member Djin Siauw ( or (+61) 402 338 877 and Jemma Purdey ( or (+61) 409 257 154.


New Publication: ‘Cahaya Mata Sang Pewaris’

The Herb Feith Foundation is very pleased to announce a new publication from acclaimed Indonesian writer and activist, Putu Oka Sukanta, Cahaya Mata Sang Pewaris.

To order copies of the book visit :



Seminar and film screening: Stolen children of Timor Leste: An AJAR project, 5 October, 6pm

Seminar and Film Screening


‘Reuniting the Timorese children stolen during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste’,
Dodi Yuniar, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)

AJAR’s 25 min documentary, ‘Nina and the Stolen Children of Timor-Leste’ will also be screened.

5th October 2016, 6pm
University of Melbourne, Old Arts’ South Lecture Theatre (room 224)

Since 2013, AJAR has been organising reunions of “stolen children” and a total of 30 have been reunited with their families.  TimorLeste’s truth commission (CAVR), estimated that some 4,000 children were taken from their families and sent to Indonesia during the occupation. The CAVR made strong recommendations on finding and reuniting children separated during the conflict.

For further information contact: Alola Australia 0437 983 070

All welcome

Open Flyer



Exhibition & Conference ‘Fifty years on: Reflections on the anniversary and recent efforts to address the 1965 violence in Indonesia’

The Herb Feith Foundation and the Asian History Hub in SHAPS at Melbourne University announce an exhibition launch and a one-day conference featuring the Herb Feith Memorial Lecture 2016.


The exhibition The Act of Living: A Photo Exhibition of Women Survivors of Indonesia’s Violence in 1965 is an AJAR (Asia Justice and Rights) was planned as part of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival last year. Sadly all our events were cancelled due to police pressure.

We are delighted to now present 16 photographs from this exhibition here in Melbourne.


‘The Act of Living: A Photo Exhibition of Women Survivors of Indonesia’s Violence in 1965’

When: Thursday 6 October,  – 28 October 2016
Where: Dax Gallery, Dax Building, Royal Parade, Melbourne University

One-day Conference and Herb Feith Memorial Lecture 2016

‘Fifty years on: Reflections on the anniversary and recent efforts to address the 1965 violence in Indonesia’

When: Friday October 7, 9am-5pm
Where: Discursive Theatre, Level 5, Arts West, Melbourne University

The 2016 Herb Feith Memorial Lecture  will be presented by Pak Dodi Yuniar (Program Manager, Indonesia, Asia Justice and Rights)



Session 1                                                           
Session 2                                                        
Session 3                                                        
Session 4                                                        


Other panelists include:

Ibu Kadmiyati, survivor and participant in the AJAR project
Djin Siauw, Herb Feith Foundation
Roro Sawita, Taman 65 (Bali)
Pipit Ambarmirah, KIPPER Yogyakarta
Vannessa Hearman, Charles Darwin University
Leila S. Chudori, Author and Journalist
Hellena Yoranita Souisa, PhD candidate University of Melbourne and Watch Doc
Kate McGregor, University of Melbourne
Ken Setiawan, University of Melbourne
Ariel Heryanto, incoming Herb Feith Professor, Monash University
Putu Oka Sukanta, survivor, writer, Lembaga Kreatifitas Kemanusiaan (LKK)
Ayu Wahyuninngroem, PhD candidate, Lembaga Kreatifitas Kemanusiaan (LKK)

Kate McGregor, Jemma Purdey and Hellena Souisa

View images from the conference‘Fifty years on: Reflections on the anniversary and recent efforts to address the 1965 violence in Indonesia’, 7 October 2016

Supported by the Herb Feith Foundation; Asian Justice and Rights (AJAR); and the Asian History Hub, Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne