This month I’ll be reading four stories. The images illustrate themes from these stories:
Monday 7 Kampanye – The Campaign Procession
The Campaign Procession opens in Sydney, at the height of the paranoia that typified the Howard era. Then the differences between Australia and Indonesia were amplified through fear propagated by the Australia’s mainstream news media.
The story quickly segues to Surabaya in East Java where a country in election mode is plainly obvious. Next it moves to the streets of Semarang, in Central Java, where a colleague and I encounter raucous carnival-like motorcycle rally.
Monday 14 Pemilihan Umum – The General Election
Our arrival in the Jakarta of June 1999 sees us thrust into the midst of a grand and noisy Mardi Gras like political procession. Suppressed for decades under Suharto’s New Order regime, this theatrical and euphoric burst of energy celebrates Indonesia’s first democratic election since 1955. Election day is peaceful and orderly, yet foreign journalists seem disinterested in the calm.
Monday 21 Joss Sticks and Cracker Night
Joss Sticks and Cracker Night explores a now almost forgotten Australian celebration, yet despite its imperial undertones it was a time when a subtle Chinese influences pervade celebrations.
Monday 28 The Pig and the Cockfight
The Pig and the Cockfight explores the inner workings and intercultural misunderstandings of a crowded Balinese desa where a complex hierarchy and conflicting social and spiritual taboos dictate the behavior of its members, and can cause small problems to quickly escalate. Both modesty and sensitivity are important intercultural communications strategies.
Zoom conference details:
Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney 07:30 PM
UK 8.30 am
Central European Time 9.30am
Meeting ID: 728 804 5094
The same details apply for all readings through February.