An Act of Not Forgetting: Representation of 1965’s Events in Leila S. Chudori’s “Pulang” and N. Riantiarno’s “Cermin Merah”


The events of 1965 are one of unforgettable events in Indonesia history. Many of Indonesian people believed that Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) or Indonesia communist party was responsible for kidnapping and murdering seven highly-ranked Indonesia army generals. Later on, this act was considered to be an act of coup d'Etat to the government. Their cruel acts were immortalized by the historical lessons given at Indonesian school since in the elementary school and the movie aired every year by the 'New Order' government under President Soeharto. The propaganda was not only succeed in creating fears among Indonesian people but also triggering hatred towards communism which lead some people to use this opportunity to attack PKI's members and others. Many people at that time have to become a victim because of this false accusation and being murdered. Thousands of Indonesian people were being murdered. In Leila S. Chudori's Pulang (Going Home) and N. Riantiarno's Cermin Merah (Red Mirror), this chaotic situation is highlighted. Both of the novels tell us about the impact of the 1965's events to many Indonesian people at that time and long after that. Although there is a gap of thirty years in making, the two novels depict the same issues. The two novels remind us that there are still historical facts that being forgotten, and we cannot simply forget about them.

Author Information
Rizki Theodorus Johan, Maranatha Christian University, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: LibrAsia2016
Stream: Literature - Asian Literature

This paper is part of the LibrAsia2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon