Indonesia’s 1965 Genocide

Posted by in Activism, History

Dadang Christanto has spent his life honouring and remembering victims of institutional violence through his art, after his father was taken away to be killed when he was young. Viewing his confronting exhibition at the Queensland University of Technology, I was reminded how little has changed since this 1965 massacre of between a half and 1.5 million people by the Indonesian military, with assistance and encouragement from America.

Dadang Christanto

In 2015 the Indonesian government forced the 2015 Ubud Writer’s & Reader’s Festival to cancel all sessions on the 1965-66 massacre. Attempts to create an effective Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Indonesia have stumbled. And in Australia, most people are simply unaware of the horrors of 1965.

An event on this scale can’t be suppressed forever. Two films, “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” (link) , have helped to encourage public discussion of the military’s massacres. The protestant church has started the process of collecting and sharing stories of this lost generation (link).

Here is an extended article by journalist John Pilger on the Indonesian military (link) and a short newspaper article from when the involvement of America first broke (link)