Review: The Lute and the Scars (Danilo Kiš)

This book consists of six stories written by Kiš between 1980 and 1986, transcribed and published after his death in 1989. Five of the stories—”The Stateless One”, “Jurij Golec”, “The Lute and the Scars”, “The Poet”, “The Debt”, and “The Marathon Runner and the Race Official”—are directly related to The Encyclopedia of the Dead, while “A and B” was originally without a title. There is no overarching theme in the stories, A preface by Adam Thirlwell, an afterword and helpful notes by the translator, John K. Cox, accompany the pieces. I find these supplementary articles crucial for me to understand the contexts of the stories.”The Stateless One”, for example, was inspired by the life of Ödön von Horváth. Although on a slight downside, they have slightly deprived me of some surprises and nuances—the case of “A and B”, particularly.

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Review: Perlawanan dalam Kepatuhan (Ariel Heryanto)

“Untuk kenang-kenangan
pada suatu zaman yang dinamakan Orde Baru”

Buku ini berisi seleksi kumpulan tulisan Ariel Heryanto yang pernah diterbitkan di berbagai majalah dan koran—antara lain, Kompas, Forum Keadilan, Dialog, Tiara, TEMPO, dsb—selama 14 Mei 1976 hingga 12 Juni 1998. Atau dengan kata lain, pada masa-masa kejayaan hingga jatuhnya Orde Baru. Tentu saja, banyak dari tulisan-tulisan yang diterbitkan media massa ini sudah dipotong dan disunting oleh redaksi, entah dengan atau tanpa persetujuan Ariel. Namun bagaimanapun juga, kumpulan tulisan ini berharga karena tidak hanya menampilkan pandangan Ariel, tapi juga berbagai serpihan pikiran yang mencerminkan (institusi pers pada) zamannya.

Tulisan dalam buku ini dibagi menjadi empat bagian: (1) Politik kebudayaan dan kapitalisme, (2) Politik bahasa dan wacana media, (3) Politik kekerasan dan wacana-tanding, dan (4) Politik identitas dan pemujaan gaya hidup. Subjek yang dibahas bermacam-macam, tapi erat berkaitan dengan bagaimana bahasa, gaya hidup, kelas menengah, seksualitas, pendidikan, kebudayaan, nasionalisme, kasat diresapi dan tak dapat dipisahkan dari politik dan teknologi kekerasan. Termasuk ketika kita (diwajibkan) berbahasa yang “baik dan benar”, dengan menggunakan bahasa yang bukan bahasa sehari-hari mayoritas penduduk negeri ini. Continue reading “Review: Perlawanan dalam Kepatuhan (Ariel Heryanto)”

Review: Asia as Methods: Towards Deimperialization

This book has developed out of thoughts and discourses developed over sixteen years in diverse contexts and dialogues with various critical circles in Asia, where Kuan-Hsing Chen has been engaged. Asia as method, Chen proposes, is building multiple reference points in Asia so that every society can become references for one another. It builds on the works of Lu Xun, Chen Ying-Zhen, Frantz Fanon, Stuart Hall, Partha Catherjee, and Mizoguchi Yuzo, and is heavily informed by practices growing out of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements project, which Chen co-founded since the late 1990s. By using Asia as method, a society in Asia may be inspired by how other Asian societies deal with problems similar to its own, and thus overcome unproductive anxieties and develop new paths of engagement. At its most basic, Asia as method means expanding the number of meeting nodes, to include sites in Asia, to promote inter-Asia intellectual and cultural exchange. Continue reading “Review: Asia as Methods: Towards Deimperialization”

Another Life is Possible: Homage to Catalonia II

Another life is possible. Homage to Catalonia II (60’, 2010)
directed by Joana Conill, Manuel Castells & Alex Ruiz
Through seventy interviews conducted in Catalonia, this film provides visibility to invisible economic practices aiming to satisfy the real needs and desires of people. It documents the construction of a sustainable, decentralized, solidarity economy, which makes use of networks to overcome the individualization and hierarchical division of work.

Another life is possible. Homage to Catalonia II by Joana Conill, Manuel Castells & Alex Ruiz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike licence.
The full license terms are available at

Download movie 640×360 mp4 276MB
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Libraries of our own

Black, Alistair. “Introduction: Libraries of our own”. In The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland (vol. 3), edited by A. Black & P. Hoare. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 123-124.

An historic suspicion of the centralised state, combined with the rise of the free market and a supporting ideology hostile to extensive state intervention and friendly to self-help, meant that voluntary action remained as important an aspect of library provision in the decades immediately after 1850 as it had become in the ‘associational’ society that had emerged during the Enlightenment and early industrial revolution.

As towns and cities grew, social intercourse intensified. Equally, to counter the anonymity inherent in urban living, citizens became increasingly more ‘clubbable’. The emergence of communities of shared interest – at times, as in the case of mining communities, spatially coherent also – fed through into the establishment and continuing existence of a variety of ‘social libraries’, based on the payment of a subscription or a long-term proprietary investment. Libraries as different as the private and prestigious London Library and the relatively marginal libraries established in working men’s clubs would correspond equally to this description. Many social libraries satisfied the credentials of the pure public sphere institution theorised by the German sociologist J¨urgen Habermas in his Structural transformation of the public sphere: an inquiry into a category of bourgeois society (1989): rational, open, democratic, independent of the state and commercial interest, and supportive of the free expression of ideas and of scientific and intellectual discovery.

As publicly funded libraries developed and became more accessible (whether in the form of municipal public libraries, university libraries, national libraries or government repositories of various descriptions) social libraries relying on independent sources of income inevitably declined.However, in the pluralistic post-modern, or late-modern, world, niche cultures found room to flourish, and this has ensured the survival, albeit not permanently guaranteed, of the voluntary social library in one form or another. Library,W. H. Smith’s and, later, the Times Book Club and Boot’s Booklover’s Library tapped into the opportunities offered by a deepening commercial society. They also offered an alternative towhat some sawas the unrespectable and unhygienic service offered by public libraries. But again, as publicly funded libraries expanded, commercial library ventures found their profits squeezed and were eventually forced to withdraw from the market.

In the early part of our period, and in the context of relatively meagre public alternatives, private collecting continued to have relevance. However, as time went on, large private collections became increasingly rare, their fabric broken up and absorbed into more accessible libraries. Yet the decline in the cost of books relative to increasing incomes has once again, in recent decades, led to a renaissance of the personal library – and on a scale, moreover, far in excess of the modest household libraries of the nineteenth century.

Pataya: Suatu Tinjauan Konstruksi Tempat Ngèbèr di Surabaya

Tempat ngèbèr sebagai tempat pertemuan laki-laki gay tersebar—meskipun relatif terselubung—di berbagai tempat tempat publik di seluruh Indonesia. Tempat ngèbèr sebagai salah satu titik utama dalam konstelasi dunia gay berfungsi tidak hanya untuk mencari pasangan hubungan seksual, tapi juga untuk bersosialisasi, membuka diri, dan mendapat penerimaan. Surabaya memiliki banyak tempat ngèbèr yang cukup dikenal di kalangan laki-laki gay, dengan Pataya sebagai satu tempat ngèbèr terbesar. Namun dalam beberapa tahun terakhir, tampak adanya perubahan-perubahan yang menyebabkan Pataya tidak lagi sehidup dulu. Melalui metode partisipasi observasi dan wawancara non-formal, kajian ini berupaya untuk memahami bagaimana Pataya menjadi pilihan tempat ngèbèr di Surabaya, perubahan-perubahan apa saja yang terjadi dan menyebabkan penyusutan kehidupannya. Dari penelitian ini, diharapkan ada penelitian lanjutan untuk mempelajari adaptasi-adaptasi yang terjadi atau dapat dilakukan di luar situs ngèbèr.

Pataya: The Construction of a Tempat Ngèbèr among Gay Men in Surabaya


Tempat ngèbèr, or hanging-out places where gay men in Indonesia meet, can be found in various—though relatively hidden—public places across Indonesia. Tempat ngèbèr as one of the more prominent sites in the constellation of gay serves not only as a space to find sexual partners, but also to socialize, to be open in expressing oneself, and to gain acceptance from one’s peers. Surabaya has a number of famous, well-known tempat ngèbèr, with Pataya being one of the largest places. Yet changes within the last few years have diminished its popularity. Through participant observation and non-formal interviews, this research attempts to understand how Pataya became the more prominent tempat ngèbèr in Surabaya, and what kind of changes have happened that reduced its popularity. Hopefully, this research will bring about future studies that will investigate various adaptations that can be carried out inside or outside the site itself.

Keywords: space, place, sexuality, cruising, gay, ngèbèr, Surabaya

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Journal Makara

Recommended citation:
Azali, Kathleen. “Pataya: Suatu Tinjauan Konstruksi Tempat Ngèbèr di Surabaya” Jurnal Makara Seri Sosial Humaniora Vol 16, No. 2 (Desember 2012): 79-88.

NY bag. 3: New York, Brooklyn, dsb.


Ini tulisan terakhir saya untuk perjalanan saya di Cornell dan New York, kali ini bercerita mengenai beberapa tempat menarik yang sempat saya kunjungi di New York. (Silakan cek bagian pertama dan kedua.) Kota yang padat ini memiliki banyak taman, jaringan subway, banyak perpustakaan, serta sarana yang sangat memadai untuk orang yang berjalan kaki—separuh jalan bisa dipenuhi oleh pejalan kaki. Kota pedestrian deh.

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Cornell-NY bag. 2: Cornell, di luar konferensi


Karena ada beberapa teman yang tertarik dengan hal-hal di luar materi akademis yang dibahas di presentasinya sendiri, dan kebanyakan adalah teman-teman berbahasa Indonesia, saya tuliskan juga di sini persiapan-persiapan saya, pengalaman di sana, fasilitas, dan sebagainya, dalam bahasa Indonesia. Daripada saya mengulang menjelaskan berulang kali. Bagi yang tertarik hanya pada materi presentasi saja, silakan membaca tulisan saya sebelumnya.

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