Under its Amanah imprint, Lontar publishes Indonesian-language titles, that Lontar itself has put together in the course of developing an English language publication.
In the end of the 19th century, the Dutch Indies grew a new style of performing arts with Malay language known as “Komedi Bangsawan” or the vaudeville. The appearance triggered by urbanization and the need of entertainment. Nevertheless, as shown by the nine plays in this first chapter, the author– mixed or locals – then exploits the opportunity to understand Malay language not just for entertainment but also to disseminate ideas, social concepts, and new philosophies. Slowly, this art performance can be said as the new people’s theatre.
The play in 1930s era is a room drama – a drama known better as literature rather than a play. Players in this period of time were not familiar with art performances. But as political way almost closed, they chose to disseminate socio-political ideas through literature or play. The Japanese arrivals in early 1940s changed that. Japan required all arts to be a propaganda tool, and sensory became stricter. But in the 12 plays in this second chapter, the players still insert reform ideas in plays written on colonial times as well as Japanese occupation period.
Until the tenth year after Independence, revolution was still a dominant theme in all Indonesian literature genres, including plays. A drastic change and somewhat forced into an independent nation caused a lot of issues due to unpreparedness and sudden anticipation, which was not well planned. The obscurity of post-independence and disorganized “independence” concept was the things that were revealed: cursed, regretted, and mocked in most of the play in this third chapter. The players produced characters tasked to talk about independence impact to the society at large.
The establishment of Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) on 1968 affects the art development as a whole in Indonesia. With the establishment of a theatre there, the theater pupil started to set strategies for public establishment and chose scripts accordingly to the socio-cultural and political contexts at that time. In New Order creations, it was felt the effort to be free from the pressure of the Old Order and succeeded to create artistic reformation, which before was forced to be loyal to realism, whereas at the end of the New Order, most of the creations tend to lean on realism-socialist ideas.
Di Balik Kaca brings together, in Indonesian, the same twenty stories published in Menagerie 7. Not only do the stories herein disprove the persistent but baseless myth that all forms of sexuality and sexual behavior that fall outside the norm of accepted heterosexual behavior are not, somehow, “Indonesian,” they also show that the Indonesian archipelago is as multi-sexual as it is multi-ethnic.
After the 1965 incident, numerous Indonesian authors were stranded outside Indonesia and were unable to return home. Together they produced a body of literary work known as “sastra eksil Indonesia”—Indonesian exile literature, which is not a literary genre but, instead, a historical marker. As part of Indonesian history their work cannot be ignored. This book contains poems from fifteen exiled authors.
Since the end of the New Order in 1998, the demand to revise and reevaluate Indonesian modern history became more intense. To most historians, the valuation of the New Order could not be done before fathoming the 1965 events. Memories on the events needed to be traced. This book presents the testimonies of eleven political prisoners from 1965 who survived those traumatic moments.