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Isma Savitri covered social and gender empowerment for Tempo English and spent four years covering legal issues before being the editor of art at Majalah Tempo, where she reviews movies and arts.

Savitri’s accolades in journalism include the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry’s movie critic challenge 2019 and the 2013 BPJS (Health Care and Social Security Agency) writing contest. 


Derry Wijaya explaining her theory on linking natural human language with computers, April 18.
Personal Doc.
The launch of the Indonesiana Fund by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Finance, March 24.
Youtube/Education and Culture Ministry
TEMPO's Choice of Best Film Director Wregas Bhanuteja in the process of filming Penyalin Cahaya, or ‘Photo Copier’. Doc. Wrgeas Bhanuteja/Tri Ratna
Umi Sardjono (standing, second right), with women leaders of the independence era including Rangkayo Rasuna Said (seated, left), Kartinah Kurdi (seated, second from right), and SK Trimurti (seated, right).
Repro Photo: Gunawan Wicaksono, from Uchikowati Doc.
Suharto (left) and David Jenkins in Rawamangun, Jakarta, 1970.
Burt Glinn/David Jenkins Doc.

Piecing the Puzzle of Young Suharto

David Jenkins, the Australian journalist who was once barred from entering Indonesia in the New Order era, has launched his newest book Young Soeharto, The Making of a Soldier, 1921–1945. The book zooms in on Suharto’s childhood and teenage years, and then explores his early career in the Dutch army and the Japanese police. It reveals many new facts.

Books Edisi : Monday, September 27, 2021

A cartoon under the “Solidarity for Myanmar” theme by Muhammad Nasir in the Virtual ASEAN Human Rights Cartoon Exhibition.

Resounding Still, the Voice of Southeast Asian Cartoons

CARTOONS have often been a source of controversies in many nations. Satiric jokes in the form of comedic images have offended people, often to the point of anger and retaliation. In 2015, France’s satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo became the target of shooting after it published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The attack killed dozens, including the cartoonist. A decade before, in 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published an editorial cartoon depicting Muhammad as well, leading to international protests from Muslim communities. In Southeast Asia, things are not that much different. Three years ago, hundreds of supporters of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) swarmed the office of Tempo in Jakarta. They protested a political cartoon in the magazine which they claimed insulted their leader. Southeast Asian’s growing democracy did not come with freedom of speech for its cartoonists. The police have arrested some of them, and many work under fear of persecution. In light of the situation, Malaysia’s political cartoonist Zunar and non-profit organization Hujah Ehsan are holding an online exhibition of the ASEAN Human Rights Cartoon Exhibition from May 3 to 30. The exhibition, titled Human Rights at the Homeland, features 100 critical cartoons by 37 cartoonists from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Art & Culture Edisi : Monday, May 17, 2021

Arka Kinari sailing across the Pacific Atoll, August 24. A Grey Filastine

Arka Kinari’s Spicy Journey

Departing from Rotterdam in the Netherlands on August 23, 2019, the crew of the Arka Kinari ship finally anchored in Indonesia on September 1 this year. On the ship were the artist couple Nova Ruth Setyaningtyas and Grey Filastine, and six international crew members. On this low-carbon journey, they visited a number of countries and gave mini concerts on board. Their expedition faced numerous challenges, from storms, the coronavirus pandemic, to permit processing that left them in limbo on the open sea. In addition to campaigning for the environment, the Arka Kinari crew was involved in the Spice Route movement proclaimed by the education and culture ministry’s directorate-general for culture. This made them change their sailing route onto a number of spice locations: Sorong (West Papua), Banda Neira (Maluku), Selayar and Makassar (South Sulawesi), Benoa (Bali), and Surabaya (East Java).

Interlude Edisi : Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Tuak Sagalas, the Dayak specialty./Tempo
Hans Pols./
Vaccination of a village near Bondowoso, East Java, by a Javanese doctor, 1910./KITLV
The military quarantine regions in Java infected by the plague in 1912./Tropenmuseum

Epidemics and Quarantine in the Dutch East Indies

Indonesia faced several epidemics during the Dutch East Indies era. From outbreaks of cholera and pestilence in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the early of the 20th century up until the impact of the Spanish Flu. Those pandemics resembled the current situation. After a late response to the outbreak, the colonial government finally enacted a regional quarantine. Many things can be learned from past epidemics. Mitigation strategies, appropriate isolation measures, and rapid responses are needed.

Interlude Edisi : Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The kris believed to be Prince Diponegoro’s KIAI Naga Siluman./SNKI anD Brojobuwono Doc.

Kiai Naga Siluman Dagger Cuts on Both Sides

THE keris (dagger or kris) belonging to Diponegoro, also known as Raden Mas Ontowiryo, was returned by the Dutch government to Indonesia on March 10. The dagger, known as Kiai Naga Siluman, was believed to have been given to the Dutch by Diponegoro. Dutch and Indonesian researchers who studied the kris verified that it was Naga Siluman based on a letter from Diponegoro’s former officer Sentot Alibasya Prawirodirdjo, and a description of the dagger by Javanese painter Raden Saleh, who lived and worked for many years in Europe in the mid-19th century. However, Indonesian kris specialists have casted doubt on whether the old weapon is indeed Diponegoro’s Naga Siluman as mentioned by Sentot. From the details, they say, it seemed that the dagger is a Naga Sasra, which has quite distinct characteristics from a Naga Siluman. These Indonesian experts deem it impossible that Prince Diponegoro would not know the difference between a Naga Siluman and a Naga Sasra. Thus, the National Museum will be waiting for a compromise between kris specialists and historians before exhibiting the dagger, together with other items owned by Diponegoro, at a certain point after the corona pandemic subsides.

Interlude Edisi : Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Rich Brian performing in Spotify On Stage 2019 at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran, October 4./Photo: Committee Doc. (concert)
Mohammad Toha and his Mother in 1948./Family doc.
Painter I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, in Bali, 1978. TEMPO Doc./Putu Setia
Lukman US, a Torajan batik observer cum maker holding a Sarita. -Private.Doc.
Solar cell instalation. The Pelita Khatulistiwa movement opted for crowdfunding to supply a community health center in Lindu, Central Sulawesi, with solar-powered electricity. -Private Doc

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