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Sidelines



  • Hagiography
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    Hagiography

    Back in those days, I would listen to my mother’s stories as she lulled the children to sleep. She knew that sleep was investment for a fresh new day. In the 20th century, stories had become ‘technology’.

  • Stillness
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    Stillness

    Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness—Meister Eckhart

  • Godse
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    Godse

    Three bullets fired into Gandhi’s emaciated body, at close range. The assassin was trying to change India’s history. He failed—or at least he failed at that moment. Because today we are wondering whether that long submerged hatred can ever change.

  • Delight
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    Delight

    Long before there were malls, long before malls began their slow death, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar in the 15th century spread over 58 busy streets.

  • Ambivalence
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    Ambivalence

    THE city is an experience that can make you half startled, half stunned.

  • The City
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    The City

    FLOODWATERS dragging and tossing cars, motorbikes and furniture, smashing house walls, destroying electricity lines, killing people… No, this is not tsunami scale disaster, but, for the umpteenth time it is rain, rivers and the sea upsetting Jakarta. The city is crumbling.

  • 500 Years Ago
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    500 Years Ago

    TIDORE, the sea, the old European fort: there are still remains on this tiny, clean and calm island. Here, 500 years ago, history and the world map shaped each other, tricked each other.

  • Idols
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    Idols

    THE Buddha’s feet blistered and swollen or indistinct and changing: the series of paintings mentions ‘the sleeping Buddha’ even though the soles of the feet on the canvases convey the impression of Buddha who has travelled far. And not only far, but not bound by origin or confined by direction.

  • Messiahs
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    Messiahs

    THE date of that extraordinary day was May 19, 1824, or 21st of the fasting month 1751 in the Javanese calendar.

  • Banana Art
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    Banana Art

    A Banana was exhibited on a wall in a gallery in Miami, America, with a price tag of 120 dollars. It was part of the Basel Art exhibition held in mid December. The artist, Maurizio Cattelan, had titled it ‘Comedian’, probably after buying the banana at a supermarket for 20 cents.

  • Angels
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    Angels

    The 16-year-old girl came to warn that there are citizens in the world who are never heard: the unborn.

  • As if
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    As if

    Identity: a fiction. A fiction shaped from without. People increasingly forget this.

  • Home
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    Home

    No one asks why Malin Kundang went home.

  • Heroes Cemeteries
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    Heroes Cemeteries

    My father was not buried in a Heroes Cemetery. My mother and we, the children, did not mind.

  • Detectives
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    Detectives

    A detective is not someone who gets divine revelation.

  • The Stone
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    The Stone

    We are Sisyphus, a friend said. His face was weary.

  • Speech
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    Speech

    Humans speak, with all the risks that involves. I often think about this on October 28.

  • Warfare
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    Warfare

    Warfare has its own attraction. The ‘military’ are not always a group of stiff faces. And not only as on Army Day when the Indonesian Air Force gave an acrobatic display and about a thousand soldiers danced the Gemu Famire. There is also an imagining of attraction in the field of killing.

  • Fidai
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    Fidai

    On October 14, 1092, a murderer disguised as an old Sufi stabbed to death the vizier of Baghdad, Nizam-ul-Muluk.

  • Shock
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    Shock

    We need shock once in a while.

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