Archives par mot-clé : Indonésie

Pham Van Thuy : Beyond Political Skin – Convergent Paths to an Independent National Economy in Indonesia and Vietnam (1930-65)

1957_Indonesia_stamp[ndlr] Message de Philippe Peycam, retrancris ci-dessous avec son aimable autorisation.

It is my great pleasure to inform you about the successful Ph.D. defense of Dr. Pham Van Thuy, here at Leiden University, just two days ago.The title of Pham Van Thuy’s thesis: “Beyond Political Skin: Convergent Paths to an Independent National Economy in Indonesia and Vietnam (1930-65).”

As the title indicates, Thuy’s research interests focuse on comparative historical study of the political economy of Vietnam and Indonesia as well as other Southeast Asian countries in the colonial and post-colonial periods. The thesis itself is a very important piece of research on a neglected subject: a comparison of the policies developed by the two newly independent and war-embroiled Indonesian and Vietnamese (DRV and RVN) states. I am attaching the thesis’s abstract to this email.

Thuy’s scholarly achievement is in many ways exceptional. From Vietnam National University (VNU) in Hanoi where he obtained his first BA degree in 2005, he joined the ENCOMPASS (Encountering a Common Past in Asia) programme a the Institute for History, University of Leiden. This means that Thuy studied simultaneously three languages – English, Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch – whilst he completed a second BA (2007) and then an MPhil degree (2009) before being appointed to a four-year Ph.D. position at the Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, to carry out his doctoral research. Since 2006, he is Lecturer at VNU’s Faculty of History, School of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Pham Van Thuy is one of the few young Vietnamese historians who can claim to be truly knowledgeable about another Southeast Asian country, its language as well as the language of its former colonial occupyers. He used the two languages to work at both the Dutch and Indonesian archives and to read secondary source materials. Understandably, after having devoted comparably more efforts to research on Indonesia, he wants to deepen his knowledge about his own country and interact more with other Vietnam scholars. He is currently studying French and already plans to go to Aix-en-Provence!

Philippe Peycam

Source : VSG

* * *


Beyond Political Skin:

Convergent Paths to an Independent National Economy in Indonesia and Vietnam

The study discusses the transformation from a colonial into a national economy in Indonesia and Vietnam. It focuses on two intertwined processes of economic decolonization and reconstruction in the two countries after the Second World War, paying special attention to political and institutional factors involved in these processes. The study demonstrates that, although differences in the political situations resulted in the adoption of divergent strategies, Indonesia and Vietnam were in fact pursuing similar long-term goals, namely: to attain an independent national economy. The Indonesian government was determined to get rid of the economic legacy of Dutch colonialism by placing the whole economy under the strong state control and ownership, in accordance with the spirit of Guided Democracy and Guided Economy in the late 1950s and the early 1960s. This effort resembled much the socialist transformation of North Vietnam in the late 1950s and the various means by which the Ngo Dinh Diem government of South Vietnam concentrated economic power in its hands during the late 1950s and the early 1960s.

L’art du pathétique en Asie du Sud-est insulaire [séminaire CASE]

Séminaire général animé par

Andrée Feillard et Rémy Madinier


Sociétés d’Asie du Sud-est : permanences et mutations

Jeudi 28 novembre 2013


L’art du pathétique en Asie du Sud-est insulaire :

ethnologie, esthétique et émotions

Un groupe d’ethnologues du CASE a mené une réflexion commune, à partir de ses matériaux de littérature orale, rituelle ou profane, sur la notion de « pathétique », de son statut dans un ensemble narratif, mis en scène ou non, de sa pertinence dans les taxonomies locales de l’émotion, de son rôle esthétique dans la forme codifiée qui le porte, enfin  de son expression linguistique et, le cas échéant, non verbale. L’expression stylisée de la souffrance, du malheur, de la douleur, des épreuves de la vie et de la violence émotionnelle paroxystique que représente la mort, a ainsi été explorée à partir de quatre terrains, dans leurs langues vernaculaires, deux à Taïwan et deux en Indonésie.  Les mots, les voix et les pleurs présentés ici sont ceux des chants responsoriaux des Tao Do-pongso de Lanyu, Taïwan (Véronique Arnaud), du théâtre à Madura, Indonésie (Hélène Bouvier), des chamanes des Puyuma de Taïwan (Josiane Cauquelin), et des chanteurs de Lamaholot à Flores, Indonésie (Dana Rappoport).

Le jeudi de 10 heures à 12 heures. Salon du premier étage

Maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris

M° Iéna ou Trocadéro

Séminaire IAO – Pierre van der Eng: All lies? Famines in Sukarno’s Indonesia, 1950s-1960s

[ndlr] Annonce de la séance du séminaire de l’Institut d’Asie Orientale le jeudi 16 mai 2013 à l’ENS de Lyon.


All Lies? Famines in Sukarno’s Indonesia, 1950s-1960s

Pierre van der Eng

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Australian National University



Regional food shortages occurred in Indonesia during the 1950s and 1960s, but little is known about why they happened and to what extent they caused regional famines. Political turmoil absorbed most public attention during these years, and since 1957 the government of President Sukarno bridled the national press and limited access by the international media to the country’s interior. The disintegration of the public service prevented centralised and systematic data collection. This paper draws on newspaper reports and contemporary secondary literature to analyse the extent of food shortages and famines. While deteriorating general economic circumstances and crop failures are relevant, the paper concludes that the operations of the state-owned food logistics agency in the markets for key food crops immobilised food stocks and exacerbated regional food shortages, in several cases contributing to regional famines.


Contestations of Memory in Southeast Asia – Roxana Waterson and Kwok Kian-Woon (eds)

ContestationsOfMemoryInSEAContestations of Memory in Southeast Asia applies a new theoretical literature on social memory to remembered events in Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia. Highlighting connections between theorizing based on European examples and unresolved memory issues in East and Southeast Asia, the authors show how comparative study of the interpenetration of politics and lived bodily experience, of communal and personal memories, and of dominant and suppressed narratives, can yield insights into the human potential to become either perpetrators, victims or bystanders.

The memories found within different groups in any society are open to negotiation, suppression, contestation, or revision in the ever-evolving politics of the present. The searching and close-grained analyses of contemporary issues found in the volume vividly illustrate the essentially plural and multivocal nature of social memories, and demonstrate the intricate connection between transnational, national and sub-national politics. Readers seeking a more nuanced and complex understanding of the past and of its continued relevance to the present and future, will find here much food for thought.

Roxana Waterson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.
Kwok Kian-Woon is an Associate Professor in the Division of Sociology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Réf. : Roxana Waterson and Kwok Kian-Woon (eds), Contestations of memory in Southeast Asia, Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2012.

Source : NUS

Table of contents :
  • The work of memory and the unfinished past, deepening and widening the study of memory in Southeast Asia / Roxana Waterson and Kwok Kian-Woon
  • Remembering kings, archives, resistance, and memory in colonial and post-colonial Burma / Maitrii Aung-Thwin
  • Shifting visions of the past, ethnic minorities and the ‘struggle for national independence’ in Laos / Vatthana Pholsena
  • Truth and memory, narrating Viet Nam / Sharon Seah Li-Lian
  • Textual construction of a nation, the use of merger and separation / Dayang Istiaisyah bte Hussin
  • Remembering, misremembering, and forgetting, the struggle over Serangan Oemoem 1 Maret 1949 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia / Heddy Shri Ahimsa Putra
  • War and violence, history and memory, the Philippine experience of the Second World War / Ricardo T. José
  • The past in the present, memories of the 1964 ‘racial riots’ in Singapore / Adeline Low Hwee Cheng
  • Memories at the margins, Chinese-educated intellectuals in Singapore / Kwok Kian-Woon and Kelvin Chia
  • Living with the spectre of the past, traumatic experiences among wives of former political prisoners of the ‘1965 event’ in Indonesia / Budiawan

[Conférence] Anthony Reid : Southeast Asia’s ‘Ring of Fire’

Conférence organisée par le groupe Asie Sedet / HSTM et le Centre Asie du Sud Est (Case-CNRS)


Anthony Reid

Professeur émérite, Australian National University


Writing History in a Dangerous Environment:

Southeast Asia’s ‘Ring of Fire’


Mercredi 24 avril de 17h30 à 19h30

Salle 104, 1er étage Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, rue Albert Einstein, Paris 13e



Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand

Bus : 89, 62, 64, 325

Conf A Reid 24 avril 2013

Anthony Reid est l’auteur de :


Research interests

History of Southeast Asia, with particular interests in Indonesia and Malaysia, early modern history, nationalism, minorities, social, economic and religious history, and Sumatra. He is currently writing a contracted new history of Southeast Asia, while also exploring the interface between history and geology in Indonesia’s natural disaster record.


Anthony Reid is an emeritus Professor of the College of Asia & the Pacific, and a Visiting Fellow in its Department of Political & Social Change. He was a member of ANU’s former Department of Pacific & Asian History for many years until 1999, before moving offshore as founding Director successively of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA, Los Angeles, and of the Asia Research Institute of NUS in Singapore.

Professor Anthony Reid  sur le site de l”Australian National University

Avant-première de The Act of Killing, film de Joshua Oppenheimer – lundi 8 avril au Cinéma Publicis à Paris


[ndlr] Annonce de la sortie prochaine d’un film de Joshua Oppenheimer qui revient sur le massacre de masse connu des historiens mais peu évoqué en Occident des partisans communistes indonésiens du PKI et d’opposants politiques après le renversement du Président Sukarno en 1965. The Act of Killing, l’acte de tuer, interroge la mémoire des acteurs survivants et bourreaux en faisant rejouer par ces derniers “la scène de meurtre”.

Cette approche fait immanquablement penser au documentaire S21 de Rithy Panh sur le Kampuchea Démocratique des Khmers Rouges. Près d’un demi-siècle après les faits, les victimes parlent. En Indonésie même, l’historienne Yenny Narny a mené une partie de ses recherches sur la violence faite aux femmes lors de ce massacre : Violence against women in the Communist Tragedy in West Sumatra 1965/1966.

Nous diffusons ci-après l’annonce officielle reçue de ZED, le distributeur du film en France, suivie de la bande annonce et de la page internet du film.

* * *

Avant-première de The Act of Killing le lundi 8 avril à 20h30 au Cinéma Publicis (8e) en présence du réalisateur, Joshua Oppenheimer.



Lorsque Joshua Oppenheimer se rend en Indonésie pour réaliser un documentaire sur le massacre de plus d’un million d’opposants politiques en 1965, il n’imagine pas que, 45 ans après les faits, les survivants terrorisés hésiteraient à s’exprimer. Les bourreaux, eux, protégés par un pouvoir corrompu, s’épanchent librement et proposent même de rejouer les scènes d’exactions qu’ils ont commises.

“Je n’ai jamais vu de film si puissant, si effrayant. C?est sans précédent dans l’histoire du cinéma” Werner Herzog

“Un coup de maître Première ***

“Courageux, provoquant, innovant, ce documentaire peu orthodoxe fait la lumière sur un crime tombé dans l’oubli. A couper le souffle The Hollywood Reporter

“Un film de cinéma qui ne ressemble au final qu’à lui-même, doté d’une puissance inouïe” Film de Culte

Projection suivie d’un débat en présence de Joshua Oppenheimer et d’Amnesty International .

Réservation impérative par mail ou au 01 53 09 98 23 (dans la limite des places disponibles)

Source : ZED

* * *

The Historical Context


Edited from observations on the massacres, their aftermath and implications, by Historian John Roosa. Many thanks to him for providing this summary. Additional opening and closing notes by Joshua Oppenheimer.

In 1965, the Indonesian government was overthrown by the military. Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, founder of the non-aligned movement, and leader of the national revolution against Dutch colonialism, was deposed and replaced by right-wing General Suharto. The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which had been a core constituency in the struggle against Dutch colonialism, and which had firmly supported President Sukarno (who was not a communist), was immediately banned.

On the eve of the coup, the PKI was the largest communist party in the world, outside of a communist country. It was officially committed to winning power through elections, and its affiliates included all of Indonesia’s trade unions and cooperatives for landless farmers. Its major campaign issues included land reform, as well as nationalizing foreign-owned mining, oil, and plantation companies. In this, they sought to mobilize Indonesia’s vast natural resources for the benefit of the Indonesian people, who, in the aftermath of three hundred years of colonial exploitation, were, on the whole, extremely poor.

After the 1965 military coup, anybody opposed to the new military dictatorship could be accused of being a communist. This included union members, landless farmers, intellectuals, and the ethnic Chinese, as well as anybody who struggled for a redistribution of wealth in the aftermath of colonialism.

In less than a year, and with the direct aid of western governments, over one million of these “communists” were murdered. In America, the massacre was regarded as a major “victory over communism”, and generally celebrated as good news. Time magazine reported “the West’s best news for years in Asia”, while The New York Times ran the headline, “A Gleam of Light in Asia”, and praised Washington for keeping its hand in the killings well hidden.

(The scapegoating of the ethnic Chinese, who had come to Indonesia in the 18th and 19th centuries, was done at the incitement of the US intelligence services, which sought to drive a wedge between the new Indonesian regime and the People’s Republic of China. The slaughter of village-level members of the PKI and its affiliate unions and cooperatives was also encouraged by the US, who was worried that without a “scorched earth” approach, the new Indonesian regime might eventually accommodate the PKI base.)

In many regions of Indonesia, the army recruited civilians to carry out the killings. They were organized into paramilitary groups, given basic training (and significant military back up). In the province of North Sumatra and elsewhere, the paramilitaries were recruited largely from the ranks of gangsters, or preman. Ever since the massacres, the Indonesian government has celebrated the “extermination of the communists” as a patriotic struggle, and celebrated the paramilitaries and gangsters as its heroes, rewarding them with power and privilege. These men and their protégés have occupied key positions of power – and persecuted their opponents – ever since.

The pretext for the 1965-66 genocide was the assassination of six army generals on the night of 1 October 1965. (above written by Joshua Oppenheimer).

1.10.1965: The Thirtieth of September Movement (Gerakan 30 September, or G30S), made up of disaffected junior Indonesian Armed Forces Officers, assassinated six Indonesian Army Generals in an abortive coup and dumped their bodies down a well south of the city. At the same time, the Movement’s troops took over the national radio station and announced that they intended to protect President Sukarno from a cabal of right-wing army generals plotting a seizure of power. The Movement was defeated before most Indonesians knew it existed. The senior surviving army commander, Major General Suharto, launched a quick counter-attack and drove the Movement’s troops from Jakarta within one day.

Suharto accused the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) of masterminding the Movement and then orchestrated an extermination of persons affiliated with the party. Suharto’s military rounded up over a million and a half people, accusing all of them of being involved in the Movement. In one of the worst bloodbaths of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of individuals were massacred by the army and its affiliated militias, largely in Central Java, East Java, Bali, and North Sumatra from late 1965 to mid-1966. In a climate of national emergency, Suharto gradually usurped President Sukarno’s authority and established himself as the de facto president (with the power to dismiss and appoint ministers) by March 1966.

The massacres were out of all proportion to their ostensible cause. The Movement was a small-scale conspiratorial action organized by a handful of people. In total, it killed twelve people. Suharto exaggerated its magnitude until it assumed the shape of an ongoing, nation-wide conspiracy to commit mass murder. All the millions of people associated with the PKI, even illiterate peasants in remote villages, were presented as murderers collectively responsible for the Movement.

Indonesian government and military officials, to the very end of the Suharto regime in 1998, invoked the specter of the PKI in response to any disturbance or sign of dissent. The key phrase in the regime’s argument was “the latent danger of communism.” The unfinished eradication of the PKI was, in a very real sense, the raison d’être of the Suharto regime. The original legal act under which the regime ruled Indonesia for over thirty years was Sukarno’s presidential order of 3rd October 1965, authorizing Suharto to “restore order.” That was an emergency order. But for Suharto, the emergency never ended.

In constructing a legitimating ideology for his dictatorship, Suharto presented himself as the saviour of the nation for having defeated the Movement. His regime incessantly drilled the event into the minds of the populace by every method of state propaganda: textbooks, monuments, street names, films, museums, commemorative rituals and national holidays. The Suharto regime justified its existence by placing the Movement at the centre of its historical narrative and depicting the PKI as ineffably evil. Under Suharto, anti-communism became the state religion, complete with sacred sites, rituals, and dates.

It is remarkable that the anti-PKI violence, as such a large-scale event, has been so badly misunderstood. No doubt, the fact that both military personnel and civilians committed the killings has blurred the issue of responsibility. Nonetheless, from what little is already known, it is clear that the military bears the largest share of responsibility and that the killings represented bureaucratic, planned violence more than popular, spontaneous violence. The Suharto clique of officers, by inventing false stories about the Movement and strictly controlling the media, created a sense among civilians that the PKI was on the warpath. If there had not been this deliberate provocation from the military, the populace would not have believed the PKI was a mortal threat since the party was passive in the aftermath of the Movement. (The military worked hard to whip up popular anger against the PKI from early October 1965 onwards; and the US Government actively encouraged the Indonesian military to pursue rank and file communists). It prodded civilian militias into acting, gave them assurances of impunity, and arranged logistical support.

Contrary to common belief, frenzied violence by villagers was virtually unheard of. Suharto’s army usually opted for mysterious disappearances rather than exemplary public executions. The army and its militias tended to commit its large-scale massacres in secret: they took captives out of prison at night, trucked them to remote locations, executed them, and then buried the corpses in unmarked mass graves or threw them into rivers.

The tragedy of modern Indonesian history lies not just in the army-organized mass killings of 1965-66 but also in the rise to power of the killers, of persons who viewed massacres and psychological warfare operations as legitimate and normal modes of governance. A regime that legitimated itself by pointing to a mass grave at the site of the well, vowing “never again,” left countless mass graves from one end of the country to the other, from Aceh on the western edge to Papua on the eastern edge. The occupation of East Timor from 1975 to 1999 similarly left tens, if not hundreds, of thousands dead, many anonymously buried. Each mass grave in the archipelago marks an arbitrary, unavowed, secretive exercise of state power.

The obsession with a relatively minor event (the Movement) and the erasure of a world-historical event (the mass killings of 1965-66) has blocked empathy for the victims, such as the relatives of those men and women who disappeared. While a monument stands next to the well in which the Movement’s troops dumped the bodies of the six army generals on October 1, 1965, there is no monument to be found at the mass graves that hold the hundreds of thousands of persons killed in the name of suppressing the Movement. (above written by John Roosa).

Focus on who killed the army generals on 30th September 1965 has functioned as a fetish, displacing all attention from the murder of over one million alleged communists in the months that followed. Suharto’s regime produced endless propaganda about the “brutal communists” behind the killing of the generals, and still today most discussion of the genocide has been displaced by this focus. And this is true even in most English-language sources. To me, participating in the debate around “who killed the generals” feels grotesque, which is why it does not feature in The Act of Killing.

The Rwandan genocide was triggered when Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana (a Hutu) died after his aeroplane was shot down on its approach to Kigali. To focus on who shot down the plane (was it Tutsi extremists? was it Hutu extremists acting as provocateurs?) rather than the murder of 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates over the next 100 days would be unconscionable. Similarly, who started the Reichstag fire is irrelevant to an understanding of the Holocaust. Whether or not the disgruntled army officers behind the killing of the six generals had the support of the head of the PKI is much more than beside the point: it plays, as John Roosa points out above, the pernicious role of deflecting attention from a mass murder of world-historical importance. Imagine if, in Rwanda, the fundamental question about what happened in 1994 was “who shot down the president’s plane?” This would only be thinkable if the killers remained in power… (above written by Joshua Oppenheimer).

Source : The Act of

* * *

* * *

Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site officiel du film en cliquant sur l’image