Unmarked graves: Death and survival in the anti-communist violence in East Java, Indonesia, by Vanessa Hearman.
Discussants: Grace Leksana, Taufiq Hanafi and Martijn Eickhoff.
Chair: Marieke Bloembergen.
About the book
The anti-communist violence that swept across Indonesia in 1965–66 produced a particularly high death toll in East Java. It also transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of survivors, who faced decades of persecution, imprisonment and violence. In this book, Vannessa Hearman examines the human cost and community impact of the violence on people from different sides of the political divide.
Her major contribution is an examination of the experiences of people on the political Left. Drawing on interviews, archival records, and government and military reports, she traces the lives of a number of individuals, following their efforts to build a base for resistance in the South Blitar area of East Java, and their subsequent journeys into prisons and detention centres, or into hiding and a shadowy underground existence. She also provides a new understanding of relations between the army and its civilian supporters, many of whom belonged to Indonesia’s largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama.
About the author
Vannessa Hearman holds a PhD in History from the University of Melbourne. She lectures in Indonesian Studies at Charles Darwin University in Australia
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