“Eighteen Years Later“, published by the Australia-Indonesia Centre
Part of a series of essays in which leading writers and commentators from Indonesia and Australia each looking closely at their own society, cultures and political situations. Eliza contemplates on Indonesian identity through the themes of personal and national trauma, particularly the 1998 mass rapes.
“Claiming Space”, published in the Jakarta Post, 12 November 2016
Censorship affect many aspects of life: school, family, how we relate to other groups in society, and our understanding of history and taboo subject matters.
“After 98: Censorship, resistance, and compromises” in Inside Indonesia No. 123, Jan-Mar 2016.
Police interference with the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival’s program was the latest sign of paranoia about 1965-related events. Two sessions unrelated to 1965 were also cancelled at UWRF: a panel called ‘For Bali’ about large-scale water and mangrove reclamation plans, big businesses, and the environmental movement, Bali Tolak Reklamasi (Bali Says No to Reclamation); and the launch of my novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different.
“Not A ‘Good Girl’, but I Enjoy the Woman I Am”, in the Magdalene, published 11 January 2016
I’m not rebelling just for the sake of rebelling. I sincerely believe that girls and women should be free and safe to be true to themselves, and to explore their interests, rather than having to follow some arbitrary rules.
“A Bloody Past: On Censorship in Indonesia” in Words Without Borders, published 17 December 2015.
Since the fall of the New Order, Indonesia has taken steps to guarantee freedom of expression. Unfortunately, laws that contradict the above have also been passed. … Am I not afraid? I’m always afraid, that’s why I write. By writing I stop feeling afraid.
“Dating and Sexual Harassment in Jakarta” in the Magdalene, published 16 September 2015.
Life is messy, and we can’t always see the situation clearly. But we must always try. Because even though we have rejected the norms that we consider shallow or hypocritical, there is a whole entity that we cannot violate: Other people. On the other hand, to be responsible towards ourselves, we can start by being honest with ourselves and our partners: what we want or do not want, what we are able or not able to handle, and how we see the situation.
“Between Languages Between Worlds”, first published in bahasa Indonesia in Sastra Digital, September 2013.
My Javanese father gave me the Javanese name ‘Handayani’—he dislikes going out and likes to eat only Indonesian food; he believes that as a man it is his right and obligation to be the head of the family. My Madurese mother gave me the Western name ‘Eliza’—she likes traveling and trying cuisines from around the world; she believes in the values her parents taught her: obedience to husband, submission to God. Fate decided my middle name: I was born on Idul Fitri, but, horrified at the thought of her first-born named like every other baby girl born on that day, my mother swapped the F in ‘Fitri’ for a V. ‘Vitri’: fate tweaked by free will.
“Delapan Belas Tahun Kemudian“, terbit di situsweb Pusat Indonesia-Australia.
Tiap kali seseorang bertanya bagaimana aku tiba di Australia, aku bilang saja aku diadopsi dari Tiongkok. Cerita itu tak membuat seorang pun merasa tak enak. Cerita itu tak membuatku merasa dikasihani. Cerita itu tak membuatku tampak seperti korban.
“Menyelusuri Ranah Seksual di Jakarta”, pertama terbit di the Magdalene, 16 September 2015
Menyelusuri ranah seksual di Jakarta nyaris seperti menjadi penjelajah waktu—kita bertemu orang-orang dari berbagai zaman. Ada yang mementingkan kesucian, malu, aib, kehormatan keluarga, pergaulan yang luas, ego, reputasi, atau mengenal seseorang secara seluruhnya—benak, jiwa, dan raga. Di luar dunia-dunia pribadi itu adalah kenyataan dunia yang kita bagi bersama.
“Di Antara Bahasa-bahasa & Dunia-dunia”, pertama terbit di Sastra Digital, edisi September 2013.
Aku ingin karyaku turut memajukan kisah inovasi lintas benua dan lintas zaman, aku ingin menciptakan diriku dari apa pun yang kuyakini dapat mendekatkanku ke sebaik-baik Eliza Vitri Handayani.