As darkness hastily falls on the heart of Madura Island, uniquely shaped traditional wooden houses and hamlets begin to throw long shadows in an eastward direction. Traffic, which during the day is extremely light by Indonesian standards, is now ceasing entirely. Just a few noisy scooters remain on the road, avoiding the poor peasants slowly dragging their tired feet home from the fields.
In Indonesia, something unusual and hopeful is taking place. After a long intellectual winter, new green shoots are breaking through the snow (if one could be allowed to use this metaphor in a tropical country).
A new Indonesian progressive publishing house – Badak Merah (“Red Rhino”) – is launching its first title, Andre Vltchek’s “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”, translated from English to ‘Indonesia: Untaian Ketakutan di Nusantara’. It is a powerful criticism of post-1965 Indonesia, which both Andre Vltchek and Naomi Klein believe was nothing less than a Western experiment on human beings, duplicated later in many other parts of the world.
The Indonesian writer and publisher, Rossie Indira, interviewed Vltchek for CounterPunch: