Why choose this theme?
Isn’t the ‘dark chapter’ in Indonesia’s history ‘old news’, does it need to be told again?
Perhaps this is so for some people in Indonesia…..
Or perhaps there are even more who don’t want to talk about it, and choose to forget it because they fear it….
But that’s not the way it is for us.
Although hundreds of books and films about this ‘dark chapter’ have been produced, under a cloud of controversy, how many of the young men and women of our archipelago have heard about, watched, or read them?
How many of us want to remember this dark chapter of our history?
For us, it is not about who killed who….
This is about a lost history (and the loss of history) in our lives.
Shouldn’t it be so, that if we know what has happened in the past, then we can understand why we stand here now, and where we want to go in the years to come?
So, this is what actually happen while the daughter of a former Lieutenant Colonel of Indonesian Air Force, and the grandson of dalang (wayang puppet-master) who was a political prisoner for 13 years, -like us- could talk about the dark chapters of history, that are also a part of their family histories….
“MWARTHIRIKA” is a visual performance without words, about that dark history which we tell in an imaginative way, like a fairy tale.
In this performance we use Swahili words for the title and the character’s names, and have created bunraku and kuruma ningyo puppets, which originate from Japan, to perform the story.
Yes, IT’S TRUE!!! We are celebrating the joy of choosing many things from many shelves. We are celebrating the cacaphony of transliterative history (the words of Agung Kurniawan – the process companion) in our work.
Maybe you will know some of the symbols, maybe not.
Just enjoy it…..
This is just one of the languages which we can use to tell stories from our history, which enriches us.
Maria Tri Sulistyani & Iwan Effendi
(Artistic Directors MWATHIRIKA)