Mar 15, 2014

Nominados al Óscar y al miedo: The Act of Killing y las matanzas de Indonesia

The Act of Killing

El documental ‘The Act of Killing’ se ha quedado sin su anticipado Óscar, pero su victoria ha sido otra: arañar los tabúes de Indonesia.

por Eduardo Mariz

YAKARTA.- En septiembre de 1965, el Partido Comunista de Indonesia (PKI por sus siglas en Indonesio) todavía se enorgullecía de ser la mayor fuerza política comunista fuera del Bloque del Este: 3 millones de miembros y unos 18 millones de seguidores. Cuando llegó la primavera, sus aspiraciones yacían entre (como poco) medio millón de cuerpos sucumbidos por las sangrientas purgas: la anticomunista, la sinófoba y la sin razón.

Indonesia se ganaba así un hueco en la infame lista de países trastocados por genocidios a lo largo del siglo XX: Sri Lanka, Camboya, Guatemala, Sudán, Bosnia, Ruanda… pero hoy en Indonesia el repudio a aquella violencia todavía dista de ser unánime. “Los crímenes de guerra los definen los vencedores. Yo soy un vencedor, por lo tanto me toca a mí crear esa definición,” explica Adi Zulkadry una con cálida sinceridad a Joshua Oppenheimer, director de The Act of Killing, nominado a mejor documental en los Premios Óscar de este año. Continue reading »

Kembali lagi!

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Exciting news! I’ve been awarded a Darmasiswa Scholarship by the Indonesian Government to retake my language studies from this July at Universitas Indonesia in Depok, south of Jakarta. More to come!

Jan 28, 2013

Hate speech also backfires

Simpsons_angry_mob

For the past few days there has been a lot of talk around racial hatred laws in France and their intrusion with freedom of speech in Social Media. It’s a modern classic: someone turns their twitter account into a manurephone and the authorities step in.

In this occasion the attack was flagged by the French Union of Jewish Students, who denounced a series of anti-Semitic tweets hashtagged as #agoodjew. These messages were in clear violation of France’s legislation -which bans any incitement to racial hatred- and thus Twitter was requested to delete them (whether it will is a different story).

Cases like this have retained Social Media in the spotlight for its defamatory and trolling possibilities since its inception. And it is fair to keep that way. Cyberbullying, spinning bad press or orchestrating public attacks are just a few of the hurtful uses that online tools like Twitter or Facebook have helped magnify.

Continue reading »

Dec 22, 2012

Where did 2012 go?

jassmyn tweet

Yeah, where did it go? This tweet by Jassmyn Goh excuses —yet another— 2012 recap better than Facebook’s “Year in Review”. Armed with a glass of wine, I let go some nostalgic thoughts that will continue to haunt me in 2013.

It began in Jakarta’s Selamat Datang Monument with the thundering of thousands of petards and flares fired at once. Well, not really at once, since the gunpowder frenzy conceded no peaks or breaks to ever pin down the turn of the year.

It was my second week in Indonesia, we had just finished our travels around Bali, Java and Sumatra and the ACICIS Journalism Professional Practicum was just about to start. The 6 weeks that followed were also some of the best of 2012, many good memories packed in a poky time frame. I started living in a kos in Semanggi —in the heart of Jakarta— and attending Atma Jaya’s Indonesian lessons and media seminars. 

Continue reading »

Dec 18, 2012
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Gangnam Slide

Coining witty economic puns is often reserved to respected economists. But after 7 months living and eyeing South Korea’s excesses, I couldn’t resist the chance of foretelling where the country’s economy could be heading next.

Some sip pricey coffee, dine on instant noodles, drive BMWs and earn modest salaries. Others own several houses, struggle with their mortgages, never miss the latest gadgets and have few prospects of career growth. And a few speculate with the housing market, bribe senior government officials and manage bloated banks.

Recipe for an imminent crisis? Perhaps, but South Korea is turning a blind eye on the prospect and drowning words of warning in loud K-Pop tunes. Let’s all roll with it, but in the aftermath of the upcoming presidential election, relief will probably go to the defeated. Below I have subheaded three aspects that point to a looming future for the South Korean economy.

Continue reading »

On y va

September October Itinerary

Seoul – Madrid via Moscow – Vigo – Madrid – Vigo – Marseille via Porto – Vigo via Porto –         Sydney via Porto, Brussels and Abu Dhabi

Back to the origins. Goodbye, Korea.

On air from Korea

KBS World Radio Studio

As previously anticipated, my period of stay in Korea got a 2 months extension thanks to a timely opportunity interning and working for KBS World Radio’s Spanish Service. Serendipity!

It was simply the best experience I could have hoped for to end -what I increasingly believe- have been the best 7 months of my life, to date. Every day spent at the station was like ingesting a cocktail of Korean current affairs knowledge tablets. Powerful, easy to digest and with lasting effects. Forget about books and exchange courses. This was the real thing and it acted quickly.

Having a front row seat to Dokdo’s (Takeshima’s?) dispute or the Samsung-Apple patent battles wasn’t the only fascinating part, being part of an international team amid one of Korea’s biggest and most trusted corporations was… a very good organisational insight that will frame things differently for me from now on.

Continue reading »

A Korean summer

Blinked. Everything changed. Now it’s summer. I’m no longer a student. I find myself living in a tiny 고시원 room. And most of my friends here are gone.

That sums up what’s been going on for the past month or so. An abrupt end to an exchange semester where me and a handful of other 외국인 evolved from strangers to siblings. All we got left is a bucket filled with great memories (truly.great.memories) and contact numbers written in pages hopeful to get flicked through in near visits across Europe, Japan, America and a myriad of other corners.

I am not grumbling, it was time for it to end. Now before me is a summer with a great chance to learn and get better at something I really like, time I can dedicate to people I barely got to see during the semester, and days off to keep exploring the many untapped sites left.

Happy as a clam to extend my time here a bit longer. It was never the time to leave.

*Photo by Christine Choi

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