In Surabaya’s Abandoned Colonial Warehouses, Hundreds Make Their Home

When the call for Friday prayers resounds in the East Java city of Surabaya, a tightly shut door slowly begins to open. People start rushing out one by one, and the quiet atmosphere is shattered by the sudden commotion. A man in a white shirt and bright red sarong emerges from the building and approaches us with brisk steps.

“Who are you looking for? What do you need? There’s no one guarding the building right now; he’s out of town. Is there anything you need?” the man, named Rohib, asks us. His accent is Maduranese, from the neighbouring island of Madura. His tone betrays his distrust.

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