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Editor’s note: Each panel in the comic was drawn based on photographs from private or public archives.

Image notes and sources:

Page 1, all panels: Private archive.

Page 2, panel 1-4: Private archive.

Page 2, panel 5: One of the dioramas depicting the killing of six generals and one lieutenant during the 1965 coup at the Museum of Communist Betrayal, Lubang Buaya Museum Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Page 3 and 4, all panels: Private archive.

Page 5, panel 1: Private archive.

Page 5, panel 2: Photo of Pak Soeharto and Bu Tien at a rice harvest event. Published in Jurnal Diplomasi, Pusdiklat Kementerian Luar Negeri RI, Vol. 3 No. 3 September 2011. Accessed via Rumah Sidqi. Rice self-sufficiency is often celebrated as one of the New Order’s accomplishments, even though it only lasted five years (1969-1974) out of Soeharto’s 32-year rule and ended up eradicating the diversity of carbohydrate sources throughout the nation.

Page 5, panel 3: Photo of poet WS Rendra in the middle of a protest against the banning of TEMPO, EDITOR and DETIK in front of the Ministry of Education, Jakarta, 1994. Tempo magazine was banned for the first time on 12 April 1982. Robin Ong/ TEMPO. Accessed via TEMPO.CO

Page 5, panel 4:  Photo of the 5 August 1989 action in Bandung Institute of Technology. Students reject the arrival of home affairs minister Rudini. KPM ITB. Accessed via FaktaNews.

Page 6, panel 1: Photo of a body of the alleged victim of the Petrus (“penembak misterius” literally translates to “mysterious shooter”) killings in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta, 1984. Petrus lasted from 1982 to 1985. The operation targeted anyone deemed a criminal: recidivists, local gangs, unemployed youths and even people with tattoos. Anizar M Jasmine/ TEMPO. Accessed via DataTempo.

Page 6, panel 2: Photo of a Petrus victim on 20 May 1983 at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, 1983. Ali Said/ TEMPO. Accessed via DataTempo.

Page 6, panel 3: A photo of members of Pemuda Rakyat, the youth wing of the Indonesian Communist Party, detained by the military on 30 October 1965. AP. Accessed via Tirto.id

Page 6, panel 4: A photo of a room in Bulu Prison in Semarang, Central Java, which housed 45 women political prisoners in 1977, from Mia Bustam’s book Dari Kamp ke Kamp, 2008, pg. 263.

Page 6, panel 5: A photo of human rights activist Maria Catarina Sumarsih during the 536th kamisan, a weekly silent protest in front of the State Palace in Jakarta, on Thursday, 26 April 2018. The protests have been held since 2007 to urge the government to resolve human rights abuse cases, including the 1998 Semanggi shooting, which resulted in the death of Maria’s son, Bernardus Realino Norma Irawan. Article written by Marguerite Afra Sapiie. Aditya Bhagas/ Jakarta Post

Page 6, panel 6: Photo of the flag depicting the face of Marsinah, a labour activist from East Java, who was found dead after being tortured and raped on 5 May 1993, being hoisted by dozens of female workers who are members of the Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik (Federation of Cross-Factory Workers) during a worker demonstration in Bundaran HI area, Central Jakarta, 9 March 2014, from a 2020 article written by Jawahir Gustav Rizal and editor Virdita Rizki Ratriani. Priyombodo/ Kompas

Page 7, all panels: Private archive. 

Further reading:

Enin Supriyanto, Menolak Menunduk: Menentang Budaya Represif, 1999. 

Mia Bustam, Dari Kamp ke Kamp, 2008. 

Archive exhibition titled Visualization of the national history: From, by and for whom? curated by Hyphen —, at Gudskul, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2019.

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chitarum is a freelance comic artist currently based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Using gel pen on paper to create black and white line drawings, she makes comics which explore and question the grey areas of the society that we live in today. Find her work on Instagram @chitarum.