“Colonial Bastard: The Forbidden Fictions” Exhibition
The extermination of a literary tradition doesn’t always take recognizable means such as book burning, book banning, or shutting down of libraries. Tragically, in Indonesia’s history, the mean in question was its very tool of the trade: Indonesian language.
In colonial era, Balai Pustaka hoisted Indonesian language as a weapon of destruction against numerous literary works. Resistance literatures that commonly used low Malay peppered with Dutch or Chinese vocabularies were obliterated on the ground of they did not feature “proper” Indonesian language. Inevitably, Peranakan literary works along with adaptations and popular books fell into the same trap. “Colonial Bastard the Forbidden Fiction” Exhibition attempts to bring back these silenced works to life.