Asia Rights

Journal of Human Rights, Media and Society in Asia and the Pacific

New Perspectives on the 1965 Violence in Indonesia Conference 11-13 February 2013, ANU


The Australian National University, Canberra,
Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 February 2013

 Register at

Nearly half a century ago, the Indonesian archipelago was riven by unprecedented massacres in which an estimated half million people died. The vast majority of the victims were members and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which was blamed for an unsuccessful coup in Jakarta on the night of 30 September 1965. During the long New Order regime of President Suharto, public discussion of the killings was suppressed and those associated with the PKI continued to be persecuted. After the end of the New Order in 1998, some public discussion of the events of 1965-66 became possible, but our understanding of those terrible times is still hampered by lack of detailed information.

During the last decade, however, victim support groups, activists and researchers have been collecting evidence concerning the killings. Oral testimonies have been collected and a few significant documents have emerged. New insights into the events of 1965-66 have also come from closer examination of older evidence and from comparisons with other political genocides in the 20th century.

The workshop will review this evidence and consider the insights that arise from it.

The workshop brings together academics, community-based researchers and activists to:

·      enrich historical understanding of the 1965 tragedy and its impact on Indonesian society;

·      share and create greater awareness of the primary evidence available about the violence;

·      increase the accessibility and preservation of documentary collections relevant to 1965.

The workshop will include academic papers, summaries of research findings and discussion of the efforts already underway to create, collect and preserve documentation of this past. Presentations will be made in English or Indonesian, according to the preference of each speaker, and discussions will be in both languages.

Day 3 of the conference is a closed session for researchers and activists working in the field.

For further details, please contact Ayu (


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