Challenging the New Order’s Communist Figures: A New Historicism Study on Penjagal Itu Telah Mati

Muhammad Taufiqurrohman(1*)

(1) Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Jenderal Soedirman
(*) Corresponding Author


This paper discusses about the images of communist figures in “post-suharto 1965 fictions”. Images of communist figures have been acknowledged by Indonesian people through many books and films produced under Suharto regime as evil people and atheist. In other words, they are antagonists of the nation who deserve to be jailed and killed. This paper unpacks the stereotypical infamous images of communist or alleged-communist figures by showing opposite images of the figures portrayed in “Post-Suharto 1965 fictions”. The end of Suharto regime which brings freedom of speech enables some victims of post-1965 tragedy (mostly ex-political prisoners) and their descendants to do such a counter-culture. They write books to provide other version of historiography. One of the authors is Gunawan Budi Susanto who wrote “1965 short story” collection entitled “Penjagal Itu Telah Mati” (The Slaughterer Has Died) (2015). From these current publications, we find other images of communist or alleged-communist figures; most of them are depicted as good citizens. The findings show that the images of communist figures are not as stable and absolute as what Suharto regime had constructed, yet the images remain contested in the unfinished and unstable historiography.



communist fgures; images; ‘65 book; new historicism

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