Saskia E. Wieringa and Nursyahbani KatjasungkanaDec 3, 2021
Propaganda and the Genocide in Indonesia
Several months ago, Saskia Wieringa joined her co-authors Jess Melvin and Annie Pohlman on the show to talk about their edited volume The International People's Tribunal for 1965 and the Indonesian Genocide.
This time, Wieringa is on the show to talk about another co-edited volume. Propaganda and the Genocide in Indonesia (Routledge, 2018) is a kind of companion volume to the first study. Wieringa and Katjusungkana focus here on the way in which propaganda set the stage for, encouraged participation in and offered explanations for the genocide. This campaign portrayed communists as enemies of the Indonesian nation. But more than that, the propaganda leveraged already existing political and gender stereotypes, presenting communists as atheists, hypersexualized and amoral. This propaganda was and remains widely accepted in Indonesia, enabling mass violence in the 1960s and political persecution in the decades since.
But the book expands at time from its core focus on propaganda, shedding new light on the events of 30 September and, in particular, on the impacts of the violence on contemporary Indonesian society. Scholars and casual readers will find much of interest in the book.
Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University.