15 April 2013
Roger Paget joins us again to talk about the cauldron of violence that consumed Indonesia for several months in late 1965/early 1966, which represents a dark specter in the modern history of this country. This legacy is reminiscent, in certain ways, of the American civil war,. Only now, nearly fifty years later, as emotional fall-out has begun to abate, do we see public conversation begin to revisit that period and to question some of the conventional explanations authorities instantly imposed at the time.
This should surprise none of us. Twentieth Century carnage in Europe, Indochina, Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere has seen similar intervals before serious conversation was possible. He will help us examine the context of G-30-S, as Indonesia’s explosion of political violence is often euphemistically termed.
Roger Paget lived in Indonesia throughout the period of intense confrontation. Under grants from Ford Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies, he was in the country to study economic, political and social conflict. He traveled to Bali, all parts of Java, and to North Sumatra, where he interviewed leaders and many other individuals as part of his research.
Of possible interest, Roger was intimately connected to the real story on which the film, The Year of Living Dangerously, was based. His first book was dedicated to his research assistant, the real-life individual played by Linda Hunt.