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Mochtar Lubis: The Artist as Cultural Broker in New Order Indonesia

Hill, D.T. (1987) Mochtar Lubis: The Artist as Cultural Broker in New Order Indonesia. RIMA: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 21 (1). pp. 54-88.


This paper will discuss the way a leading Indonesian artist and intellectual has functioned as a conduit or "cultural broker" in the reciprocal transmission of ideas between Indonesia and the West, specifically Western Europe and America, since 1966. Mochtar Lubis is not unique in this function. Many other artist-intellectuals move between two or more communities both physically and intellectually. Soedjatmoko, Takdir Alisjahbana, Achdiat K. Mihardja, Sitor Situmorang, Subagio Sastrowardoyo, Arief Budiman, Marianne Katoppo and Nh. Dini are among the most prominent. They are members of an increasingly transnational middle class community who inhabit this "global village." In discussing Mochtar Lubis's role in the exchange between his home society and the American-West European cultural and intellectual axis, I shall provide a brief biographical outline, presenting him in the domestic socio-economic context of New Order Indonesia. I describe some of these aspects of his interaction with the West which display a degree of consistency throughout his public life, including his attitudes to America. Finally, I examine how his world view informs his most recent novel.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Department of Indonesian and Malayan Studies, University of Sydney, in cooperation with The Documentation Centre for Modern Indonesia, Royal Institute for Linguistics and Anthropology, The Netherlands
Copyright: University of Sydney, Dept. of Indonesian and Malayan Studies
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