Saturday, November 01, 2003

Celebrating Indonesia: Fifty Years with the Ford Foundation 1953-2003

Celebrating Indonesia: Fifty Years with the Ford Foundation 1953-2003 commemorates the Ford Foundation’s long partnership with Indonesia, presenting the voices of some of the many individuals who have interacted with the Foundation over the past five decades and honoring their role in their country’s development. The distinguished essayist, Goenawan Mohamad, wrote the narrative. A team of talented writers and interviewers, Sandra Hamid, Andreas Harsono, and Laksmi Pamuntjak, prepared "sidebars" about some of the institutions and projects the Foundation has supported in Indonesia; and edited interviews they conducted with a number of current and former grantees. This text, illustrated by over 200 contemporary and historical photographs, offers a collective account of themes and challenges that have resonated over Indonesia’s first half-century, and evokes the diversity and pluralism of this vast and complex country. While the authors' point of departure was the legacy of the Ford Foundation’s engagement with Indonesia over the past fifty years, they brought their own critical perspective to bear, presenting an original and unvarnished reflection of their country’s past. In this way they celebrate Indonesia, recalling the struggles it has faced as a new nation and challenging readers to imagine possibilities for its future.

The emblem on the book’s cover, created by artist Enrico Soekarno, is comprised of motifs from five of the country’s many cultural and ethnic groups. Starting clockwise from the top, they are: a Batak weaving pattern, a Papuan bamboo-carving design, an ikat motif from Sumba, a house-carving design from Toraja, and Dayak bamboo ornamentation. This is intended to symbolize continuity, diversity, and dynamism in Indonesian society; and this message is echoed in the sampler of music from around the archipelago presented in the compact disc at the back of this volume.

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