Monday, May 27, 2019

"Andreas Harsono is not well known to the public but he is very well known among a small network of human rights activists, dissident scholars, Indonesian journalists, and foreign correspondents. He is often the fixer behind their stories – unacknowledged, unassuming, unselfish. Now he has shown just what a superb chronicler he is in his own right."

Clinton Fernandes of University of New South Wales University
on Andreas Harsono's book Race, Islam and Power


Andreas Harsono meliput dampak dari tsunami 2014 di Aceh. Ombak raksasa tersebut membunuh lebih 100,000 orang dan mengakhiri perang selama tiga dekade antara Gerakan Acheh Merdeka dan Indonesia lewat perjanjian damai Helsinki pada Agustus 2015. ©Hotli Simanjuntak

Media dan Jurnalisme

Majalah Pantau
Saya pernah bekerja sebagai wartawan buat The Jakarta Post, The Nation (Bangkok) dan The Star (Kuala Lumpur). Pada 2000, selama delapan tahun, saya menyunting majalah Pantau soal media dan jurnalisme dari Jakarta.

Saya ikut mendirikan Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, Institut Studi Arus Informasi, South East Press Alliance (Bangkok) and Yayasan Pantau. Pada 1999-2000, saya belajar jurnalisme bersama Bill Kovach di Universitas Harvard. Saya makin sering meneliti dan menulis persoalan jurnalisme.


Buku dan Laporan

Monash University Publishing 2019
Saya menerbitkan dua antologi –Jurnalisme Sastrawi (2005) bersama Budi Setiyono dan “Agama” Saya Adalah Jurnalisme (2011)—serta beberapa laporan soal hak asasi manusia termasuk Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia’s Political Prisoners (2010) serta In Religion’s Name: Abuses Against Religious Minorities in Indonesia (2013). Pada 2019, saya menerbitkan buku Race, Islam and Power. Ia sebuah cerita perjalanan yang diramu dengan riset soal hak asasi manusia.

Hak Asasi Manusia

Filep Karma
Sejak 2008, saya bekerja sebagai peneliti buat Human Rights Watch, salah satu organisasi hak asasi manusia paling berpengaruh di dunia, dengan tanggungjawab soal Indonesia. Banyak menulis soal kebebasan beragama, kebebasan pers, prinsip non-diskriminasi.

Ia membuat saya banyak menulis soal diskriminasi terhadap minoritas agama di Indonesia: minoritas dalam Islam termasuk Ahmadiyah dan Syiah; minoritas non-Islam namun agama-agama yang dilindungi di Indonesia termasuk Protestan, Katholik, Buddha, Hindu dan Khong Hu Chu; minoritas agama kecil termasuk aliran kepercayaan maupun agama baru macam Millah Abraham.

Minoritas gender --termasuk perempuan serta LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer)-- juga sering saya bahas. Secara geografis saya juga banyak menulis minoritas etnik macam Aceh, Kalimantan, Jawa, Maluku, Timor serta Papua.

Perjalanan

Chiang Mai 2018
Saya sering menulis cerita perjalanan. Saya pernah jalan dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Miangas sampai Rote, lebih dari 70 lokasi di Indonesia. Saya mencatat, merekam dan menulis soal tempat menarik, kisah sedih, orang menarik ... tentu saja juga makanan.

Saya juga sering menulis perjalanan di negeri jauh, dari Eropa sampai Amerika, praktis berbagai kota besar di Asia Tenggara. Paling menarik bila berjalan seorang diri, sering memakai perjalanan buat berpikir, membaca dan berbagi.

Cerita

Blog ini juga banyak memuat cerita remeh, tapi menarik, setidaknya bagi keluarga saya, soal pengalaman hidup saya, dari kegembiraan sampai kesedihan, dari kawan sampai adik, mungkin juga musuh. Saya selalu tinggal di Pulau Jawa --Jember, Lawang, Malang, Salatiga, dan Jakarta-- namun pernah bermukim di Phnom Penh dan Cambridge. Banyak cerita muncul dari semua tempat ini. Saya menganggap diri saya "orang Jakarta." Kedua anak saya lahir di Jakarta.

Hari Imlek 2019
Isteri saya, Sapariah Saturi, kelahiran Pontianak, pindah ke Jakarta buat bekerja. Kami juga punya rumah di Pontianak.

Saya juga sering mengunjungi New York, praktis setiap tahun. Ia kota perdagangan paling besar di dunia. Mungkin kawan saya di luar Indonesia, paling banyak di kota New York. Saya juga banyak kenal sudut New York sehingga banyak cerita juga muncul dari New York.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Buku dan Laporan


Diskusi buku "Agama" Saya Adalah Jurnalisme bersama Janet Steele di Ubud, Bali, 2017.

Saya menerbitkan dua antologi –Jurnalisme Sastrawi (2005) bersama Budi Setiyono dan “Agama” Saya Adalah Jurnalisme (2011)—serta beberapa laporan soal hak asasi manusia termasuk Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia’s Political Prisoners (2010) serta In Religion’s Name: Abuses Against Religious Minorities in Indonesia (2013).

Minat saya berputar soal dua tema tersebut: jurnalisme dan hak asasi manusia. Pada 2019, saya menerbitkan buku Race, Islam and Power yang saya kerjakan selama 15 tahun. Ia sebuah cerita perjalanan yang diramu dengan riset soal hak asasi manusia.

Race, Islam and Power (2019)

Buku ini adalah sebuah kisah perjalanan dari Pulau Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Pulau Miangas sampai Pulau Rote serta Ndana, pulau kecil dan kosong, selatan Rote, berbatasan dengan Australia. Ia digabung dengan berbagai bacaan soal kekerasan etnik dan agama di Indonesia sesudah kejatuhan Presiden Suharto pada Mei 1998.

Perjalanan tersebut makan waktu lima tahun, antara 2003 dan 2008, dilanjutkan dengan berbagai riset soal hukum internasional di bidang hak asasi manusia plus berbagai perundingan dengan penerbit buku. Total makan waktu 15 tahun.

Duncan Graham: ‘Race, Islam and Power’ A troubling tour through a pained land
David Robie: Indonesia’s political system has ‘failed’ its minorities – like West Papuans
Human Rights Watch: New Book on Ethnic, Religious Violence
"Race, Islam and Power" Book Commendations
Gunung Salak: Tempat Menyelesaikan Buku
Monash University Publishing: Race, Islam and Power
Sesudah 15 tahun, akhirnya buku terbit
More than 70 places for book reporting

In Religion’s Name: Abuses Against Religious Minorities in Indonesia (2013)

Human Rights Watch menerbitkan laporan ini pada Februari 2013 dengan sebuah video dan siaran pers yang merangkum isinya. Ini salah satu karya saya yang paling banyak menghasilkan esai turunan maupun wawancara di berbagai media.

Carnegie Council: "Religious Harmony" Regulations Creating Dissonance in Indonesia
The Guardian: Indonesia's courts have opened the door to fear and religious extremism
PBS: Indonesian province turns up Sharia law after devastating tsunami
New Mandala: Undoing Yudhoyono’s Sectarian Legacy
New York Times: Indonesia Is No Model for Muslim Democracy
Jakarta Globe: Sufi Muslims Feel the Heat of Indonesia’s Rising Intolerance

"Agama" Saya Adalah Jurnalisme (2011)

Antologi ini diluncurkan di Pekanbaru pada 6 Februari 2011. Ia diadakan oleh lembaga pers mahasiswa Bahana Mahasiswa dari Universitas Riau. Judulnya berasal dari sebuah wawancara radio. Ia terdiri dari empat bagian: laku wartawan (termasuk elemen dan etika jurnalisme); penulisan; dinamika ruang redaksi; serta peliputan termasuk dan teknik wawancara.

Bagaimana memesan buku "Agama" Saya Adalah Jurnalisme?
Peluncuran Antologi di Pekanbaru
Kaos 'Agama' Saya Adalah Jurnalisme dari Pekanbaru

Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia’s Political Prisoners (2010)

Ia sebuah laporan Human Rights Watch setebal 60 halaman soal tahanan politik Indonesia di Papua dan Maluku. Jumlahnya sekitar 110 orang termasuk 68 orang yang ditangkap karena menari cakalele dan membentangkan bendera Republik Maluku Selatan pada 2007 di Ambon. Tahanan politik adalah orang yang ditahan secara semena-mena karena kegiatan politik mereka secara damai, tanpa kekerasan. Ia membuat saya kenal banyak tahanan politik termasuk Filep Karma dari Papua.

Press Release: Stop Prosecuting Peaceful Political Expression
Belajar dari Filep Karma
Rolling Stone: Perjuangan Seorang Pegawai Negeri Papua
A Former Political Prisoner’s Fragile Freedom in Indonesia
Filep Karma: Seakan Kitorang Setengah Binatang: Rasialisme Indonesia di Tanah Papua

Jurnalisme Sastrawi (2005)


Buku "Jurnalisme Sastrawi" setebal 320 halaman ini bisa dibaca semua dalam blog saya. Ia terdiri dari kata pengantar "Ibarat Kawan Lama Datang Bercerita" serta delapan naskah karya kawan-kawan kami.

Budi Setiyono dan saya memilih dan menyunting semua karya dalam buku ini. Ia terbit mulanya pada 2005. Ia memberi sembilan pertimbangan bila seseorang hendak menulis karya panjang. Analisis dalam namun isinya memikat. Slogannya, panjang, dalam dan terasa.

Liputan Panjang (2001-2003)


Monday, May 06, 2019

‘Race, Islam and Power’ A troubling tour through a pained land

Duncan Graham
The Jakarta Post

Malang, East Java

Human rights activist Andreas Harsono’s new book Race, Islam and Power shows the damage incurred on “wonderful Indonesia” as a result of violence.

Inside view: Andreas Harsono's new book 'Race, Islam and Power' is a discomforting read for anyone who cares for the moral development of this nation.

Visiting outlying islands in this sprawling archipelago reveals an unease felt about Java, “the denominator of Indonesia”. From Aceh to West Papua live citizens who see the nation’s largest ethnic group as oppressive colonialists.

First President Sukarno used a common language, universal education and the non-denominational Pancasila philosophy to create the “unitary state”.

When these did not work, persuasion turned to force.

In his new book Race, Islam and Power, human rights activist Andreas Harsono explains the damage incurred on “wonderful Indonesia” as a result of violence.

This was never meant to be a jolly travelogue. The author quotes West Sumatran poet Leon Agusta (1938-2015): “They’re the two most dangerous words in Indonesia: Islam and Java”, to which Andreas adds: “Muslim majority and Javanese dominance”.

Despite efforts from people like Andreas to bring human rights issues to the fore, this year’s election campaigns focused little on such issues.

Nevertheless, perhaps some voted against Prabowo Subianto because of questions about the former general’s actions in the Army. Others might have rejected Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, reasoning that he dodged confronting post-1965 cases of persecution, despite having previously promising to open discussion on human rights.

Little has happened to reconcile the state with the survivors and the families of the real or imagined Communist victims who were never charged under the law. The guilty still control. Dealing with unresolved shame is not a problem exclusive to Indonesia. Australians are grappling with a new understanding of their nation’s past as historians are openly having discussions on massacres targeted at the Aborigines right into last century.

Consider the continuing cruelties: In Aceh, men who love each other and unmarried women who love men get whipped in a medieval public ritual in front of smartphones. People who have made mild comments about faith are put behind bars for blasphemy.

Across Indonesia, hate fermented against gays is brewed by religious leaders. Ahmadiyah sectarians get persecuted, as do followers of minority mainstream faiths.

Indonesians love the outsider-imposed label of tolerance, but this is continually threatened; robust analysis mainly comes from foreign academics, safe on campuses far away.

At last comes a critic with credibility from within. As a local, Andreas risks confrontations. In pre-independence East Timor a soldier demanded: “Are you red and white (a nationalist)?”

Andreas said he was an impartial journalist. Fortunately only his visit was terminated.

During Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order government, Andreas, an Indonesian with ethnic Chinese heritage, would have understood that discrimination is pervasive.

In Salatiga’s Satya Wacana Christian University in Central Java, he followed lectures by the late George Aditjondro, a sociologist and author who was so powerful a critic of Soeharto (he likened the president to an octopus) that he fled to Australia to avoid arrest.

George’s teachings and writings raised questions about Indonesia’s governance and the nature of Benedict Anderson’s “imagined community”. The late US scholar also quashed the view that only Westerners can be colonialists. Andreas has become a torchbearer for the freedoms they championed.

Although he enrolled in electronic engineering school, writing for student unions revealed he had a talent for journalism. After a year with this newspaper, he became the Jakarta correspondent for Bangkok’s The Nation English language daily. He also won a prestigious Nieman Fellowship to study journalism at Harvard.

Through reporting, he has seen far more of his country than most. Along the way he realized that daily reporting was not effective enough in providing information that would allow the world to understand Indonesia.

The result is this political travelogue, subtitled Ethnic and Religious Violence in post-Soeharto Indonesia. The title is clumsy, the cover drab. There’s no index, but there is a handy list of sources. The prose is excellent.

This is a discomforting read for anyone who cares for the moral development of this nation. It is also a counterweight to the glossy mags promoting Indonesia as a land fit for hedonists.

This is sweaty and edgy journalism. It can also be dangerous. In 2004, activist Munir Said Thalib was assassinated on a Garuda flight to Europe. The case remains unsolved.

For 15 years Andreas has been where the pain is raw, where the wee folk live, work, travel and get jailed, hearing their authentic stories of discrimination and repression, their anger and puzzlement: Was this the land our heroes promised in 1945?

“What they learned at school was totally different from what they saw in their real life,” he writes. “I hear this over and over throughout Indonesia.”

Race, Islam and Power has been published in Australia in English, the language Andreas used, as he was “trying to speak to an international audience about violence in Indonesia […] especially policy makers, academics, opinion leaders”.

No local press organizations would handle the work, which proves the author’s point about the country’s fear of confronting the past; yet society’s betterment depends on its citizenry knowing about the state’s real history.

Andreas’ work aims to build a better nation by exposing truths. Those who agree with George W. Bush’s quote “you’re either with us or against us” might call the author a traitor; yet critics can be finer patriots than jingoists – and more effective.

Andreas has been a Jakarta-based researcher since 2008 with international NGO Human Rights Watch and he is often its spokesman. His statements are measured and fact-based – as they are in this book.

This is important because villainy thrives when far from public view. When atrocities are revealed, doubt dampens outrage if accusations are shrill and facts vague. Could these gentle friendly folk really be so brutal – and if so, why?

Sadly, tragically, yes. There’s been slaughter and dispossession from Sabang to Merauke, a route Harsono has traveled and meticulously studied.

Democracy is “people power”, though not for losing politicians trying to force their interests through street protests. They tread a dangerous track.

The same goes for those howling religious hate. This book shows these roads will never lead to the respected nation the founders imagined and the people desire. (ste)