What you’re touching me with however you like,
Where this is going, I’ve already got a pretty good idea.
I’m no rocket scientist,
But it’s already fairly clear
What this groping means…
Damn the education I got.
I was taught to count, type, do foreign language,
Office management and administration.
But they forgot to teach:
What if you’re grabbed from behind by your boss,
Then what am I supposed to do!
Now don’t just grab me however you like.
When not even my boyfriend would be as bold as that.
I already know clear enough where you’re going.
When you brush my tits,
I know what that means…
They taught me to hate sin,
But they forgot to teach me
How to look for a job.
They taught me lifestyle,
With accessories that don’t come from the environment,
That are controlled by the bosses,
Make up, air conditioner,
Synthetic vitamins, tonic,
Every kind of soda and a school diploma,
Education tied me
To their markets, to their capital.
And now that I’m grown up,
Where else am I going to run,
If it ain’t to the world of the bosses?
Don’t grab me however you like.
I’m no intellectual,
But I know enough,
All the work on my desk
Is going to head in that direction.
Don’t, mister, don’t!
Don’t grab me however you like!
The money you slip into my bra
Is my education diploma.
Your fat belly
Presses against my stomach.
Your foul smelling mouth
Kisses my mouth,
As if everything you do
Is just perfectly normal.
Every member of the community helps you.
They all kiss your ass.
They spread my legs wide
While you climb over my body.
10 July 1975
Poem on a Young Woman and the Boss (Sajak Gadis dan Majikan), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 30.
We are the stuttering generation
who’ve been treated like children by an arrogant generation.
We haven’t been given official education
in relation to justice,
because we’ve been brought up to not get involved in politics,
and haven’t been taught about the basics of the legal system.
We find it hard to see a person’s true character,
because we haven’t been taught about the soul or about psychology.
We don’t get an explanation based on clear thinking,
because we haven’t been taught philosophy or logic.
Aren’t we supposed
To understand all of that?
Have we only been prepared
To become tools?
This is the average picture
of youth graduating from high school,
young people nearing adulthood.
The basis of our education is obedience,
not exchanging ideas.
School learning is rote learning,
and not learning how to explain something.
The basis of justice in relationships,
and understanding of how humans behave,
as groups or as individuals,
isn’t considered a subject worth studying or testing.
The reality of the world is only dimly visible.
We can’t connect all the signs,
which are visible everywhere.
We are angry with ourselves.
We resent what the future holds.
we just enjoy our ignorance and comfort.
As we stutter,
all we can do is buy and consume,
without being able to create.
We are not able to lead,
rather all we can do is rule –
just like our fathers.
Education in this country is oriented to the West.
Over there children are prepared
to be the tools of industry.
With their industry that rolls on endlessly,
But here we’re prepared to become tools of what?
We just become the tools of bureaucracy!
And bureaucracy has become bloated,
no use at all –
parasites in the trees.
Darkness. All I can see is darkness.
Education doesn’t provide any light.
Training courses don’t provide any jobs.
Darkness. My agony is darkness.
The people are living in unemployment.
What’s happening all around me?
Because we can’t work it out,
it’s easier for us to run and hide in dope poetry.
What is the meaning of all these complicated signs?
What does this mean? What does this mean?
Ah, in drunkenness,
a blood splattered face
is going to look like the moon.
Why do we have to put up with living like this?
A person with the right to a medical degree,
is thought of as an educated person,
without being tested on their knowledge of justice.
Meanwhile, if tyranny runs rampant,
he doesn’t say a word,
because his job is just to give needles.
What the hell? Are we going to continue being silent?
are just considered decorations for ceremonies,
while the law is stabbed in the back again and again.
are just regarded as plastic flowered,
while people go broke and corruption runs wild.
We’re inside a kaleidoscope
that is magic and inscrutable.
We’re imprisoned in a fog that befuddles.
Our hands reach out grasping for something to grab.
And when we miss,
we hit and scrape –
at thin air.
We are the stuttering generation.
Who have been treated like children by the arsehole generation.
Life force has been replaced by lust.
Enlightenment has been replaced by repression.
We are the dangerous generation.
Penjambon, Jakarta 23 June, 1977
Poem for Young People (Sajak Anak Muda), State of Emergency, W.S. Rendra, Wild & Woolley, Glebe, 1978, p. 18.
Decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950 is a large-scale, joint inquiry carried out by KITLV, the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The project has been made financially possible by the Dutch government, due to its decision on 2 December 2016 to lend its support to a broad inquiry into the events of this period.
The programme comprises nine subprojects and aims to answer questions regarding the nature, extent and causes of structural transborder violence in Indonesia, considered in a broader political, social and international context. In this context, detailed attention will be paid to the chaotic period spanning from August 1945 to early 1945 – often referred to as the Bersiap – and the political and social aftermath in the Netherlands, Indonesia and elsewhere.
It is expected that KITLV will be responsible for the synthesis and will carry out the subprojects Regional Studies and Bersiap. For these projects the group, together with Indonesian colleagues, will carry out research in several Indonesian regions. These subprojects will be the continuation of the KITLV-project Dutch military operations in Indonesia 1945-1950 that has run since 2012.
The programme has a strong international character. There will be cooperation with researchers from Indonesia and other countries involved and sources originating from Indonesia, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (United Nations) will be used more than previously was the case. Furthermore, the programme explicitly includes the opportunity for witness accounts from the Netherlands and Indonesia to be presented. Witnesses can come forward themselves or will be traced by researchers, in order to allow them to document their personal accounts for future generations.
The three institutes stress the importance of broad national and international support for the programme. In order to achieve this, the institutes have appointed an international scientific advisory board and a Netherlands societal focus group (Maatschappelijk Klankbordgroep Nederland).
For the purpose of this inquiry, it is important that those involved are seen and heard. If you have material or more information about Indonesia in the 1945-1950 time period and are willing to contribute to our research, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org