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A Disorderly Conversation about Kartini

“This is exactly like that scene in The Raid 2,” Twosocks gushed.

I had no idea which scene he had in mind, since I would rather curl up with Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series than watch the gory action film, but the setting for our conversation with Raka Ibrahim that day did seem like it was straight out of a crime movie.

It was half an hour after our Tur Kartini talk at Museum Nasional ended, at one of the meeting halls in the museum’s basement. The three of us sat facing one another on huge leather armchairs right in the middle of the hall, which held no other furniture. A cigar, a glass of whiskey, and a pistol wouldn’t have been out of place in that setting. Quite a whimsical setting for an interview, but then it was also one of the most intriguing interview experiences we ever had.

To begin with, Raka was interviewing us for a new webzine on music and independent culture called Disorder. He showed us one of Disorder’s articles, a fictional account of Iwan Fals – one of Indonesia’s finest folk singer – about his fiery activism in his in youth, and we were immediately hooked by the writing voice. Then Raka said that he wanted to talk about Tur Kartini, but before long, our conversation drifted to heroism, dying young, and what Kartini would be like in an alternate universe.

Our full uncensored conversation, in Bahasa Indonesia, can be read right here. Thank you for the conversation and write-up, Raka!


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