Exploring Hidden Southeast Asia Archives at UW Libraries and Beyond
Tuesday June 7th, 12:30 PM
Dimas Romadhon: "Wayang and revolusi: Tristuti Rachmadi’s shadow play manuscripts at the University of Washington"
Caroline Baicy: “Scattered Archives: The Philippine Exhibit and Igorrote Village at AYPE, 1909”.
Scattered Archives: The Philippine Exhibit and Igorrote Village at AYPE, 1909
Between June 1 and October 16, 1909, Seattle held the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (known as AYPE). Initially meant to display the economic potential of Alaska and the Yukon in the initial plan, it was expanded to include Seattle’s centrality in trade over the Pacific and its proximity to America’s colonies in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. In its inclusion of the Pacific, AYPE became a space where the Philippines and its people, more specifically ethno-linguistic groups from what is now the Cordillera Administrative Region, were put on display through the federal government and private enterprise. While scholars such as Robert Rydell, Matthew Klingle, and John Putman have discussed the planning and vision of the AYPE, the purpose of this presentation will focus on the process of remembering and imagining the Philippine Exhibit and the Igorrote Village. It will consider how the scattered nature of the archival material on the Philippine Exhibit and the Igorrote Village allows for a multivalent process of remembering the AYPE.
Wayang and revolusi: Tristuti Rachmadi’s shadow play manuscripts at the University of Washington
In the middle of the global Cold War, Javanese shadow play (wayang) became a strategic medium to promulgate various contesting ideologies in Indonesia. Between 1959 to 1965, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its cultural front, Lekra, sought to modernize wayang performance, to release it from its feudal values, and to use it as a means of revolution. Pioneer to this effort was Tristuti Rachmadi (1939-2009). Tristuti was a prominent shadow master (dalang) who won the national dalang competition and was known for his affiliation with Lekra. During the political chaos in 1965, he was arrested and later exiled to Buru until 1979. After his release, he was not allowed to perform for another 20 years, which makes his names unknown among contemporary wayang audience. During his prohibition from performing, Tristuti wrote hundreds of wayang scripts for other dalang. His manuscripts circulated discreetly and anonymously among dalang communities and continued to shape the wayang storytelling style in Surakarta until nowadays. This presentation suggests that Tristuti Rachmadi’s manuscript collection, currently stored at the University of Washington, provides an important trajectory to understand what happened to the traditional performing arts during the occurrence of Cold War scenes in Indonesia and, potentially, the possible confluence of communism and the Javanese values.
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