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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harry Poeze on Tan Malaka - Faculty of Law Gadjah Mada University Yogyakarta

At last I met Harry Poeze. He delivered short-time lecture - since he has to go back to Jakarta for his visa - at Faculty of Law UGM today. I admire him for his eagerly effort to search many historical puzzles of Tan Malaka and compiled them into four tremendous volumes of Tan Malaka's biography (Indonesian version) during 41 years. Though only had very short-time lecture on the last volume of his book but he was able to point several attractive sides of Tan Malaka's life and had shown the topgallant of his long-life historical research i.e. the finding of Tan Malaka's tomb in Selopanggung, near Kediri, East Java, after for 50 years it becomes mystery or hidden fact.

In the volumes, Poeze demonstrates his scrupulous historical research by elaborating TM's trajectory, principles, and ideology based on his magnum opus "Madilog" (Materialism, Dialectic and Logic) and some other writings as well as his disputes with Soekarno, Hatta and Sjahrir deal with the character of liberated nation, 100% liberation against diplomacy to gain national freedom, and to set up education as ideological program preparing critical youth generations for being acquainted to critical terms such as, inter alia, "revolution", "proletarian", "social justice" etc. Interestingly his vision about such educational theorem had been written far years ago before Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" (around 1922).

Poeze had demonstrated that historical study should be equipped by field research aside from archives. Personal and/or collective memory were used as oral resources to collect information which subsequently support the researcher to understand variables of the conundrum. In certain extent it prompts what Munslow called "deconstructing history". Poeze's work on Tan Malaka, who was executed by the Indonesia military (date and place were concealed), has inspired me to think about some figures whose same fate e.g. Chris Robert Steven Soumokil.

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One Earth, Many Faces

One Earth, Many Faces