Stories: Indonesia

  • Meet Our Newest Fellows

    The International Reporting Project is awarding fellowships to report on different topics around the world. The following fellowships were awarded in late 2017 and early 2018.                           Religion Issues We congratulate the following journalists who were awarded fellowships in late 2017 and early 2018 to cover religion issues: Jessica Aguirre is...

  • After Ahok: Indonesia Grapples with the Rise of Political Islam

    JAKARTA – Five months after its closure, the doors of the Al-Hidayah mosque were sealed with wooden planks and crisscrossed with yellow police tape, as if it some kind of grisly crime had taken place within. Barred from entering their house of worship by official order, four young men held their midday prayer in the heat outside, their bodies bent...

  • Suharto Museum Celebrates Dictator’s Life, Omitting Dark Chapters

    KEMUSUK, Indonesia — Indonesia’s former dictator looms in bronze over the entrance to the small museum set amid the palm trees and emerald rice fields of central Java. Depicted in a military uniform and peaked officer’s cap, he radiates calm authority over the village of his birth. To many, the New Order government that Suharto led...

  • Ghosts of Pogroms Past Haunt Indonesia

    JAKARTA — Nearly two decades after anti-Chinese riots tore through this part of Indonesia’s capital, one busy road still bears the scars. Amid the clamor of heat and traffic of Glodok, Jakarta’s Chinatown, a row of shop-houses lies abandoned, an octagonal feng shui tile still attached to a bricked-up window. Across the street, through locked steel...

  • Her Resort Is a Refuge From More Than Just Stress

    The Indonesian province of Aceh is known to many as the place devastated by a tsunami in 2004. But in Indonesia, it’s also known for its conservative religious beliefs. A peace accord signed with separatists 10 years ago allows the local government to implement Sharia law. Some local authorities have even banned women from straddling a motorcycle, or dancing....

  • A Transgender Woman in Aceh, Indonesia, Gathers Strength as New Anti-Gay Sex Laws Roll Out

    New regulations in Aceh now punish gay sex with fines, jail time, even canings. It’s the latest phase in a gradual rollout of Sharia laws that also prohibit unmarried men and women from riding on a moped together, or holding hands in public. Gambling is not allowed either, and all Muslim women must wear the traditional head covering...

  • Indonesia’s Hidden Beauty

      A wise woman once told me to contribute to society and have an interesting life. She also used to say things like, ‘go outside and play,’ and ‘go to bed.’ I’d say all of those words are sage advice from my mother. I'm photojournalist Carey Wagner, and this week I’m...

  • Indonesians Got Help After the Tsunami. Now They Want to Help Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees.

    Refugees are not always met with open arms, but when some 1,800 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants came ashore in the Indonesian province of Aceh three months ago, villagers brought them food and clean clothes. The popular singer Rafly even held a welcoming concert. In fact, Rafly, who is also a lawmaker, has been lobbying colleagues in Jakarta to let them stay. ...

  • Breaking Fast in Banda Aceh

    One of the advantages of reporting during Ramadan in Banda Aceh is that people are constantly inviting us to break fast with them. Last night, on our way to a family dinner in a village on the outskirts of town, we passed something we hadn’t seen before: a mosque with hundreds of men gathering outside, laying out...

  • Indonesia is Just One Example: Introducing the International Year of Water Co-Operation

    World Water Day was just a few weeks ago, on 22nd March, and this time around it’s part of 2013’s special International Year of Water Co-Operation. While I’ll write more about water, health and development in coming months, the poster below gives some impression of just how many individuals, informal groups, charities...