Nova introduces ‘Gjender2’ at The Standard.
‘The next song is about the abandoned history...the secret history that happened in Indonesia. It’s about the communist that had been killed — two million people had been killed in Indonesia in 1965, but the history [was] never revealed. And this song was the theme song for the communist party, but I want to sing it again as the symbol that no country is the best....and we all have to be honest with ourselves, in able to be better in the future.’
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(description below borrowed from NPR's All Songs Considered)
Filastine's adaptation of a controversial song "Genjer Genjer." Written by Muhammed Arif in 1943, the song's lyrics were about the poverty in Ari's home region of Banyuwangi. While the song's subject was just about a poor woman picking genjer (a flat-tasting river plant) to sell at the market, it quickly became used as a rallying song for the Indonesian Communist Party to decry Indonesia's economic inequality. After the New Order military coup of General Suharto took power in 1965, Ari was killed and the song banned. Anyone who was caught singing "Genjer Genjer" was seen as an enemy of the state, and today it's still taboo in many parts of Indonesia.
Filastine collaborated with the singer Nova Ruth on "Gendjer2" and with the director Astu Prasidya on the video for the song. For both of these artists, personal experience intertwines with the song's political history.
Filmed inside an ancient Javanese house, the video blends the traditional and the modern, taking the traditional art of wayang — a type of puppet theater that usually tells adaptations of folk stories — and mixes it with a look at the struggles found today. The characters portrayed aren't the heroes or demons found in wayang — rather they are soldiers and businessmen twisted to show the dangers of economic and political control
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"Freedom For All"
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