The Newsletter 65 Autumn 2013

Afrizal Malna: techniques of writing and bodily encounters with urban space

Andy Fuller

Afrizal Malna sits apart from many of Indonesia’s contemporary poets. Not only is he a productive literary and theatre critic, Afrizal has also written novels and collections of short stories. Afrizal, now in his mid-50s, is highly industrious: he writes around the clock, he travels regularly throughout Indonesia for seminars, readings and festivals, and when not working on a new collection of poems, he is revising older works, or having essays published in Kompas, a daily national newspaper. In 2012, Afrizal had residencies in Poland, at Platform Lublin, and at DAAD in Berlin. His most recently published book of poems is museum penghancur dokumen. In 2014, he will return to Berlin for a year-long residency. During the 1980s and 1990s he was active with Teater Sae. For a period in the 1990s, he was affiliated with the activist group ‘Urban Poor Consortium in Jakarta’. Despite this degree of activism, as a writer and poet, Afrizal remains relatively neutral in terms of Indonesia’s often polarised literary communities.

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