Jakarta (Antara News) – Ungu Institute, a womens art and cultural organization based in Jakarta, will perform “Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-kembang Genjer” (The Silent Song of Velvetleafs Flowers) as part of the Women International Day 2014 celebrations.
Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-kembang Genjers (NSKG) Producer and Director Faiza Mardzoeki stated during the press conference, here on Thursday, that the story was based on a two-year research about the 1965 molestation survivors (women) in several regions across Java, including Yogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya, and the Indonesian exiles in Sweden and Netherlands.
“But I have chosen the present as its setting, in aiming to share a revelation about another fact of our history that has been denied a part in the history subject that is being taught in our schools for years,” Faiza elaborated.
NSKG will have six actresses playing the parts of old women in the age group of 73 to 83 year-olds, who are from the “Gerakan Wanita Indonesia” (Gerwani) or Indonesian Women Movement members, an organization that was associated with Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesian Communist Party) by New Order regime.
All actresses are well known in the national theater world, including Pipien Putri as Grandma Nini (83), Heliana Sinaga as Ming (25), Niniek L Karim as Grandma Sulahana (83), Ruth Marini as Grandma Sunilah (73), Irawita as Grandma Mak Min (76), and Ani Surestu as Grandma Tarwih (73).
Faiza explained that the casting process was a long drawn one, since she needed actresses to play old women. However, Faiza stressed that their character was built on even as the production was underway.
“My actresses are in their late 20s, late 30s and early 50s, hence I had to make sure that they play not just an ordinary old woman, but a woman who has experienced deep trauma and still has to keep living in the present,” Faiza explained.
“During the six-month pre-production process, we also interviewed some 1965 women survivors to draw some original inspiration,” she added.
Faiza and Ungu Institute stressed that the NSKG performance was simply required in order to share a forgotten fact from the Indonesian history, with the present generation.
“And of course we stand for these women who could not tell their stories since the repressive regime of New Order banned and threatened them,” she elaborated.