Thu 30 Sep 2021

In Conversation: Tintin Wulia and Dialita Choir

Online, University of Melbourne


DIALITA ChoirWulan Dirgantoro1965 Setiap HariTintin Wulia

In Conversation: Tintin Wulia and Dialita Choir, part of the symposium Living 1965: Creative Practices and the Future of 1965 Indonesia, convened by Wulan Dirgantoro, University of Melbourne, Australia

In this Zoom conversation, Tintin Wulia introduces the Swedish Research Council-funded project Protocols of Killings: 1965, distance, and the ethics of future warfare, and its collaboration with 1965 Setiap Hari and Dialita Choir. The conversation also features a participatory performance conducted via Zoom, Ingatkah Saat Itu/Remember When (Wulia, 1965 Setiap Hari, and Dialita Choir, 2021). In this semi-scripted, semi-rehearsed participatory performance, the collaborative instigate—also through excerpts of songs sung during the first-generation’s unlawful detention between 1965 and 1979—the development of a collective narrative. Taking form in a sort of a collective storytelling game, audience including 1965 Setiap Hari as stage collaborators, takes turns furthering the story with one-sentence contributions.

The symposium addresses the question of how artists’s revisiting of the massacres’ memory affect the discourse’s future, fifty-six years after the Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66. It comprises a historical and contemporary overview, bringing in the works of 1965 Setiap Hari, a collective based in Indonesia, Australia, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Together with other local and international speakers, the symposium aims to present how the memory of 1965-66 can be understood and visualized differently: not a horizontal spread on a map but as a dynamic operating at multiple platforms.

Dialita Choir comprises of first-generation women survivors of the 1965-66 Indonesian mass killings as well as their supporters and families. Formed on 4 December 2011, they initially aimed to raise funds for elderly survivors. Through their collaborations with artists from various mediums, they not only boost visibility for a marginalized group to which they belong but also offer direct financial assistance despite their own constraints. Dialita’s long-term dedication is regionally acclaimed with a Special Prize at the 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights.

1965 Setiap Hari is a transnational research/relay collective of ten artists, cultural activists, designers, researchers, and journalists. Since 2015, they collect, present, and disseminate narratives surrounding the Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66 via social media as public platforms, including a blog, an Instagram, and a podcast series.

The conversation has been partly published as part of the University of Melbourne’s CoVA Dialogues, from Living 1965: Aesthetics, Memory and the Future of 1965 Indonesia.

Pulang—draft 3 (Tintin Wulia 2008). Video still from single-channel video. Image courtesy of the artist.




DIALITA Choir was formed and developed by a group of survivors of the 1965 political tragedy and their families. The choir initially aimed to raise funds for fellow survivors of 1965 who are elderly and in need of assistance, especially for the elderly who are sick or experiencing calamities. DIALITA, which stands for di atas lima puluh tahun (above fifty years old), was formed on December 4, 2011. DIALITA’s presence was welcomed by women activists who then helped promote them to NGOs that organized events such as discussions, book launches, international human rights day, etc. For its members, survivors and their families, DIALITA is a place to meet and gather with friends who share the same history. DIALITA is a ‘child of history’ who throughout her life barely had a place and lost her rights as a citizen, stigmatized as a child of the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party). By gathering together with these “Families in History”, there was no longer any hesitation and fear to share her background and past. Slowly but surely, DIALITA members are recovering from trauma. It didn’t take long before one by one, ‘friends in common’ joined DIALITA. DIALITA members then increased to 24 people. In 2019, DIALITA received the Gwangju Special Price for Human Rights from the May 18th Foundation, South Korea. DIALITA is also a recipient of the Jakarta Academy 2022 award, in an annual event that honors artists, writers, and cultural figures who have consistently championed their vision.


Wulan Dirgantoro

Wulan Dirgantoro is an art historian and curator based in Melbourne, Australia. Her main research areas are feminism and gender and memory, and trauma in Southeast Asia. Wulan is a Lecturer in Contemporary Art for the School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne. She has published widely in journal articles, exhibition catalogues and books, mainly on Indonesian modern and contemporary art. Wulan is currently researching a project on historical violence and contemporary art in Indonesia and Timor-Leste (ARC LP 210300068). She is also a member of 1965 Setiap Hari, a transnational research-relay collective.


1965 Setiap Hari

Since 2015, the transdisciplinary, transnational research-relay collective 1965 Setiap Hari ( has been researching and collecting the complex narrative surrounding the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66. This research work has always been integral in the collective’s relay work, amongst others through circulating this complex narrative through social media platforms. The collective started through publishing in blogs and Facebook, before expanding to Twitter/X, Instagram, and a podcast series. At present, the collective comprises of ten individuals living and working together in different parts of the world: Wulan Dirgantoro, Ellen Hutabarat, Mikael Johani, Agnes Mayda, Fitri Mohan, Rangga Purbaya, Ken Setiawan, Farid Stevy, Tintin Wulia, and Zakiah.


Tintin Wulia

Tintin Wulia is an artist and Senior Researcher at the HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, UK. She explores the intricate power dynamics of societal and geopolitical borders as interfaces, through a multi-disciplinary approach that includes text, video, sound, painting, drawing, dance, installation, performance, and public intervention, tackling these subjects both pragmatically and conceptually. Since 2000 she has contributed to 200 international exhibitions and publications, including Istanbul Biennale (2005), Moscow Biennale (2011), Sharjah Biennale (2013), and most recently the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennale, as well as a solo pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Her text publication includes a chapter contribution to the award-winning edited volume Migrating Minds: Theories and Practices of Cultural Cosmopolitanism (New York: Routledge, 2022). Her works are part of prominent public collections worldwide, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum and He Xiangning Art Museum. Currently she is Principal Investigator of the Swedish Research Council-funded Protocols of Killings: 1965, Distance, and the Ethics of Future Warfare (2021-24) and the European Research Council-funded Things for Politics’ Sake: Aesthetic Objects and Social Change/THINGSTIGATE (2023-28).


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