Indonesia

Free e-photobook: Return to Aceh

This week marks the tenth years anniversary of the massive Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. So I did my best by compiling the photographs that I took on two recent trips to Aceh, the region which hit the worst by the tsunami (more than 130,000 recorded death), into an e-photobook. Looking at the scale of the disaster, I feel the urge to tell the story of how everything goes there nowadays. And the good thing about this e-photobook it is free. You can get it by clicking the cover page image below or later if you like, you can download it as PDF as well. 

Dedicated for the people of Aceh.

Digital Book Project Return to Aceh - Muhammad Fadli

Random Scenes: Stretched

Cameras are just like musical instruments, different devices produce distinct imageries. Here are my few takes on the toylike Russian made Horizon S3 panoramic camera. While operating this camera requires some degree of patience and the control also got some real quirks (but yet also very simple), I might find some real use of it in the future.

Onboard inter-island ferry from Sabang to Banda Aceh.

Onboard inter-island ferry from Sabang to Banda Aceh.

Tsunami relic in Aceh's western coast.

Tsunami relic in Aceh's western coast.

Bogor railway station, West Java.

Bogor railway station, West Java.

Rough sea north of the island of Wetar.

Rough sea north of the island of Wetar.

Chinatown, Padang, West Sumatra.

Chinatown, Padang, West Sumatra.

Port of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta.

Port of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta.

DestinAsian Indonesia May - June 2013

Few days back, I just realized that it has been more than a year since my last post. Time passed so quick and that's terrible for this blog, extraordinarily terrible. For now at least, no second glance, I'm up for blogging again. Will I post regularly? Honestly, I have no idea yet. But will see if this new blog outlook will bring something good. So, back in March, I was shooting around Magelang, Central Java, for a main travel feature in the May-June edition of DestinAsian Indonesia, the second edition of the magazine. I've been in Magelang before, but that was long time ago. And to my surprise, just like Tony Wheeler who've been always ignored this city in his Indonesia edition of Lonely Planet, I've actually missed many charms about this place, literally.

The trip itself took me to Oei Hong Djien Museum, Selogriyo (the Ubud of Central Java), some less visited temples (you'll meet no other curious tourists other than yourself, and there are more than 70 other temples around), and some great resorts (I didn't usually find any resort stay worth to be the highlight of my trip but who can resist the joy at Villa Borobudur).

The shooting conditions were great, and a lot of photo opportunities around. I just can't complain.

Well, here's the complete tearsheet and you can read the whole story here in Bahasa.

Amok

Last night, as me and a friend were driving down a crossroad in Padang,  we saw dozens of men gathered at the roadside.  They shouted out loud indicating a trouble. My Indonesian curiosity led me to park my car at a distance. Before long, I was there among them, sneaked in just to find a man, without his shirt, sprawling and begging for his life on the road. "It's an amok" I said to my friend. He nodded.

"The times when we have to deal with our own anger, we often show our most honest but barbaric features."

The word "amok" derived from a remark in Bahasa "amuk", which literally means a state of fury. But more to an uncontrollable form of it. Psychiatrist would be agree to address this state often occured towards a patient with

Schizophrenia

. Some people may find it's quite intriguing of how could an English word (by spelling) absorbed it from Bahasa identically. Most possible that was because they were unable to find a similar context within their society.

Looking back at history, there were enough account from the Dutch colony era, where the imperialist got used to see the native Indonesians doing the amok. If somebody got caught of stealing or involved in social distruption, then he is in a great risk, great danger. Even so, the act of amok actually wasn't only originated in Malay culture. It's no secret this also happened in many part of the worlds including in Europe.

Back to the man who's begging for his life, he was accused of stealing a bird. Indeed, a bird. He ran into trouble when he and his friend failed attempt came into light by the resident of (how unlucky he was) an Indonesian Armies residential complex. This is smelled not like a good place to steal. He fell from his motorcycle and got punches galore by a horde of amok's fans. His friend was lucky enough to escape the crowd.

The times when we have to deal with our own anger, whatever the causes, we often show our most honest but barbaric features. While the unlucky guy laid helpless, some people still manage to kick him hard. I also saw a muscular man stomped him on the face which likely broke his jaw. We did try to stop, but this step often as dilemmatic as we were hushed. There's always risk of those violent behavior would turn towards us in no time.

A sad, tragic, embarassing, but true post for a weekend.