Exploring Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage

Personal Perspective | Written By, NOW! BALI | March 28th, 2014

We have just launched a new book called “Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage: Cultural Journeys of Discovery”. Written and photographed by the amazing team of David Metcalf and Stephanie Brookes, the new book is a compilation of stories about the astonishing diversity of cultures in Indonesia. David and Stephanie travelled to the remotest areas of Indonesia, capturing the life and soul of different peoples, their art, their dance, their architecture, their lives. They did so with love and affection, not as investigating sociologists examining…

TEXT by alistair g. speirs photos by David Metcalf

We have just launched a new book called “Indonesia’s Hidden Heritage: Cultural Journeys of Discovery”. Written and photographed by the amazing team of David Metcalf and Stephanie Brookes, the new book is a compilation of stories about the astonishing diversity of cultures in Indonesia.

David and Stephanie travelled to the remotest areas of Indonesia, capturing the life and soul of different peoples, their art, their dance, their architecture, their lives. They did so with love and affection, not as investigating sociologists examining and dissecting but as enthralled explorers thrilled with their good fortune.

Sadly, one very senior Indonesian official commented very harshly on this work of joy; “why is it written by foreigners?” he said. Well let me answer. They had the interest, the initiative, the drive, the inspiration, the excitement and the care to do it. And as far as I know, there are few Indonesians who have expressed this interest, and done this type of work. Of course they exist, and of course they care about their country, but why turn away the genuine desire to help of those dedicated people who want to help? Why discourage and disparage?

Instead let’s try very hard to raise the interest of the youth of Indonesia in their culture and nature so that they want to record, and preserve, and promote the marvellous living cultures across this astonishing land. Let’s get them out of their Facebook pages and Instagram exchanges, out of the malls and fast food joints into the fields and villages and experience life in all its diversity before it’s too late.

That, my good government official, is the job of your schools and colleges, but we are here to help. Please don’t turn us down.!

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