Abstract

Controversies about the 1965–66 killings of communists in Indonesia have revolved around questions of “how many?” and “who was responsible?” While there is general agreement that at least 500,000 people were killed, public discourse in Indonesia plays down the significance of the killings by placing the burden of responsibility on the victims. Attempts to create a national reconciliation process have been stalled. By examining the social and cultural problems surrounding the bodies of the victims, this paper demonstrates the complexity of issues of corporeality and haunting. Examples from Bali and Java show how hard it is to memorialize the killings, and thus the difficulties of incorporating the killings into national discourse.

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