“We are the generation that made the difference, that made the impact, that made the change,” said Vanessa, a 37-year-old woman from Jakarta.
Those who were born in the 70s to mid 80s witnessed a major political event that changed the course of Indonesian history. It is a generation remembered by history books.
A short film produced by public relations firm Edelman features interviews of 10 Indonesians in four cities: Medan, Makassar, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. It presents opinions and hopes of Indonesian generation from that particular era. They described their memories of one of the country’s darkest hours on student protesters shooting and public anger that turned into looting and burning.
Moving on to present-day Indonesia, they expressed deep dissatisfaction with the current democracy and widespread corruption. But they also translate the positive steps into reform, rather than disengagement with the political process as a whole. As the country is gearing up for a direct-presidential election in July, there’s a recurring plea for change.
Other than Indonesia, Edelman also documented stories from other Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and the next one is India. The videos can be found at http://www.wordsofageneration.co/ and here are some snippets of Indonesia’s short film:
Vanessa, 37, freelancer from Jakarta
“ No matter how futile voting is, just do it. At least you’ve done something, at least you’ve tried. When people say we live in harmony, we do. We struggle, but we’re not struggling well. I do believe that people want to believe that things will change, but I cannot blame them for doubting it.”
Muhammad Budi Fadilah, 32, glass shop employee from Medan
“Every time we have a new president, there is more corruption. We choose another, even more corruption. “
Alfin Budi Pramono, 36, employee from Yogyakarta
“We are now in democracy, but not yet fully democratic. Many misunderstand thinking that democracy is doing whatever they want. Maybe today’s situation is bad because of the effects of what Soeharto did. We need change. If everybody does the right thing and stops being selfish, this country will improve. The ones in power now are being selfish. I haven’t found a candidate that deserves my vote. When I observe, the candidates only get 20% of my trust.”
Hendy Hermawan, IT officer from Jakarta
“We’re a smart generation. We don’t want promises. We want answers.”
Endang Sri Wahyuni, 31, entrepreneur from Medan.
“I hope my daughter could be a good sister to her younger siblings and be a successful woman, brave and accomplished. When she got married I would tell my son-in-law not to restrict her career. She has to earn herself to be equal with men.”
“I’m hopeful, every vote counts in the next election.”
Andi Muhammad Alwi, 33, entrepreneur from Makassar.
“We seem underestimated by other countries, specifically by Malaysia and problems with Australia. I hope that our next president could be braver and act against those who underestimate our national pride. Indonesia is like a toothless tiger, big but powerless.”