Author Archives: james

Auckland Island

One of the most forbidding and unforgiving islands in the Southern Hemisphere is Auckland Island. Situated South of New Zealand, it has long been an island known for its dangers, during the whale hunting decades. Many boats were shipwrecked on its rocky shores. Perhaps more than any other, this island has seen unbelievable stories of survival and death from the crews of boats who were stranded on this island for many months or years.

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Some news after a long hiatus

Apologies for the lack of recent updates, I’ve been busy with work and life in general, which left me precious little time to research my favorite subject: forgotten islands.

The next series of material will focus on Indonesia, probably the country with the most isolated islands and eclectic cultures. A particularly interesting – and unfortunately threatened – area lies in the Southwest of Sumatra. Stay tuned.

The Act of Killing – movie review

When I first heard about the Act of Killing last year, I couldn’t wait to watch this documentary. Being fascinated by the history of Indonesia, I found it very hard not to read anything I could find on the movie: I have this old habit of coming to a movie without preconceived ideas.

Joshua Oppenheimer shot the movie over a 10 year period with the help of many anonymous Indonesians, who are referred to as “Anonymous” when the credits roll. That itself is a very powerful reminder of Indonesia’s continuous repression. And this movie is a lot about continuity. While Joshua Oppenheimer interviewed killers from the 1965 massacres that took the lives of an estimated 1 million people, those killers and this era are still being glorified by today’s powers that be. The death squads responsible for most of the killings originated from the Pancasila Youth, a paramilitary organisation founded in 1965 and still pretty active in Indonesia, with over 3 millions members countrywide.

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