Professor Heryanto’s viral video

Professor Heryanto’s viral video

Monash Arts Professor Ariel Heryanto’s lecture “The Role of the Global Left Movement in the Fight for Indonesia's Independence” has gone viral on YouTube, with the number of viewers reaching well over 56,000 and still counting. Professor Heryanto recorded the lecture this year on July 17th at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, where he was a guest of the Department of Communications.

University Lecturers across Indonesia have played the video in their classes during teaching hours, it has inspired the creation of comics, and it has been share on the European Foundation Joris Ivens website. One journalist replayed the video three times and was still finding it interesting!

In the presentation Professor Heryanto discussed the tense relationships between Indonesia, Australia and The Netherlands both in the past and today. Professor Heryanto made substantial reference to Joris Ivens' documentary Indonesia Calling (1946) to illustrate the extraordinary relations of the three nations in the 1940s, and also in highlighting the relevance of those events to Indonesia in the present and near future. 

In the introduction to his lecture Professor Heryanto explains why he is examining this historical time period.

“Throughout my career as a researcher, my research has always centred around issues in contemporary Indonesia. But I always felt that there was something missing. And I couldn't possibly understand Indonesia without looking to the past.”

Originally recorded in Bhasa Indonesia, the popularity of the video prompted Deputy Vice Chancellor (International) Professor Abid Khan to have the video translated for a wider audience using English sub-titles. You can watch a video of Professor Heryanto's lecture (with English subtitles by Abby Witts) on YouTube.

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