Menggali Buaya

Menggali Buaya

Menggali Buaya

7 min
Single Channel Video
Indonesia, 2015

One of the biggest impacts from the end of the New Order regime is the fading traces of power in various monuments built as the state’s symbolic power representations. Those monuments are being left abandoned, their popularity faded, and slowly they turned into architectural things that have lost their powers.

What can be explored from a monument? What could be seen from historical textures arranged within the images of humanitarian violence? Dioramas about the events that stuck for more than 30 years in the heads of many, could no longer determine the truth. They have become an elusive and unarguable truth until now. Not even one of those images could be reread and re-reviewed as a statement of a different truth; aside from the truth laid by the New Order.

This video essay depicts how the New Order represented the bloody events of 1965. Lubang Buaya (Crocodile Hole/Well) is a dark hole. Until today, the hole/well could never reveal the real truth. But the narratives in form of monuments, relief, dioramas, and the site itself; depicted that the events happened then were real. The events about how the betrayal of a common ideology was considered right.

Lubang Buaya was one of the most excellent communication strategies of the New Order; as well as the most misleading. The subjective truth, was communicated into a communal truth which was presented in the formation of images and visualizations. Post the New Order, truth found various versions; while the hole remains silent. As silent as it gets.


Hafiz. With a background of fine art and design from
Jakarta Art Institute, Hafiz was one of the founders
of ruangrupa (2000) and Forum Lenteng (2003).
Currently he is the artistic director for ARKIPEL Jakarta
International Documentary & Experimental Film
Festival and Head of Visual Art Committee at Jakarta Art
Council since 2012. In 2013, he was the artistic director
for Jakarta Biennale XV-SIASAT. As an artist working in
visual art, as a solo or a collaborator, he is also actively
involved in many international film exhibitions. In 2005,
one of his film Alam: Syuhada was a nominee for the
Oberhausen International Film Competition