Journal article

Presidents as Punakawan: Portrayal of national leaders as clown-servants in Central Javanese Wayang

H Pausacker

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2004


The trend to portray Indonesian presidents as punakawan (down servants) in wayang (shadow puppetry) was started under the former President Soeharto. Whereas Soeharto chose to be conveyed as Semar, a clown but also a former god, greater artistic freedom post-Soeharto led to a more farcical depiction of Habibie and Gus Dur as Semar's sons, Gareng and Bagong. © 2004 The National University of Singapore.

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