Journal article

Presidents as Punakawan: Portrayal of National Leaders as Clown-Servants in Central Javanese Wayang

Helen Pausacker

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

Abstract

The trend to portray Indonesian presidents as punakawan (clown 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.

University of Melbourne Researchers