Teater Koma, one of the country’s most renowned and productive theatre group, staged a play set in the land of Papua. It tells about a restive land where a vicious dragon brought chaos and plight onto the helpless natives.
In their primitive state of life, the dissilusionment continues to grow as they live in fear of the dragon terror that has victimized them simply for the fun of creating more sufferings, meanwhile aware that their resource-rich land is sucked by foreigners—explicitly referred to as the whites—without being able to stop it.
Their means, limited to the use of wooden spears for aggression and relying on supernatural protection of the divine beings projected in the form of endemic animals, cannot match the rage of the machines.
The chronicle of Papua, a conflict-ridden land of paradise
The play presented two unresolved conflicts lasting for many years, which are the conspicuous exploitation of the mother land by the technology-advanced foreigners and the inferiority-afflicted society caused by neglect and poverty.
This probes our national awareness towards helping the indigenous people of Papua, the Indonesian citizen of the eastern-most island. Their ineptitude is the result of national abandonment.
Hence, upon realizing that the nation turns its back on them, they turn their hopes to self-governance. Their shout for freedom in the opening act is an alarm against the long neglect.
Their prophecy—as told in the following act—that a native hero will raise, carrying a spear and kill the dragon to free his people, is a warning about what will come true when people wish it.
Matahari dari Timur (Sun of the East) is the 138th play by the Teater Koma, taking place in Galeri Indonesia Kaya, Jakarta. 12 artists performed in the 50-minutes drama written and directed by N. Riantiarno rich in traditional costumes, animism symbols, as well as the theatrical choreography show and music scores.
The story from Papua is a chronicle of Indonesia.