To Catch the Heartbeat of Those Below: Interviewing Martin Aleida on Indonesia’s Cultural Organisation Lekra
In 1965, the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) had three and a half million cadre and 20 million mass base, including its cultural wing – Lekra. With 200,000 members, it is likely the largest left cultural organisation to have ever existed. On 1 October 1965, this would all change in the military coup and communist politicide that followed. 70 years after this revolutionary cultural group’s founding, we interviewed poet-survivor Martin Aleida on the Lekra spirit that still lives.
This interview with Pavel Égüez – a Latin American painter and muralist – discusses the situation in Ecuador and his new series of paintings, Cuarantena (‘Quarantine’). He calls on artists to reflect and participate in the struggles of the people – because it is social and political movements that provide the ‘thesis of the future’. He shares with us what it means to not only stay alive in these times, but to stay human.
We sat down with Li Zhong (李钟) at a small open-air tea house run by a friend of a friend; Zhong is a painter of the Shanghai Academy of Painting and Calligraphy and president of the Fengxian District Artist Association.