Dear AIS members,
I was elected as your Chair in November 2021. As we come to the one year mark and ahead of the AGM on 15 November, I wanted to update you on the work that the Council has been doing to refresh and “relaunch” the Society with a wider array of activities. This work is ongoing but we have made good progress. I am deeply grateful to colleagues on the Council who have volunteered their time to develop proposals alongside all their other personal and professional commitments.
The ongoing programme of monthly events will of course remain at the heart of the Society’s offer. This will include events usually hosted at the Embassy in London (with an option to attend virtually on the second Tuesday of each month). The core programme will include a summer picnic hosted by HE Ambassador at Wisma Nusantara; and may include an annual dinner and group visits. Lesley Pullen will lead this programme and coordinate the calendar for our wider activities as Mariska Adamson is stepping down from the Council. We are all deeply grateful to Mariska for her fabulous leadership over many years.
Alongside the core monthly programme, we are pleased to broaden the Society’s offer to members.
Petty Elliot, our well known Indonesian chef and a member of the Council, is devising a series of events focused on ‘Spice Connections’ for 2023. Details of this will be publicised in due course.
We are keen to begin a (virtual) book club focused on Indonesian authors. It is proposed that the book club should meet every 3 months or so. Annabel Gallop has done the initial thinking about this but we really need an AIS member to coordinate and moderate. If you are interested, could you please get in touch with Annabel – further details are set out below.
From the new year, we will also begin a new ‘Corporate Briefing’ series. This will be led by Steven Marcelino. It will offer interested organisations and members a chance to discuss the latest economic and related events in Indonesia with expert speakers.
Lesley Pullen is also planning a new ‘Study Group’ to launch sometime in 2023 ‘in-person at the Embassy’. This will focus on cultural issues cultural and history subjects. Please look out for details in the newsletter in due course.
Lastly, the Council has agreed that we should appoint charity partners for the Society on a rolling basis. This will help raise awareness of charitable work and provide members opportunities to fundraise. Charity partners should be registered in the UK and authorised to operate in Indonesia if necessary. If you would like to nominate a potential charity partner, please send an email to Moazzam Malik (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 10 November setting out the details of the charity, its work and why the Society should get engaged (max 150 words please).
Finally, in line with this revamp, we are reviewing our membership policy with the aim of raising fees to £20 per year from summer 2023 (they have been unchanged for many years). This was agreed at a previous AGM but not implemented due to the COVID pandemic. We are also keen to grow our membership to include younger people and those living outside London – if you have any potential members in mind, please get in touch with Cathy Simpson.
If you have any feedback or ideas on what you would like the Society to do or are able to contribute time to support the AIS, please write to Moazzam or speak to any of the Council members at the AGM on 15 November. If you are interested in joining the Council, again please do make contact with me as soon as you can.
All good wishes,
16 October 2022
Proposal for an Anglo-Indonesian Society Book Club
The great wealth of modern Indonesian literature is increasingly visible, with names like Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Mochtar Lubis, Eka Kurniawan and Ayu Utami becoming more familiar globally. This is mainly thanks to the now wide availability of translations into English, not least through the activities of the Lontar Foundation. The AIS Council believe there may be interest in establishing an Anglo-Indonesian Society Book Club. The ‘unique selling point’ would be the choice each session of an Indonesian book which could be read either in the Indonesian original, or in English translation. Titles which immediately come to mind – or which have immediately been suggested by enthusiasts – include Laut Bercerita / The Sea Speaks His Name (2017) by Leila S. Chudori; Lelaki Harimau / Man Tiger (2015) by Eka Kurniawan; Amba by Laksmi Pamuntjak; and the short story collection To the contrary by A.A. Navis.
We are looking for an AIS member like to lead this Book Club. If the Book Club is to be online, you would need to be set up Zoom calls; set house rules; and moderate the discussion – and see where it goes!
Annabel Gallop (email@example.com) would be very happy to suggest titles and also contacts with writers who may be happy to appear (virtually) at a reading session.
(to download this letter in PDF document, click here)