Widji Thukul

Widji Thukul is an Indonesian poet and activist born in 1963.[2] His work is political, often critical of the Indonesian government and the social conditions of the country. He has been missing since 1998.[3]

Widji Thukul
Widji Thukul.jpg
Wiji Widodo

(1963-08-26)26 August 1963
Disappeared10 February 1998 (aged 34) [1]
StatusMissing for 24 years, 3 months and 11 days
NationalityIndonesian (Javanese)
Political partyPeople's Democratic Party


Born on 26 August 1963, Thukul attended junior high school, but left middle school in 1982 due to his family's financial constraints. Early jobs included newspaper-seller, ticket-scalper, and finisher in a furniture shop.

As well as being a poet, Thukul was also a musician and also accompanied a theatre group, Theater Jagat, around Solo.

In 1988, Thukul married Dyah Sujirah. They had two children. Together they founded an arts group called Sanggar Suka Banjir (Frequent Flooding Studio).

Thukul helped organize workers demonstrations and was a member of Partai Rakyat Demokratik (People's Democratic Party). In a worker demonstration in 1995, Thukul was struck in the eye by a rifle butt, causing permanent damage to his sight.

His last contact with his wife was in February 1998.[4] In April of that year he was seen in a demonstration in Tangerang but has not been seen since. It is suspected that he was one of many anti-government protesters abducted by government forces during the anti-Suharto demonstrations.


  • Puisi Pelo (Lisping Poetry), published by Taman Budaya Surakata, Solo, 1984.
  • Darman dan Lain-lain (Darman and the Others), published by Taman Budaya Surakata, Solo, 1994.
  • Mencari Tanah Lapang (Looking for an Open Plot of Land), published by Manus Amici, 1994.
  • Aku Ingin Jadi Peluru (I Want to be a Bullet), published by IndonesiaTera, Magelang, 2000.


Thukul's Looking for an Open Plot of Land won the 'Encourage Award' from the Netherlands-based Wertheim Foundation.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "KNOWING Wiji Thukul, Activist Who Has Been Missing Since 1998, Up To 5 Changes Of President Has Not Been Found".
  2. ^ Thukul, Wiji (1 September 2017). "The people's poet: Nearly 20 years since Indonesia's famous poet disappeared, Eliza Vitri Handayani introduces the man and some new translations of his poems". Index on Censorship. 46 (3): 99–103. doi:10.1177/0306422017730970. ISSN 0306-4220.
  3. ^ wawaney (20 April 2014). "(Translation) Warning – Wiji Thukul". Timbalaning. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Disappeared Poet Wiji Thukul's Family Invites Jokowi to See Biopic". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 19 November 2019.


Some of this information in this article is taken from the biographical essay 'Wiji Thukul: People's Poet' by Tinuk R. Yampolsky, in Menagerie 5, edited by John McGlynn and Laora Arkeman, Lontar Foundation, Jakarta, 2003.

External linksEdit