UGM’s Communication Forum (FORKOM) of the Student Activity Unit held an event themed “98/19: The 20th Anniversary of Reform” in an attempt to revive the spirit and purpose of reform.
Initiated by the Unit of Specific Activities, the event carried the theme “History of UGM Student Movement in 1998 and Reflection of Indonesia after 20 Years of Reform”. The event was intended as a forum that invites all students to reflect the value of struggle in the history of the student movement, especially activists of Gelanggang Mahasiswa (UGM Students Hall).
“This event also reflects the condition of Indonesia after 20 years of the 1998 Reform,” said Ridho Affandi, a member of committee of the event, in a written statement received on Monday (5/21).
The Reform became a momentum of the political system change in Indonesia, marked by the fall of President Soeharto after 32 years in power. Occurred on May 20, 1998, the reform was associated with the student movement at the time that were united to criticize the government.
UGM Students Hall as the center for student activities since 1975 became the center of student movement during the reform. Students Hall became a historical place in 1998 as a place where the students gathered to investigate, strategize, and prepare the movement. The Student Activity Unit also became one of the actors and participated in the preparation.
For that reason, UGM Communication Forum organized a series of event to commemorate the 20th year of reform. The event lasted for three days from May 18 to 20, 2018. The event started with an art performance to commemorate the students’ struggle before the reform on Friday (5/18). The event was participated by John Tobing and Sande Monik, Sastra Budaya UGM, Forum Musik Fisipol, as well as Orkes Melayu Dangdut Pembangunan (OMDP).
Next, on Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 20.00 hours, a talk show themed “Reminiscing 1998” was held to discuss the dynamics and history of student movement before and during the 1998 Reform. The talk show presented a number of speakers, including Muhammad Nurkhoiron, S.Sos., M.Si., a graduate of UGM in 1999 and one of the 11 members of National Commision on Human Rights period 2012-2017, drg. Ika Dewi Ana, M.Kes., Ph.D., a historical figure from the event “Setengah Tiang Hingga Lengser” (Half-Mast to Fall) who is currently a lecturer, researcher and winner of Outstanding Intellectual Property Award from Indonesian Government, and Peter Kasenda, a historian and author of “Hari-Hari Terakhir Orde Baru: Sukarno, Marxisme & Lenimisme Akar Pemikiran Kiri & Revolution Indonesia” (The Last Days of New Order: Sukarno, Marxisme & Lenimisme, The Root of Leftism and Revolution of Indonesia)
“The purpose of this talk show is to recall and enlighten the students of this era on the struggle and pursuit of the Reform,” said Ridho.
Finally, on Monday, 20 May 2018 at 20.00 hours, there was a talk show themed “Indonesia After 20 Years of Reform”. The talk show discussed the achievement and changes in Indonesia post-reform era and presented another speaker, Max Lame, a researcher and author of Unfinished Nation: Indonesia Before and After Soeharto, Verso 2008, Dr. Agus Suwignyo, a senior lecturer of the History Department UGM and writer of an article titled Indonesian National History Textbooks after the New Order, and Drs. Agus Wahyudi, M.A. M,Si., a lecturer of Faculty of Philosophy UGM and author of a thesis titled “Pancasila Sebagai Ideologi Terbuka di Bawah Orde Baru” (Pancasila as Open Ideology under the New Order).
In addition, the event also displayed the student movement archives approaching the 1998 Reform, exhibited throughout the course of the event.
Ridho expressed through “98/19: The 20th Anniversary of Reform”, students are expected to revive their critical thinking in monitoring the government. Moreover, he also pointed out the role of Student Activity Unit as the main actor in the student activities and movement.