Comments and Discussion

Please feel free to ask questions or make comments or suggestions on Invisible People. Comments will be moderated before being posted.

5 thoughts on “Comments and Discussion

  1. Greetings Irfan.

    For the past few months I’ve been steadily posting Dave’s writings on

    Today, among others, I posted his review of your book ‘Invisible People’:

    The more I get to read of his collected words, the more I realise how little I knew him – an astonishingly erudite man.

    BTW. If you ever decide to ‘self-publish’, you may like to check out which is based on the 3rd floor of the ILP Pancoran building. I’ve recently put together an Anthlogy of my writing on Jakartass, and am well pleased with the results (



  2. Irfan, Thanks for sharing this. A couple of comments. First, I think that the text should mention not just that these are stories of marginal communities and individuals, but also that for nearly all of them there are organizations who are doing great, grassroots work alongside them. You may want to add hotlinks and/or how to make a donation to these groups at the end of each chapter summary. Second, while I am glad that the author’s names are no longer so front and center, you and Poriaman can indeed take a little credit here – make it clear that people who buy rather than download the book get a large, beautiful volume that makes a great gift for people who want special, unique memories of Indonesia. that aren’t just rice paddies and sunsets Third, I still find the references to PSF a bit jumbly-jumbly. You can either drop them entirely or else do a bit of what I tried to do in the introduction (which apparently irked them more than they let on), which is to say that this book comes as part of PNPM’s ongoing efforts to find out where it’s failed to see what else might be done. There is indeed an element of thinking about social justice throughout PNPM in its better moments, and some artful phrasing would let you give them credit for what they really deserve, which is, for a government program, providing the freedom to explore people for whom their programs simply don’t exist.

  3. Scott,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I think the idea of including links to good organization involved with the people from the book is excellent. If you look in the right hand side menu section, you can see right under “Who is behind Invisible People?” there is a section rather inelegantly titled “Test” which has two links, to PEKKA and PNPM Mandiri. I want to expand that with links to other orgs soon. Also, a “Links Index” that describes these orgs as well as giving the link in full.

    The Acknowledgements section? Well, people do want to know who sponsored Invisible People and why, so I just used the acknowledgements section from the book itself. It probably could be better written, but I either do it unilaterally or we spend six months in committee going backwards and forwards and revising it. So, at least this lets people know who was involved, who paid for it, who supported it.

  4. Defining Waria

    just read your article online, and find it a very good one. There are many men like myself that wish to find a nice girl, one of the invisible ones. This is SO difficult for many reasons. It is good to see this beoming more mainstream in Indonesia. I wish that were so all over the world. No one should have to fight for love because it is not the “normal” relationship most ppl know. It is JUST as normal for us to want to meet and court and take a mate.

    What impresses me is the factual nature of your writing. It’s to the point without the emotional pleading for fairness one finds in some other writings about transgender. Also it does not concern itself SO much with the “we must be strong and unite against this oppresion join us at…..” that many go on about. It’s scholarly. An examination. Very good way of including the stories of individuals also. And good photos.

    No one really writes about the guys who hope to meet and settle down with such special girls. As you point out in that article, they blend in and are kind of invisible. Also we are acussed of being ALL about the sex, even tho we all know that is not nearly the biggest part of a loving relationship. But who just dates n does not care what that might be ? Everyone has their preference be it for blonde or young or older, tall or short. But if a guy prefers the special
    girl, seems both sides throw rocks at him. It’s very hard.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful and caring writings. I’m going to read this new one now 🙂

  5. Wow, great and comprehensive article about the Deaf community in Bali. I’ve heard of Bengkala from friends who have visited. It was great to get the background of local and national authorities and the decisions they have made that affect students with special needs. Also, most people think sign language is international. Your article does a great job of portraying that sign language is not only not international, but also has local dialects the same way that Indonesia has Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Bali/Manado/Sunda/Jawa etc. Having access to the local signed language as well as the national version is a fantastic resource for Deaf Indonesians. Bless that man who is volunteering to deaf those children. Quick question. As one who works with Deaf children here in the U.S., are there any resources I could provide for them? Text books, school supplies, specific subject lesson plans? Thank you for this article. I look forward to catching up on your other works.

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