Jakarta Post

THE JAKARTA POST CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: Travel Writing Instructor: Agustinus Wibowo We have arrived in an era where virtually everybody can travel. Somehow, the dream of exploring the unfamiliar world, a dream that decades ago seemed impossible, now has become a reality for many people. Being a travel writer is one plausible way to achieve this. It is still one of the best jobs in the world, as it enables one to travel extensively, and get paid for it. But competition is harsh; to be a distinctive and qualified travel writer is not as easy as it sounds. Moreover, travel writing is a new genre in Indonesia with so much space to learn from the far more mature industry of travel writing out in the West. This course will bring you to diverse aspects of travel writing. We will discuss many representative works from some of the best travel writers and their work. We will also dig into the reality of travel writing as a profession. This course is perfect for journalists, freelance writers, memoir writers, even fiction writers. Nevertheless, students are not required to have any previous coursework in Creative Writing. At the end of this course, you will be able to: develop ideas and direct your [...]

March 30, 2017 // 2 Comments

Jakarta Post (2013): What Writers Think About Travel Writing What writers think about travel writing By Raditya Margi, The Jakarta Post, Ubud | Oct 24, 2013 The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UMRF) 2013 in Bali brought several renowned travel writers such as Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet publications, and Don George, who writes for many top-tier travel media like National Geographic Traveler. The two, along with Indonesian travel writers and book authors Trinity and Agustinus Wibowo, appeared on a panel discussion titled “The Traveler”, one of 75 main sessions on the UWRF. As the format becomes increasingly popular, masters such as Wheeler and George offered insights into what makes good travel writing. It is more than just a whimsical description of a faraway place. Wheeler said the content must be accurate, while Agustinus said that it must always be honest non-fiction. “Travel writing is fundamentally about a place – it’s about illuminating a place,” said George to The Jakarta Post Travel on the sidelines of the main panel session. According to George, there are two types of travel writing: the guidebook style and storytelling. “Guidebook writing is about giving central information – like where to stay and where to eat; and then there’s [...]

October 24, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Jakarta Post (2010): A thrill ride to Afghanistan A thrill ride to Afghanistan Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Feature | Sun, June 27 2010, 10:30 AM Several years ago, a man dreamed of traveling to Afghanistan to see what was behind the dust — the seemingly endless war, the grenades, the refugees, the Taliban. In his dream, he saw two gigantic statues of Buddha located in Bamiyan valley and was mesmerized by a soft, deep whisper from a girl with beautiful eyes, who stared at him from behind a blue burqa. In 2003, Indonesian Agustinus Wibowo made his dream come true and backpacked from Beijing to Afghanistan with only US$300. After his journey, he wrote Selimut Debu (Blanket of Dust) which gives his insights on daily life in the war-ravaged country. The author views Indonesia from the perspective of the Afghans as he unveils the beauties, miseries and ironies of a country where warfare is reported daily on televisions and in the newspapers. His description on cultural and ethnic diversity in Afghanistan as well as some branches within Islam somehow reminds us of the same situation back home. He also mentions about humanity being ignored by people who busily introduce religious absolutism. Agustinus, who can [...]

June 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

My First Book, “BLANKET OF DUST — SELIMUT DEBU” is Launched in Indonesia

Finally…. after long time of editing and rewriting, and editing again, and rewriting again, (I already have lost count about the process), my first travel narrative book will be launched by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, one of the leading publishers in Indonesia, by January 12, 2010. This book is about Afghanistan, based of my travel around the country by hitchhiking in 2006, but the contents are enriched with my contemplation after my two and half year stay in Afghanistan as a journalist. The first edition is in Indonesian, but hopefully an English version will come out soon as well. ——————————————– Selimut Debu – Agustinus Wibowo 468 halaman Rp69.000,- Dilengkapi foto-foto berwarna. No GM 40101100002 ISBN: 978-979-22-5285-9 Pada tahun 2006, Agustinus mulai melintasi perbatasan antar negara menuju Afghanistan, dan selama dua tahun ia menetap di Kabul sebagai fotografer jurnalis—catatannya di buku ini adalah hasil perenungan yang memakan waktu tak singkat. Selimut Debu akan membawa Anda berkeliling “negeri mimpi”—yang biasa dihadirkan lewat gambaran reruntuhan, korban ranjau, atau anak jalanan mengemis di jalan umum—sambil menapaki jejak kaki Agustinus yang telah lama hilang ditiup angin gurun, namun tetap membekas dalam memori. Anda akan sibuk naik-turun truk, mendaki gunung dan menuruni lembah, meminum teh dengan [...]

January 6, 2010 // 34 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2009): Face of Kabul THE WEEKENDER JAKARTA POST: Face of Kabul The Jakarta Post – WEEKENDER | Thu, 01/29/2009 8:00 PM | City Scene Agustinus Wibowo is a 27-year-old backpacker, photographer and writer whose passion for traveling the world has carried him across continents and borders. Recent explorations led to Kabul, Afghanistan, a city that was once the proud son of Persia. Agus’ essays on Central Asian countries are published regularly on and will soon be serialized in print by Kompas Publisher. Here he gives us a glimpse of the war-torn country after decades of civil war and living in fear under the Taliban regime. Mean Streets According to UNICEF, between 50,000 and 60,000 children live on the streets of Kabul. The number continues to rise every year, even though dozens of local and international organizations have committed themselves to eradicating poverty in Afghanistan’s war-torn regions. These children will do anything to earn money, from begging to polishing shoes to selling candy to passersby. Most of them make less than a dollar a day on the unfriendly Kabul streets. A Second Chance Three decades of war, thousands of land mines and various types of diseases caused by poor health services have turned [...]

January 29, 2009 // 2 Comments

Weekender (2007): The Traveler’s Tale

August 2007 Jakarta Post Weekender The Traveler’s Tale What does travel really mean to us – is it about the adventure and discovery, or just being able to say that we have been there and done that? Yunetta Anggiamurni gives her perspective. “And at night I like to love to listen to the stars. It is like 500 hundred million little bells.” This was how Antoine de Saint-Exupéry expressed his adoration of a beautiful starlit night in his masterpiece, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). Although it was supposed to be a book for children, the work has become one that adults should read because the writer’s message is clear: Are you an open-minded person? Above all, de Saint-Exupéry tried to encourage readers to do one important thing: travel. Indeed, we view traveling as the quest for freedom, of choosing the place we want to go, of having the luxury of not worrying about daily work obligations, of satisfying our thirst for new experiences, in visiting places and meeting new people. But for most of us, traveling also requires time, money and delicate negotiations with friends, family, children, boyfriends, girlfriends and so forth. In short, no room for individual needs. [...]

August 23, 2007 // 0 Comments

The Jakarta Post (2007): Yustinus Wibowo—Going around the world on a shoestring

21 June 2007 The Jakarta Post People Yustinus Wibowo Going around the world on a shoestring Maggie Tiojakin, Contributor, Jakarta A hundred and fifty years ago, when so much of the world was still unknown to the majority of the earth’s inhabitants, exploring uncharted lands and seas was available only to a privileged few. Today, with the help of technology, it isn’t uncommon for one to travel the world in twenty-four hours by plane, or twenty-four seconds with the click of a mouse. However, there are others who cling onto the exotic dream of being an explorer crossing multiple frontiers. Meet Agustinus Wibowo. Born in Lumajang, East Java, on Aug. 8, 1981, the 26-year-old has been embarking on an around-the-world journey since July 28, 2005, as a backpacker with only US$2,000 in his pocket — the amount of money he managed to save while studying and working part-time in Beijing, China. So far, the former student of Tsinghua University has visited more than a dozen countries in Asia — far-flung lands which others have probably only heard of in the news such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Nepal, India, Tibet, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia [...]

June 21, 2007 // 5 Comments