Opera ‘CLARA’ by Ananda Sukarlan, inspired from the story of the same title by Seno Gumira Ajidarma, based on the events of May 1998 in Indonesia.
‘CLARA’, written during the economic, political and social crisis of May 1998, and published in the wake of Suharto’s resignation, is one of the few pieces of Indonesian literature that addresses the sexual violence of 1998. ‘CLARA’ is a multi-layered narrative that recounts the perspective of an ethnic Chinese woman who was raped during the largely anti-Chinese riots and mass rapes that occurred in Jakarta over the 13th and 14th May, 1998. These riots and sexual violence were orchestrated and facilitated by networks in the security forces that were seeking to destabilize Indonesian society. Throughout the New Order, Indonesians of Chinese background were frequently scapegoated and marginalized in the grand narrative of what and who made up the Indonesian nation.