Photography Cinema

Rosa Panggabean: Cause/Effect

Image Maker
Rosa Panggabean
Rosa PANGGABEAN’s interest in film, music, travel, fiction and literature have made her aware of the many ways to tell stories and the many stories to be told.

A Jakarta-based freelance photographer, she previously worked as a staff photojournalist with a national newspaper and national news agency: she now chooses to work independently to pursue her interest in social change, identity, and human rights.

Panggabean’s work is often used in the non-profit sector, such as by Rutgers International, Oxfam Australia, and Fairtrade. She currently teaches photography and serves as a mentor with PannaFoto Institute.
Place of Origin
In Indonesian with English and Chinese subtitles


Indonesian photographer Rosa Panggabean examines the aftermath and lingering trauma of one of the darkest political histories of the country: the Communist purge across Indonesia during 1965–66. The death toll: up to three million.

Cause/Effect, which started in 2017, recalls the memories of the survivors, and retells the tragic events that they, their families and most Indonesians experienced or witnessed.

The resultant work comprises three parts: Exile, The Dangerous Allegation, and The Sound of Silence, with the last part featuring a choir of former female prisoners named Dialita, from Di Atas 50 Tahun, which means above 50 years old. Dialta’s songs were written in prison, voicing truths which would otherwise be forgotten. The choir members survive with pain and damage yet to be healed and reconciled.

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