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In late 2011, epidemiologist, writer and adventurer Elizabeth Pisani granted herself a sabbatical from the day job and set off to rediscover Indonesia, a country she has wandered, loved and been baffled by for decades. She was on the road and the high seas for a year, covering dozens of islands in 27 provinces. This site records photos and musings from that journey and beyond. See more about the project


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Indonesia: a miracle despite itself

I’m nearing the end of the first (nine-month long) leg of my Indonesian Odyssey and I don’t feel much closer to understanding the heart of this torturously complicated but endlessly fascinating nation. I’ve done my best to try and sum up some of my thoughts in the June issue of Prospect, one of UK’s more intelligent monthly magazines.

For what they are worth, you can now read my reflections on culture, corruption and corpses on Prospect online. And no, Oliver, I don’t think it is at a crossroads…

2 comments to Indonesia: a miracle despite itself

  • Mauricio

    I am not sure that one could reasonably call a country where more than half the population lives in or near poverty a miracle. I am not sure that one could reasonably call a country with some of the highest corruption levels on the planet a miracle. The word “miracle” is probably best reserved for over-achievers (i.e. Singapore, for example), not for chronic under-achievers.

  • […] Pisani wrote about it in her reflections on this “culture corruption and corpses”.  In a lengthy essay in Prospect she shows what is happening on the outer islands. I’m convinced […]

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