Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Other Side

One of my docents told me that he had been invited by the Army to present his view about the conflict in Mali. Suddenly, he moved from being an outsider to an insider. The question is not only about  being critical but also about being strategical and at the same time, to conserve the idealism. He mentioned that there were many consultancies that were already involved in giving advice for the Ministry but most of them did not know the real situation. So Ferguson (1990) and Mosse (2004) all over again. Wrong approach because of wrong assumptions and consultancy agency talked in the language of the clients (on efficiency in military operation) and not about the real situation in Mali. Different epistemic tradition, where he had to talk to man in uniform with different openness and also a shift in strategy from critical to strategic. 

The discussion related with our earlier discussion about identity and struggle. Identity is always being contested in different situations. There is evil in good things and there is good things in evil. As one of my favorites proverb says 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.' Being an insider creates an opportunity for greater change but probably it may also change one into a different person via all the negotiations and bureaucratic details. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Being in Enschede always stimulates nostalgic feeling. I still remember the first day I was there when one f colleagues picked me up from the station and we went to the office. There was a FC Twente match that day so we had to return home before 4 PM. There many things happened since that day, too much to remember in details. So when I visited the place again yesterday, I was wandering whether my memories betray me or not. And there my friend was greeted me with the same smile as I remembered. In the old days, we shared a journey together to Utrecht and to Delft and we were kind of sharing the same research, so being in Enschede felt right. Time surely change things, but there are also other things that remains the same. The warm feelings, the station and the people, things that feel really familiar like breathing.

Sometimes I play the 'what if' game. I am wondering why my life looks more like a patchwork than a normal blanket where there is always a constant adjustment. But again during my journey, I met many wonderful people who I love dearly. So probably having a patchwork life makes me love more people and teaches me how to love the moment since I'd never now when it's going to last.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Caranya tersenyum membuat Kemala teringat pada Rangga. Ia kangen senyum itu, senyum yang ia peroleh tiap kali ia merasa hilang. Bagi Kemala, senyum Rangga adalah rumah, ia tahu ia akan baik-baik saja tiap kali melihat Rangga tersenyum seperti itu padanya. Dan kini Rangga ada entah dimana, tiga bulan berlalu tanpa kabar dan ia tahu ia harus melanjutkan hidup.


"... What does that mean-- 'tame'?" asked the Little Prince. "It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. ...