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Document Shredding Museum

The poems that comprise Indonesian poet, artist, and playwright Afrizal Malna’s 2013 collection Document Shredding Museum address a variety of histories and the present moments they both inform and deform. From intimate encounters between lovers and friends to mass scale environmental and semantic destruction, from classical Javanese myth to colonial and postcolonial corporate pillaging of human and natural resources, these poems dismantle and reassemble the debris of language, asking how we can make poetry from such ruins. Drawing on a wide array of modes and moods, and colored always by Afrizal’s characteristic complex of darkness, humor, and insight into the conditions of the present, Document Shredding Museum troubles the boundaries between information and experience, emotion and thought. Translated by Daniel Owen