The Palace of Illusions

When drawing a picture about memory of the past, we tend to have only two alternatives. Either we amplify good memories and minimize the bad ones, or the other way round. When the nostalgia is about history, this can be dangerous, as the history may turn to an illusion, no matter how real the events are. The incidence of nostalgia may bring you to homesickness. American physicians in nineteenth century even pointed out that acute nostalgia led to “mental dejection”, “cerebral derangement” and sometimes even death. In Indonesia, the so-called history is never so long ago. Some people say, Indonesians have such short memories as they suffer from “history amnesia”. With most of its population are less than 30 years old, majority people did not really experience the whole history of the Republic, from the Independence struggle era (1940s), Sukarno’s Old Order (1950s), the chaos before the arrival of Suharto’s New Order (1960s), and the never ending period of [read more]

December 15, 2013 // 7 Comments

Tempo (2013): Speaking about Poetry and Photography (Makassar International Writers Festival 2013) Speaking about Poetry and Photography Wednesday, 26 June, 2013 | 22:13 WIB TEMPO.CO, Makassar – Agustinus Wibowo, the writer of three travel books, said, “As promoted by an airline ad, everyone can fly now. Yet not everyone can understand the meaning of a journey.” Agus put forth his statement during a discussion at the Makassar International Writers Festival on June 25, 2013. He was the speaker for the first session on the first day of the festival. He spoke about the relationship between poetry and photography. “Many things can be poetic and touching from a journey, just as long as we can find the meaning,” said the author of the books Titik Nol, Selimut Debu, and Garis Batas. Agus, who has traveled to numerous countries in Central Asia, exhibited some pictures as an example. He said trips that are rushed and target-oriented would not have any meaning. Only [read more]

June 26, 2013 // 0 Comments


巴彦乌列盖(Bayan Olgii)是蒙古最西部且海拔最高的省份,如果从乌兰巴托前往,需忍受长达70 多个小时、十分颠簸的车程,但仍值得一去。在当地生活的哈萨克族人至今保留着伊斯兰传统生活方式,由于穆斯林在饮酒上的限制,犯罪事件相对较少,因此在当地旅行比在蒙古其他地方安全许多。每年在乌列盖都会举办金鹰节(Golden Eagle Festival),当地数百名猎鹰高手参与角逐,成千上万的国际游客也会前来观赛。节日期间,还会举行哈萨克族的传统服饰狂欢秀。

March 23, 2012 // 0 Comments



January 13, 2012 // 0 Comments



December 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

Traveler【旅行家】(2011):伊朗旅游的“后ADS时代”: 既小众,又高端


October 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2009): Face of Kabul THE WEEKENDER JAKARTA POST: Face of Kabul The Jakarta Post – WEEKENDER | Thu, 01/29/2009 8:00 PM | City Scene Agustinus Wibowo is a 27-year-old backpacker, photographer and writer whose passion for traveling the world has carried him across continents and borders. Recent explorations led to Kabul, Afghanistan, a city that was once the proud son of Persia. Agus’ essays on Central Asian countries are published regularly on and will soon be serialized in print by Kompas Publisher. Here he gives us a glimpse of the war-torn country after decades of civil war and living in fear under the Taliban regime. Mean Streets According to UNICEF, between 50,000 and 60,000 children live on the streets of Kabul. The number continues to rise every year, even though dozens of local and international organizations have committed themselves to eradicating poverty in Afghanistan’s war-torn regions. These children will do [read more]

January 29, 2009 // 2 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2008): Time Stands Still BEYOND BORDERS: Time Stands Still Sparsely populated and well hidden from the rest of the world, Wakhan Corridor is as medieval today as it was over 700 years ago when Marco Polo passed through. Agustinus Wibowo visits the region. The awkward tongue of Afghanistan, located at the northeastern tip of the country, is a 200-mile-long valley that stretches between Tajikistan and Pakistan. A strategic territory created by the once-reigning British Empire at the end of the 19th century, Wakhan Corridor was first attached to Afghan territory as a buffer zone between Britain and Russia. Though the battle for supremacy between the two giants has long ended, little seems to have changed since then. Time has been suspended for what seems like eternity. Deprived of the comforts of modern living, Afghans tend to paint rosy images of Tajikistan, where women are not required to wear the burqa and children receive the education they deserve. [read more]

January 25, 2008 // 2 Comments