Isna Marifa’s debut novel Mountains More Ancient focuses on the Indonesian experience of slavery in South Africa. Set in 1751, nine-year-old Wulan finds herself half a world away from her home in Java, lost without her family. She and her father, Parto, are enslaved on a Cape Colony farmstead, with little hope of returning home. In this new world, they hold fast to their Javanese identity and beliefs. This book shines a light on the history of subjugation through a timeless story of love, loss, and longing.
The book was launched on 10 December 2022, 5.30-7.00 pm at SEA Junction following its launch in Indonesia during the 19th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) at the end of October 2022. The author Isna Marifa was present and discussed her book with the visual artist/writer Shane Bunnag.
Photo by Lattapol Jirapathomsakul