In Search of the Next Rupi Kaur: Five of Indonesia's Best Instapoets

Instagram has become a breeding ground for a new wave of Indonesian poets. (Photo courtesy of @bodyandwords on Instagram)

By : Joy Muchtar | on 12:00 PM March 11, 2018
Category : Life & Style, Arts & Culture, Community

Instagram is not only everyone's favorite escape for all things eye candy, but writers – especially poets – have also used the platform very effectively to wax lyrical about everything from #lyfe to #death, and getting more readers than they would if they publish their poems in journals or books. This has lead to the rise of a new generation of "Instapoets," from the Thailand-born New Zealender Lang Leav to the Canadian "Queen of Instapoets," Rupi Kaur. Want to scout the next Kaur? Who knows, perhaps she or he will be an Indonesian this time. We've put together a list of five of the best Indonesian Instapoets right now with fewer than 5,000 followers. Follow them before they've got their verified badges!

1. @astridsuu | 4,982 followers

Although she labels herself an introvert, with not much to say when a crowd is around, the right words seem to come easily to Astrid Suu. "My best poems are spur-of-the-moment things... whenever I feel strong emotions, sadness, anger, fear. This one, I wrote it about my friend, it really did happen to her. A lot of people messaged me, saying they really relate to it, not just Chinese-Indonesians, but minorities everywhere." Also a writer of children's storybooks, this 26-year-old has been a constant support to fellow Indonesian writers, even taking up the initiative to create an Indonesian Instapoet community group.

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2. @bodyandwords | 143 followers

A team of two, this graphically pleasing account is made up of writer Aufa Ahdan and visual artist Reswari Mawardwita. Both are 24-year olds, and they decided to collaborate through words and pictures to project real feelings. As Aufa said, "We appreciate feelings, and those can come from anything: people, love stories, broken hearts, petrichor, anything."

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3. @selfartwork | 1,093 followers

Going by the pen name J.C. Dawn, this 22-year-old woman studied Security Science but still found enough time to write in her spare time. Just as her name showcases, all the drawings accompanying her instapoems are self-made. "Writing helps me find myself and I only hope my poems can help others discover themselves too. Why poetry? Because poetry honors the abstract, the mystery, both in us and the world." J.C. has already compiled her best instapoems into a collection called "The Wonders of Life & Love," available now from Amazon.

Words by @selfartwork Words by @selfartwork

 

4. @vahnwijaya | 831 followers

Hailing from Pekanbaru, Riau, 24-year-old writer, scriptwriter and film director Vahn Wijaya's favorite subjects are love and relationships. His debut collection "Full Cycle of Human Heart" includes poems inspired by his personal experiences and stories from friends who have confided in him. "Actually, I never consider what I write as poetry. They're just some words, dipped in feelings."

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5. @jodiejonazh | 2,348 followers

A general practitioner by day, this 24-year-old has already self-published a poetry book called "Late Night Confessions." Born and raised in Jakarta, Jodie said she writes because "there are a million ways to say 'I am happy/sad/in love.' Exploring all the different ways I can express those feelings is intriguing to me. And for many people, poetry, simply, heals." Jodie is working on her second book that will be published this year.

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