Social Justice in the Fiction Series of 'Mata' Okky Madasari for Girl's Education


How is the life of the East Indonesia ’world’ seen by a small Javanese women with her cosmopolitan glasses? Okky Madasari, the winner of the Equator Literary Award 2012, created a series of fantasy stories about the adventures of Mata, her mother and her imaginary friends as they explore areas far from the bustle of Jakarta. This article examines the first three novels in the series: Mata di Tanah Melus (which represents the culture of East Nusa Tenggara); Mata dan Rahasia Pulau Gapi (set in Ternate, North Maluku); and Mata dan Manusia Laut (which tells the story of Mata’s adventures in Bajo, Southeast Sulawesi). The exotic world seen through Mata’s eyes draws upon the post-colonial discourses which continue to influence Indonesian girls in the modern, global world of capitalism. This is contrasted with the narration of the Mother and miraculous friends of Mata in seeing ’the other world and others’ in the eastern tip of Indonesia. This study uses a sociological approach to literature to uncover the issues of inequality and social justice that occur in post-colonial eastern Indonesia. Okky and his Mata series show that embodying Indonesianness is the task of a maturing imagination which develops upon ideals of the nation’s children. The series encourages little girls like Mata to open their eyes to see the history, reality and direction of their country and nation.

Keywords: girl’s education, social justice, children’s stories

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