Faiza Mardzoeki


Siti Faizah Hidayati (Pen-name Faiza Mardzoeki ) is a writer, playwright, theatre producer and director, based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  She is co -founder and director of Institut Ungu (www.institutungu.org)  former member of Jakarta Art Council – Theatre committee and founder of Wanita Baca, a feminist bookstore and reading room. 

In the January 11th 2021 English language edition of Tempo in an article titled: The (Literary) Arts In The New Reality by Nurdin Kalim, it states: “After a lengthy discussion, we decided that Waktu Tanpa Buku [Time Without Books] was Tempo’s choice for theatre performance art and chose Faiza Mardzoeki and her five directors as Tempo’s Artists of 2020 in the performance category. We feel that Faiza played the role of choosing those five directors and producing their online performances. It is rare to have work interpreted by five directors at the same time as part of a single project.“

As a feminist and cultural activist, she actively promotes gender equality issues, women’s liberation, human rights and other social issues through creative, cultural and artistic interventions.  She also has written articles published in The Jakarta Post daily newspaper and other media. 

Since 2003, she has produced 15 plays as well as two concerts and been the initiator executive director of two major arts festivals. Four of her plays have been published as books: Waktu Tanpa Buku (translator, published by Katakultur and Djaman Baroe 2020) Nora, Subversif  by Djaman Baroe, 2016 and Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-­Kembang Genjer by Ultimus, Bandung in 2015.  As well as producing theatre she has written or adapted  plays, including her critically acclaimed The Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers, which has been performed in Jakarta, Indonesia and screened in venues in the United States, Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia and Singapore. She also directed Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers.

 In July 2019, she received a grant from New York Foundation of The Arts to support her work to write her first novel, to be based upon her play Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers. Furthermore, in 2018, Faiza received a grant from Norla (Norwegian Literary Abroad) to translate a play titled Time Without Books by Norwegian feminist drama writer Lene Therese Tiegen into Indonesian. In the same year (2018) Faiza has adapted the classic novel Max Havelaar by Dutch writer Douwes Dekker, into a stage drama entitled Mulatuli Meets Saidjah and Adinda. She adapted to the Indonesian context two classic works by Henrik Ibsen, Doll’s House (as Rumah Boneka, published as Nora) and Enemy of the People (as Subversif!). 

All of her plays have been performed in Jakarta with some performances in other Indonesian cities such as Banda Aceh, Bandung, Palangkaraya, and Yogyakarta. One play, Nyai Ontosoroh, was declared the iconic production of the year by the major daily newspaper, Kompas. Nyai Ontosoroh was her epic adaptation for the stage of the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s epic novel, This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia).She took her production of They Call Me Nyai Ontosoroh, which she also wrote, to Amsterdam, The Hague, and Antwerp, commissioned by Troppen Theater, Amsterdam. She has participated and spoken at feminist and theatre related events outside Indonesia including in the United States, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia,Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. Her play Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers has been selected for a dramatic reading at the Women’s International Playwrights Conference in Santiago, Chile, October, 2018.

Faiza Mardzoeki - Selected Works

  • 2020 – Time Without Books/WaktuTanpa Buku, written by Lene Therese Tiegen  (Norwegian feminist Playwright) and  translated in to Indonesian languange by Faiza Mardzoeki (Producer and director) 
  • 2018 – the second production for UN Women, Kisah-Kisah Perempuan-Musicalised Monologue: Producer, Director, Playwright. (Women’s Tales). Jakarta, Indonesia. Faiza wrote and directed a short dramatic monologue around an agenda on women’s rights issues. This was commissioned by the United Nations-UN Women
  • 2016 – Kisah-Kisah Perempuan– Musicalised Monologue: Producer, Director, Playwright (Women’s Tales).
    Jakarta, Indonesia.Faiza wrote and directed a short dramatic monologue around an agenda on women’s rights issues. This was commissioned by the United Nations-UN Women
  • 2015 – Subversif adaption of An Enemy of The Peopleby Henrik Ibsen. Theatre production: producer and playwright. Performed in  Jakarta, Indonesia. This adaptation contextualised Ibsen’s play to contemporary Indonesia and was performed in the national capital, Jakarta, as well as in Palangkaraya, a city on the major island of Kalimantan. This play has now been published in book form
  • 2014 – Subversif , performed in Palangkaraya, 
  • 2014 – Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-Kembang Genjer– Play : Producer, Director, Playwright (Silent Song of the Genjer Flowers). Performed in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is an original play by Faiza Mardzoeki; also produced and directed by Faiza. It is a play focusing on the experiences of five elderly women survivors of 14 years of political imprisonment and decades of misogynist political black propaganda, before, during and after imprisonment. It also deals with how their experience is seen by the contemporary generation. It is based on two years of research and interviews with scores of survivors.It has been performed in Jakarta and screened in Melbourne, Los Angeles, Seattle, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur and the focus of presentations in several other cities. It has now been published as a book.
  • 2011 – Rumah Boneka, adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’: Theatre production: Producer and Playwright, Jakarta, Indonesia. This play has ben adapted to the contemporary Indonesian context. It has been performed in Jakarta, Bandung in West Java and Banda Aceh, the capital of the province of Aceh.The play has now been published as a book.
  • 2012 –Rumah Boneka, Bandung, Jakarta
  • 2013 –Rumah Boneka Banda Aceh. 
  • 2010 – They Call me Nyai Ontosoroh adaptation of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind: theater project – Playwright and Producer. (Abridged version of Nyai Ontosoroh from 2007.) Performed in Jakarta, Bandung, Indonesia and  Amsterdam,Den Hague, the Netherlands, Antwerp, Belgium, commissioned by Tropen Theatre Amsterdam.  This play is an abridged version of the 2007 adaptation by Faiza Mardzoeki of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia). 
  • 2010 – Surat-Surat Kartini: sourced from the letters of Kartini: Play: Producer (Kartini’s Letters), Performed in Jakarta, Indonesia. This was a monologue, with music and dance, adapted from excerpts of the letters of Indonesia’s first feminist writer, Kartini, who lived at the turn of the 20th
  • 2008 – Women Seize the NightTheatre production: Producer and Playwright. This was a series of three short plays, each with a single female character, played by prominent female actors and personalities. Faiza was a co-writer of these three stories. They dealt with the lives of a housewife, a prostitute and a politician. Performed in Jakarta, Aceh and Bandung.
  • 2007 – Nyai Ontosoroh (The Concubine Ontosoroh¸ adaptation of Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s This Earth of Mankind: Theatre Production: Producer and Playwright. Performed in Jakarta, Indonesia (Versions of this play were performed in various Indonesian cities in the same year by local theatre groups.)This is the full length adaptation of the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s classic best-selling novel, This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia) set in colonial Indonesia (then the Netherlands Indies) depicting the dramatic contradictions of colonialism, and how it oppressed both Indonesians in general and women in particular. This adaptation centres around the story of a young woman – Sanikem,, later known as Nayi Ontorosoh, sold by her parents as a concubine to a Dutch plantation manager and who transforms from victim to strong protagonist. Nyai was the term used to refer to concubines in that period.This play was performed to full houses in the main theatre (capacity 800) in the Jakarta Arts Council complex in Jakarta. The major daily newspaper, Kompas, declared it the iconic play of the year.
  • 2002 – Perempuan di Titik NolAdaptation of Nawal al-Sadawi’sWomen at Point Zero: Theatre production: Producer. Performed in Jakarta, Indonesia. This was Faiza’s first theatrical production and the start of her endeavors to bring issues of women’s rights and situation to public attention via theatre. It performed to packed houses with large numbers unable to get tickets. This production also set the model for Faiza’s future productions which combined professional actor auditions, selection of high profile television and film actors, and high level direction standards with the use of focused publicity, involving public forums and social media promotion.

Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-Kembang Genjer (The Silent Song of The Genjer Flowers)

  1. Amsterdam (2019)
  2. Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles, USA (2018)
  3. University of Washington Seattle, USA (2018)
  4. University of Melbourne, Australia (2017)
  5. Kualu Lumpur, Malaysia (2016)
  6. Singapore (2016)
  7. Yogyakarta (2016)
  8. Jakarta (2016)

2017 – Konser Perempuan Untuk Kemanusiaan – Concert: Producer
(Women’s Concert for Humanity.)
Jakarta, Indonesia

In December 2017, she produced the Concert of Women for Humanity, a musical concert which she initiated with the Dialita Choir, featuring songs written by women while they were in prisoners. The concert was a collaboration between Dialita and famous musicians in Indonesia, among others Bonita, Kartika Jahja, Junior Soemantri et al. The concert received financial support from the Tifa Foundation, the Purple Institute and the Herb Feith Foundation

2003 – Peace Concert for Aceh: Musical Concert: producer
Jakarta, Indonesia

2010 Festival April – Women’s Arts Festival. (Photography, Theatre, Dance, Music, Film, Speakers.) Festival Initiator and Director.
Jakarta Arts Centre, Indonesia

2003 Festival April – Women’s Arts Festival. (Painting, Sculpture, Writing, Films, Dance, Music, Fashion, Speakers.) Festival Co-Initiator and Co-Director.
Jakarta Arts Centre, Indonesia.

  • Waktu Tanpa Buku /Time Without Books (Translator, Katakultur, 2020)
  • The Silent Song of The Genjer Flowers (Aurora Metro Books, London, 2019)
  • Nora, an adaptation of A Doll’s Houseby Hendrik Ibsen, Djaman Baroe, Indonesia (2016)
  • Subversif, an adaptation of An Enemy of the Peopleby Hendrik Ibsen, Djaman Baroe, Indonesia (2016)
  • Nyanyi Sunyi Kembang-Kembang Genjer, (Ultimus Publisher)
    an original play; Ultimus, Indonesia (2016)
  • “Wanted Women Voices from the movement” The Jakarta Post, April 9, 2019
  • ” Sexual repression and misogynistic moral police” , in The Jakarta Post, February 20, 2018 
  • “Being Indonesian: Not by Memorizing Pancasila”, in The Jakarta Post, May, 17 2017
  • Women Conitinue Local, Global Stuggle for Change”, in The Jakarta Post, March 4, 2017
  • “Bittersweet Life in Jakarta’ in The Jakarta Post, November 5, 2016
  • “Indonesian Women : Their Choices, Destiny” , in The Jakarta Post, August 16, 2016
  • “Manipulation of The Kartini Symbol Must End “ , in The Jakarta Post, April 21, 2016
  • “Tan Malaka: Protecting Freedom of Expression”, in The Jakarta Post, April 2, 2016
  • “Room: Inside the Head of the Entrapped”, A film review ‘Room’ in online Feminist site The Magdalene 
  • “Censorship in Paradise”, in The Jakarta Post, November 7, 2015
  • “Jakarta Theater Festival Enters Its 40th Year, but Is That Enough?”, in The Jakarta Globe, December 2012
  • “Piece of Mind: In The Story of The Gerwani Women, Thruth and False Memory”, in The Jakarta GlobeOctober 4, 2012
  • “Polygamy is a form of violence against women”, in The Jakarta Post, July 2003
  • “INDONESIA: Fight broadens against anti-women laws “, with Max Lane, in Green Left Weekly, 15 March 2006
  • “Govt ignores Indonesian debt slaves’ plight “, Opinion, in The Jakarta Post– August 24, 2002
  • “Wajah TKI kita, budak yang tergadaikan, Sinar Harapan, 2002 (about Indonesian Migrant Workers in Indonesian language)