Sakdiyah Ma’ruf’s mission to extinguish extremism with laughter


Sakdiyah Ma’ruf spoke with Madonna King at the Integrity Summit 2016. Source: Grace Llewellyn

Madonna King led a conversation on the topic of extinguishing extremism with the use of comedy at the Integrity Summit this morning.

Ms King spoke with Indonesian Muslim comedian and winner of 2015 Vaclav Havel International Prize for creative dissent, Sakdiyah Ma’ruf about her childhood and what led her to comedy.

“I was raised by a father who established his authority in the family by establishing violence, almost similar with the government,” Sakdiyah said.

Ms King spoke to Sakdiyah about her passion for freedom and equality and the use of comedy to extinguish the hate with laughter.

“I think there is something that is more meaningful as I’ve come to realise that laughter really comes at the end of your journey, when the pain is to unbearable that you cannot cry anymore,” Sakdiyah said.

“I am amazed with its [comedy’s] subtlety and it’s rhetoric and to tell you the truth laughter is a good way to hide, you can be as bubbly as you can and you can hide the pain, hide the tears hide the anger but still in a very aggressive manner, so comedy is beautiful and very subtle in its aggressiveness.”

Ms King spoke to Sakdiyah about the difficulties arising from taking on taboo subjects through comedy and the idea of censorship and what role it plays in writing her presentations.

“Its difficult in a way that you have to craft the joke in such a way that it can relate to the people and it can carry your aspiration with you but on the other hand I truly hope that they (extremist)  care enough to watch, or to listen to the joke they can see who they are inside and they can laugh with me,” Sakdiyah said.

“Mostly self censor and media censorship, making sure I am good at my craft first before I can really hit the hard message, I want to be a comedian first, before I can do the hard message I’m aiming for,” Sakdiyah said.


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