Agustinus Wibowo is an Indonesian travel writer whose travel experiences have taken him through Asia to the Middle East. He is fascinated by cultures and traditions and is curious about how the world works as one when it is constantly divided by history and culture. He prefers to travel overland when he can and once entered Tibet illegally by pretending to be a Chinese citizen. He also volunteered to help victims of a natural disaster in Kashmir, before deciding on a career in photojournalism and taking on an assignment in war-torn Afghanistan.His first book, considered a masterpiece by many, was “Selimut Debu“ (A Blanket of Dust) and chronicles his journey in Afghanistan. It was followed by “Garis Batas” (Borderlines: A Journey Through Central Asia), which examines issues of borderlines across ex-Soviet republics, including psychological borders and the search for national identity.
Most recently, in “Titik Nol” (Point Zero), he has pioneered a new genre in Indonesian travel literature by allowing readers to experience the writer’s physical, spiritual and emotional journey as they contemplate their own conflicts and anxieties. As Agustinus recounts his final hours with his dying mother, and honours her journey toward the afterlife, the reader is given time for personal reflection. Parallel storylines between mother and son provide unusual insights.
Agustinus Wibowo’s contemplative approach toward other cultures and peoples has gained him a large following among readers and fellow writers. He has also set the a standard on what it means to be a travel writer in Indonesia.
(Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2013)