Aurelli Lazuardi

Singapore

Published Work

Environmental Journalism Competition 2020

Jakarta: The Modern Atlantis

The street lies below turbid, brown water; it carries the trash that usually adorns the sidewalks and leaks under the doorways of the 9.6 million residents that occupy Jakarta. The makeshift tables and stalls of the street market littered the landscape. They watched as the water carried away things they once held dear, they watched as their homes, their work of many years, wash away as if it were nothing. 

On December 31st, heavy rains poured over the city, triggering floods and mudslides. The ordeal displaced 175 people and the death toll had risen to 66. Jakarta is known to regularly experience floods during the rainy season, but this flood is easily the worst for a decade. Government data on the 6th of January showed some 35,000 people still unable to return home after houses were submerged in filthy waters up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) high.

I have lived in Jakarta for 12 years. Majority of my life was...

Album Review Competition 2019

Negro Swan: The album that dared to explore the fragility of everything human.

The first thing I noticed when I heard Blood Orange's Negro Swan wasn't the rhythm of the music or the percussive resonance of the drums; it was the feeling that it generated from me, it was the raw, genuine emotion that exuded from Devonté Hynes' lyrics. 

Negro Swan allows Dev to address his past struggles as a young black man in the UK. He continues to delve deeper into the collective mentality of the black community, focusing on their ethnic marginalisation while drawing out themes of depression, racism, acceptance and violence through his personal experiences, forcing the listeners to sit with the bittersweet past and inconvenient present realities. Juxtaposing the dark themes of his oeuvre, he wraps his music with the sweet allure of vocals, combining it with smatterings of spoken words and rap. He fills up the silent gaps with instruments producing sounds that would reach to your soul: Dynamic drums, gentle guitars, flutes, dreamy synths and a shiver-inducing...