Notes from the Archives: Loooong Houses & Shoooort Stories, by Daniela Moneta

Mar 15, 2024 | 1 comment

Pictured above, Loooong Houses & Shoooort Stories, by Raquel Alcobia

SICA members might enjoy a new eBook that was posted on the archives website at the beginning of this year. Less than two months ago and already nearly a hundred members have read it. It was written by a Subud architect, Raquel Alcobia who lives in Portugal. Raquel learned about the beautiful architectural buildings that were constructed in 1971 for the 4th Subud World Congress in Indonesia. She fell in love with them and you will too. With the next world Congress coming up soon, this book gives a good picture of what can be done with love, dedication, and ingenuity. Her book is called Loooong Houses & Shoooort Stories. Here is a review of her book.

Raquel Alcobia has compiled a collection of words, articles, and images about the 1971 Subud World Congress, which was held in Wisma Subud in Jakarta. The collection serves as an inspiration to see in what ways this spirit might be expressed through the upcoming 2024 World Congress in Kalimantan.

Raquel writes:
At the beginning of October 2023, I felt compelled to put together this book which became a patch work of photos and architectural drawings of the remarkable longhouses, which were able to accommodate the 1,500 Subud members who came to the World Congress in Tjilandak (the way it was written 50 years ago). This book became more of a scrapbook, intertwined with old and amazing photos, (even slides), beautiful hand drawings and poignant or funny recounts of members’ experiences, those who were there in that special 1971 Congress. People who were blessed and had the courage to be at the right place at the right time. Members who were sleeping in those precarious conditions for more than three weeks, and still feeling that they were walking on air (apart from the mosquitos’ bites, etc).


That initial booklet turned into a book . . . so interesting that Raquel, herself, said even I couldn’t stop reading all the articles which were coming my way, via Subud Archives and Subud Library as well as via email from resilient members, who are still around, a book that was almost being done by itself, which I just had to follow no matter how tired I was. It’s an homage to all who had the Courage to swap comfort for Guidance, fear for Faith, and chased the Content, which back then, was in the figure of Bapak’s physical presence! What a life chance it was for those who were with him, what a pity for the second generation (like mine) coming into Subud, after he was gone.


Hope you enjoy this trip in the time machine, and that we all keep on caring, preserving, and improving all the Subud lands which are OURS! Lands which the treasure map shows in the Appendix of the book’s 4th part. As an old member, who had already access to the first 15 pages of the book (Interlude), just wrote to me today (6 Dec 2023) the following “I was able to read and see the memories about that Congress, and the pictures and sharing, and it makes me feel homesick . . . .”

Bamboo House Before and After

To read this ebook online at the Amani International Archives, send an email to: and we can give you instructions on how you can obtain access.


1 Comment

  1. So tantalizing! Thank you for the introduction and the link!


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