In 1965, the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) had three and a half million cadre and 20 million mass base, including its cultural wing – Lekra. With 200,000 members, it is likely the largest left cultural organisation to have ever existed. On 1 October 1965, this would all change in the military coup and communist politicide that followed. 70 years after this revolutionary cultural group’s founding, we interviewed poet-survivor Martin Aleida on the Lekra spirit that still lives.