Category: Analysis

The Instrument Builders Project was a collaborative initiative that ran from 2010-2014 and involved Australian and Indonesian artists from a diversity of practices and backgrounds. Program co-curator Kristi Monfries reflects on the role of collaboration and experimentation in the artistic process.

The shocking gang-rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu has galvanised the Indonesian public. PhD candidate Hannah Loney looks at the case and how Indonesian feminists and activists used online spaces to draw critical attention to the issue of sexual violence in the country.

In February, President Joko Widodo passed a regulation aimed at accelerating the implementation of the One Map policy, which is designed to harmonise all sectoral maps from government agencies into a single map to prevent overlapping claims to land. But as Nanang Indra Kurniawan writes, unless customary claims to land are included, the process is bound to fail.

Jokowi was produced by a decentralised democratic system in which negotiation, including with oligarchs, was necessary for advancement. But now that he is president, he finds that he has nothing to bargain with except his personal popularity. As Professor Vedi Hadiz writes, negotiating with oligarchy may end up eroding the popularity Jokowi needs to negotiate with them in the first place.

On 18-19 April, Indonesia held an unprecedented national symposium to discuss the violence of 1965, involving victims, activists, and government and military officials. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey present a detailed analysis of last week’s events.

Nine women from Central Java captured the nation’s attention last week when they encased their feet in cement blocks and demanded to meet President Joko Widodo. Hendri Yulius writes that despite the subordination of women in Indonesian society, women and mothers have on several occasions been key drivers of social change.

After weeks of speculation, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) confirmed in early April that it had dismissed outspoken lawmaker Fahri Hamzah. PhD candidate Luqman-nul Hakim looks at the broader political implications of the move and what it means for PKS’s position in the Red and White Coalition (KMP).

This year has seen an escalation of tensions in Poso, Central Sulawesi, and the government has vowed to continue its security operation in the region until it captures the country’s most-wanted terrorist, Santoso. Adriany Badrah, director of the Celebes Institute, examines the impacts of these prolonged security operations in Poso and the poor decisions that have allowed violence to continue.

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) issued a circular in February preventing television stations from broadcasting programs depicting “feminine” men. Hani Yulindrasari writes that not only does this circular ignore the reality of gender diversity in Indonesia but also contributes to a potentially damaging and toxic version of masculinity.

In May 2015, Indonesia agreed to provide temporary shelter for up to 3,500 Rohingya boat people, insisting that they be resettled or repatriated within a year. With this deadline fast approaching, Dr Antje Missbach reports that few have been resettled, and public goodwill is beginning to dry up.

Inequality in Indonesia has reached record levels. What is driving this inequality, and what does Indonesian society look like as a result? Dr Dave McRae explores these issues and more with Dr Matthew Wai-Poi in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Last week, pressure from mass organisations forced the cancellation and relocation of the Belok Kiri Fest, a cultural event that aimed to challenge dominant discourses of Indonesian history. Dr Ken Setiawan writes that the incident is the latest example of the ongoing repression of alternative discourses on leftism and the events of 1965 in democratic Indonesia.