Indonesia at Melbourne will be taking a short break over the New Year period. In our final post for the year, we present the most popular articles and Talking Indonesia episodes of 2022 – plus a few more of our favourites.
While Covid-19 remained a constant presence in our lives throughout 2022, the biggest stories on the blog and podcast this year related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Indonesia’s presidency of the G20, police impunity in the wake of the shocking Kanjuruhan tragedy and ongoing concerns about Indonesia’s democratic decline, underscored most recently in the passage of a flawed and regressive Criminal Code (KUHP).
Thanks to our wonderful contributors, who make the site what it is. Thank you to our readers, too, for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you again in 2023.
Indonesia at Melbourne
In our most popular post for 2022 – one that influenced global reporting on Indonesia – Radityo Dharmaputra examined why so many Indonesians online appeared to support Russia’s war on Ukraine.
What does Indomie have to do with the G20 Summit? In the second-most read piece for 2022, Elna Tulus used the example of instant noodles to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the economies of the G20 countries.
In mid-2022, Indonesians were captivated as young people from the outskirts of Jakarta gathered in Central Jakarta for an impromptu DIY fashion show dubbed Citayam Fashion Week. In the third-most viewed post of 2022, Asri Saraswati wrote that while the fashions were fun, the phenomenon exposed some of the deep class problems confronting Jakarta and the people who live in it.
View this post on Instagram
Greenpeace Indonesia’s Tata Mustasya looked at the extent of Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan’s interests in coal mining – a sector he is also responsible for overseeing.
Ahmad Rizky M Umar revealed that Indonesia’s promotion of “moderate Islam” and “Islam Nusantara” has received some unlikely backing from prominent global far right figures, including Indian politician Ram Madhav and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Indonesia handled the Omicron wave much better than it did the Delta wave in 2021. But in March, Tiara Marthias and Likke Prawidya Putri warned against complacency, and urged Indonesians not to give up on masking and social distancing just yet.
Former President Megawati Soejarnoputri was widely criticised for comments she made about West Papuans and meatball soup sellers. Tamara Soukotta wrote a scathing piece, stating that Megawati’s offhand comments exposed how the elite really feels about Papuans and working-class Indonesians.
In the wake of the horrific Kanjuruhan Stadium disaster, Jacqui Baker examined what recent scandals in the police can reveal about the nature of police power, and the kinds of political contestations occurring within the police institution ahead of the 2024 elections.
The government might have claimed that the new Criminal Code (KUHP) “decolonises” Indonesia’s criminal justice system, but Airlangga Pribadi Kusman wrote that the KUHP in fact reintroduced the kinds of authoritarian provisions that were a central element of Dutch colonialism.
In one of the few bright spots for 2022, Indonesia passed a long-awaited Law on Sexual Violence. Tunggal Pawestri and blog editor Tim Mann looked at the key elements of the new law, and the challenges that await in its implementation.
The 2024 election is still more than a year away. Alexander R Arifianto examined the main contenders to run in the race to replace President Joko Widodo in 2024.
Wasisto Raharjo Jati and Athiqah Nur Alami wrote about one issue that has yet to receive much attention in discussions on Indonesia’s controversial new capital city – residents in the city will not be able to vote for their own local government.
Early in the year, several ministers and political party figures publicly advocated for President Joko Widodo to extend his time in office beyond his constitutionally mandated two-term limit. Yassar Aulia wrote that these calls really came down to oligarchs wanting to maintain the benefits they have enjoyed during his presidency.
How big a problem is misinformation and disinformation in Indonesia? Is the government helping or hindering efforts to tackle the problem? Tito Ambyo spoke to Associate Professor Ika Idris in the most popular episode of Talking Indonesia for 2022.
What does it mean to be “progressive” in an Indonesian context? What does the experience of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) in 2019 reveal about support for progressive politics in the country? Dr Dave McRae spoke to Universitas Gadjah Mada academic Dr Amalinda Savirani in the second most-popular episode of Talking Indonesia for this year.
How do Indonesian hip-hop artists tackle social and political issues in their music? How do issues of ethnicity, sexism and masculinity influence hip-hop lyrics? Tito Ambyo explored these questions and more with PhD candidate William Yanko.
As the Omicron wave peaked in Indonesia in early 2022, Dr Jemma Purdey chatted to Dr Dicky Budiman about how Indonesia’s health systems were coping. What lessons were learned from the Delta wave in mid-2021? Did vaccinations help to prevent a more serious outbreak?
Dr Jacqui Baker spoke to Dr Jess Melvin and Dr Annie Pohlman about the landmark report of the Aceh Truth and Reconciliation Commission, developed from the testimonies of more than 5,000 victims of rights abuses in the province. What impact will the report have on Acehnese politics and society, and Indonesia more broadly?