Creative peacebuilding and resistance in Indonesia
- Birgit Bräuchler Monash University
- birgitbraeuchler (at) gmx.net
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For a long time, research on Indonesia had a strong focus on conflict, which is not surprising, given the long-lasting and repressive regime under president Suharto, infamously launched after the 1965/66 massacres, incidents like the Bali bombing, or interreligious and interethnic violence in post-Suharto Indonesia. Spaces for peacebuilding, reconciliation, coming to terms with the past and resistance against powerholders have only slowly but prominently been opening up over the last two decades. This does not only include space for coping with physical violence and suppression, but also more indirect structural violence inherent in government policies that led to continuing injustices and social inequalities. Whereas arts and cultural performances have been prominent means to implicitly and explicitly express critique towards powerholders in various regions in Indonesia for a long time, new art forms, new media and borrowings from and links to global repertoires of protest aesthetics, networks and strategies are taking this to new levels.
This panel seeks to take stock and develop ideas in what directions future research could lead creative peacebuilding and resistance in form of performative action and/or social movements in Indonesia. These are some of the questions this panel is interested in: Where and it what forms do such initiatives take place? Who are key activists and mobilisers: NGOs, human rights activists, indigenous peoples, elites, youth, scholars, etc.? What elements and strategies are they drawing on? Where and how can different initiatives and movements learn from each other? Where can peace and social movement research inform Indonesian peoples’ struggle and, the other way around, where can scholars and peace activists elsewhere learn from the Indonesian experience? We invite paper proposals that provide thick descriptions of creative and performative means for peacebuilding, resistance and struggles for broader social justice, that draw on ethnographic fieldwork and that enable us to foster comparative research and develop an understanding of both their regional specificities and supraregional similarities.