Bersiap is only part of a bigger story of mass violence during the 1940s. The latter itself is part of a bigger story of centuries-old colonialism and decolonialisation. What makes Bersiap slightly distinct is its absence in the official histories of both the Netherlands and Indonesia.
Indonesia’s was the first case of successful formal decolonization through the UN. It inspired several other former colonies. But why has there been no celebration for such important history achievement in Indonesia? Why has it been almost entirely ignored?
The notion of hero versus villain is understood differently across time, nations, and even within a single nation-state. Yet, it is still common in many of these instances that those who disagree on the issue can nonetheless exchange views and engage in some form of debate. This chapter examines a radically different case, where the understanding of heroes and villains in one discursive practice is incommensurate and inverted in another.
Heryanto, Ariel (2019) “Heroism and the Pleasure and Pain of Mistranslation; The Case of The Act of Killing”, in B. Korte, S. Wendt and N. Falkenhayner (eds), Heroism as a Global Phenomenon in Contemporary Culture, Routledge: New York, pp. 167-188.
keywords: Cold War, Communist, Discourse, Indonesia, Nazism, New Order
In the pursuit of an “authentically Indonesian” nation-state, for decades Indonesians have denied the civil rights of fellow citizens for allegedly being less authentically Indonesian. A key to the longstanding efficacy of such exclusionary ethno-nationalism is the failure to recognise the trans-national solidarity that helped give birth to independent Indonesia.
Ariel Heryanto (2018) Decolonising Indonesia, Past and Present, Asian Studies Review, 42 (4): 607-625, DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2018.1516733
keywords Cold War, colonial, ethnonationalism, identity, Indonesia, Indonesia Calling, Left, trans-national
As French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu said, “cultures are those what goes without saying”. To ask why Amrozy and the police should smile is almost like asking why English speaking people always open an official letter with the greeting ‘Dear ….’, even if this is a letter of very serious complaint or protest.
There are two common misconceptions about hoaxes. First, although the word “hoax” is a relatively new term in the Indonesian lexicon, it would be wrong to assume that hoaxes have only become a problem over the past few years, with the rise of social media. Second, hoax news cannot be resolved or debunked simply by providing accurate information as an alternative, especially when nothing is done about the primary hoax.
This chapter contends that an in-depth investigation into identity politics in popular culture is a critical component to studying the social life of this world’s fourth most populated nation. It shows how elite national politics and everyday cultural practices and contestations are mutually constitutive in complex and indirect ways, with a focus on identity politics in contemporary Indonesia as manifest in popular cultures.
Heryanto, Ariel (2018) “Popular Culture and Identity Politics”, in R. Hefner (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Indonesia, London: Routledge, pp. 357-368.