Decolonising Indonesia, Past and Present

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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. Such solidarity is best illustrated in the extraordinary case of the making in Australia of a documentary film, Indonesia Calling (1946). A starting point of this article is the proposition that Indonesia’s cultural politics of the past and its future is never free from a protracted battle over what the nation is allowed, or willing, or able to forget and remember from its past. Mere disclosure of Indonesia’s past history with its cosmopolitan features will not necessarily lead to changes for the better in contemporary Indonesia, especially if the new revelation runs counter to the interests of those in power. Nonetheless, no substantial and long-term change for the better is possible for Indonesia without serious, open, critical re-examination of the revolutionary making of the Republic, and due acknowledgment that inauthenticity, plurality and trans-national solidarity are the hallmarks of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-625
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Studies Review
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Cold War
  • colonial
  • ethno-nationalism
  • identity
  • Indonesia
  • Indonesia Calling
  • Left
  • trans-national

Cite this

@article{ab579f33c68a48ad839a69f066723deb,
title = "Decolonising Indonesia, Past and Present",
abstract = "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. Such solidarity is best illustrated in the extraordinary case of the making in Australia of a documentary film, Indonesia Calling (1946). A starting point of this article is the proposition that Indonesia’s cultural politics of the past and its future is never free from a protracted battle over what the nation is allowed, or willing, or able to forget and remember from its past. Mere disclosure of Indonesia’s past history with its cosmopolitan features will not necessarily lead to changes for the better in contemporary Indonesia, especially if the new revelation runs counter to the interests of those in power. Nonetheless, no substantial and long-term change for the better is possible for Indonesia without serious, open, critical re-examination of the revolutionary making of the Republic, and due acknowledgment that inauthenticity, plurality and trans-national solidarity are the hallmarks of the process.",
keywords = "Cold War, colonial, ethno-nationalism, identity, Indonesia, Indonesia Calling, Left, trans-national",
author = "Ariel Heryanto",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1080/10357823.2018.1516733",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "607--625",
journal = "Asian Studies Review",
issn = "1035-7823",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

Decolonising Indonesia, Past and Present. / Heryanto, Ariel.

In: Asian Studies Review, Vol. 42, No. 4, 2018, p. 607-625.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decolonising Indonesia, Past and Present

AU - Heryanto, Ariel

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - 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. Such solidarity is best illustrated in the extraordinary case of the making in Australia of a documentary film, Indonesia Calling (1946). A starting point of this article is the proposition that Indonesia’s cultural politics of the past and its future is never free from a protracted battle over what the nation is allowed, or willing, or able to forget and remember from its past. Mere disclosure of Indonesia’s past history with its cosmopolitan features will not necessarily lead to changes for the better in contemporary Indonesia, especially if the new revelation runs counter to the interests of those in power. Nonetheless, no substantial and long-term change for the better is possible for Indonesia without serious, open, critical re-examination of the revolutionary making of the Republic, and due acknowledgment that inauthenticity, plurality and trans-national solidarity are the hallmarks of the process.

AB - 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. Such solidarity is best illustrated in the extraordinary case of the making in Australia of a documentary film, Indonesia Calling (1946). A starting point of this article is the proposition that Indonesia’s cultural politics of the past and its future is never free from a protracted battle over what the nation is allowed, or willing, or able to forget and remember from its past. Mere disclosure of Indonesia’s past history with its cosmopolitan features will not necessarily lead to changes for the better in contemporary Indonesia, especially if the new revelation runs counter to the interests of those in power. Nonetheless, no substantial and long-term change for the better is possible for Indonesia without serious, open, critical re-examination of the revolutionary making of the Republic, and due acknowledgment that inauthenticity, plurality and trans-national solidarity are the hallmarks of the process.

KW - Cold War

KW - colonial

KW - ethno-nationalism

KW - identity

KW - Indonesia

KW - Indonesia Calling

KW - Left

KW - trans-national

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85053689721&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10357823.2018.1516733

DO - 10.1080/10357823.2018.1516733

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 607

EP - 625

JO - Asian Studies Review

JF - Asian Studies Review

SN - 1035-7823

IS - 4

ER -