Gesturing elsewhere: the identity politics of the Balinese death/thrash metal scene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This essay explores the political significance of Balinese death/thrash fandom. In the early 1990s, the emergence of a death/thrash scene in Bali paralleled growing criticism of accelerated tourism development on the island. Specifically, locals protested the increasing ubiquity of Jakarta, 'the centre', cast as threatening to an authentically 'low', peripheral Balinese culture. Similarly, death/thrash enthusiasts also gravitated toward certain fringes, although they rejected dominant notions of Balinese-ness by gesturing elsewhere, toward a global scene. The essay explores the ways in which death/thrash enthusiasts engaged with local discourses by coveting their marginality, and aims to demonstrate how their articulations of 'alien-ness' contributed in important ways to a broader regionalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalPopular Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Cite this