Noken. Die Netztaschen Westpapuas im Spannungsfeld von lokaler, nationaler und internationaler Kulturpolitik

Translated title of the contribution: Noken : the nets of Westpapuas in the tension of local, national and international cultural policy

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The right to culture has become a buzzword in local, national and international politics - from the debates about democracy, nation-state and local identity to the rights of indigenous groups to a propagated world cultural heritage. While a process-based understanding of culture has long replaced essentialist ideas, national and international politics are still often concerned with the essence of a culture. The traditional net pockets of West Papua, the so-called noken, which have recently been declared an intangible world cultural heritage by UNESCO, serve as a hanger for examining the different, often contradicting, conceptualizations of culture at local, national and international levels.

In addition, the mesh pockets have additional, sometimes contradictory meanings due to their embedding in national and international dynamics. They stand for local identity and indigenousness, they are recognized as world cultural heritage and they act as symbols for integration in, but also for resistance to the nation state. The article argues that culture, as it materializes in the net pockets, implies recognition and integration as well as folklorization, exclusion and competition. By identifying and analyzing various, often divergent, forms of belonging and the balance of power involved in West Papua, this article examines the ambivalences of the right to culture in Indonesia and beyond.
Translated title of the contributionNoken : the nets of Westpapuas in the tension of local, national and international cultural policy
Original languageGerman
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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