Books on Indonesia, West Papua, and Aceh
Books on Indonesia, West
Papua, and Aceh
B119 Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia
by Doreen Lee
In Activist Archives Doreen Lee tells the origins, experiences, and legacy of the radical Indonesian student movement that helped end the thirty-two-year dictatorship in May 1998. Lee situates the revolt as the most recent manifestation of student activists claiming a political and historical inheritance passed down by earlier generations of politicized youth. Combining historical and ethnographic analysis of "Generation 98," Lee offers rich depictions of the generational structures, nationalist sentiments, and organizational and private spaces that bound these activists together. She examines the ways the movement shaped new and youthful ways of looking, seeing, and being—found in archival documents from the 1980s and 1990s; the connections between politics and place; narratives of state violence; activists' experimental lifestyles; and the uneven development of democratic politics on and off the street. Lee illuminates how the interaction between official history, collective memory, and performance came to define youth citizenship and resistance in Indonesia’s transition to the post-Suharto present.
Elegantly written, rich with ethnographic and archival material, and bursting with theoretical insights, Activist Archives offers novel analysis of one of the most important subjects of contemporary Indonesia. In Doreen Lee's sensitive ethnography the student activist emerges expressing a mix of fiery passion, intellectual idealism, irreverent playfulness, hipster self-consciousness, nostalgia, rivalry, and disillusionment. --; Karen Strassler, author of, Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java
Duke University Press, 2016, 296 pp. $25
Unfinished Nation: Indonesia Before and After Suharto
Freedom in Entangled World: West Papua and the Architecture
of Global Power
Eben Kirksey first went to West Papua in 1998 as an exchange student. His later study of West Papua's resistance to the Indonesian occupiers and the forces of globalization morphed as he discovered that collaboration, rather than resistance, was the primary strategy of this dynamic social movement. Accompanying indigenous activists to Washington, London, and the offices of the oil giant BP, Kirksey saw the revolutionaries' knack for getting inside institutions of power and building coalitions with unlikely allies, including many Indonesians. He discovered that the West Papuans' pragmatic activism was based on visions of dramatic transformations on coming horizons, of a future in which they would give away their natural resources in grand humanitarian gestures, rather than passively watch their homeland be drained of timber, gold, copper, and natural gas. During a lengthy, brutal occupation, West Papuans have harbored a messianic spirit and channeled it in surprising directions. Kirksey studied West Papua's movement for freedom as a broad-based popular uprising gained traction from 1998. Blending extensive ethnographic research with indigenous parables, historical accounts, and compelling narratives of his own experiences, he argues that seeking freedom in entangled worlds requires negotiating complex interdependencies.
“Here at last is the account I can unreservedly recommend to anyone interested in the courageous people and fragile geography of West Papua. Eben Kirksey makes accessible the unique imagery of West Papuans long subject to racism, corporate exploitation, and a brutal military. Marshaling impeccable scholarship, he transcends conventional political ideology to define a form of conflict resolution relevant to many ‘entangled worlds.’ Bravo!”-- Max White, Amnesty International USA
"[A] page-turning blend of cultural analysis, human rights reportage, and ethnography..." -- Danilyn Rutherford, author of Laughing at Leviathan: Sovereignty and Audience in West Papua
A new book about the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region says Papuans have seemingly never-ending reserves of hope for self-determination. Freedom in Entangled Worlds is the culmination of almost 15 years of research about the West Papuan freedom struggle by American cultural anthropologist Eben Kirksey. His book documents the way West Papuans have collaborated with outside forces to further their cause rather than continue resistance against the Indonesian military forces in the region. --"New Technology Means West Papuans' Plight Won't Fade Away, Says Author" Radio New Zealand International, May 16, 2012
“[A]n interesting hybrid of an anthropological study crossed with an accessible history of the separatist movement in West Papua, Indonesia. . . . The book provides an engrossing history of the past two decades of this region, as well as a pointed narrative that implicates the Indonesian government and the multinational corporations seeking West Papua's natural resources in grave human rights abuses and promotion of state terror. . . .” -- S. Maxim, Choice
Duke University Press, 2012, 305 pp. $25 paperback
Review by Ed McWilliams for ETAN
B53 Indonesia’s Secret War in Aceh
of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem
B75 The Testimony Project:
Traveling extensively in West Papua and throughout Indonesia, Peter King has interviewed leading figures from the West Papuan Independence movement, church groups, and human rights NGOs. West Papua and Indonesia since Suharto places the current Papuan struggles in a context of failing Indonesian reform.
Peter King is a research associate in government and international relations at the University of Sydney.
University of NSW Press, 2004, 240 pp. $24.95
"King argues passionately and persuasively that international intervention to resolve Papua’s plight is essential: Australia, the US and other countries must act in concert through the UN once more, as they did in East Timor. Indonesians must be persuaded that their best interests lie not in a ‘security approach’ but in dialogue and negotiation with the Papuans and other disenchanted minorities."
Read review: West Papua’s long struggle for justice
Interfaith Endeavours for Peace in West Papua
B114 Brown Journal of World Affairs: Keeping Sukarno’s Promise? Megawati’s Indonesia
This issue contains a collection of essays, speeches and articles by a range of academics analyzing the social, political and economic state of the then-newly-democratic Indonesia. Articles address the challenges Indonesia faced as it comes out Suharto’s shadow. The journal also features an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, former U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and former Deputy Secretary of Defense and a section on the international trade in small arms.
The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 2002, 362 pp.$25 paperback.
Reformasi and Resistance: Human Rights Defenders and Counterterrorism in
President Suharto's fall from power in 1998 ushered in a period of political reform (reformasi). But democratization has been met with resistance, and after September 11, 2001, rising military influence in Indonesia was reinforced by an international environment that emphasizes security concerns at the expense of rights and freedoms. These convergent forces contributed to renewed conflict in the province of Aceh, antiterrorism legislation that reversed hard-won safeguards, and continued attacks on human rights defenders.Human Rights First, 2005, 28 pp. Paperback. $10
B107 Autonomy and Disintegration in
This book analyses social unrest, autonomy and separatism in the wake of the Indonesian economic crisis, placing them in the context of state evolution, and looking at the competing aims of economic and political globalization with local agendas. Topics covered include Indonesian nationalism in historical perspective, identity and the nation-state, NGO activism, and case-studies from Aceh, Papua, East Timor and Sumatra.
This is a very thought-provoking book, and it provides a vivid, if disturbing, portrait of a nation in transition and crisis. - Journal of Asian Studies
RoutledgeCurzon 2003 219 pp. $40 paperback
- A Day in the Life of U.S.-Indonesia Trade