ASEAS 7(2) – Imagining Indonesia

Issue 7(2) was published in December, 2014. Find all article downloads below!


  • Imagining Indonesia From Afar: Exploratory Thoughts on Utopian, Nostalgic, and Embodied Longing for the Homeland – Antje Missbach & Henri Myrttinen
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-1
    pdficon_small Download PDF

Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia

  • Returning to the Kampung Halaman: Limitations of Cosmopolitan Transnational Aspirations Among Hakka Chinese Indonesians Overseas – Emily Hertzman
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-2
    pdficon_small Download PDF
    Migrants originating from Singkawang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, experience limitations in their ability to engage in host societies overseas despite their hopes and fantasies of becoming cosmopolitan transnational citizens. Marginality, stemming from the lower status associated with being a migrant, as well as forms of parochialism which hinder the ability to adopt a flexible attitude to cultural difference combine and lead to a significant reimagining of those original cosmopolitan fantasies. Essentializing characterizations of “us” versus “them” reveal some of the difficulties of being received in other societies and come to constitute a recuperative discourse in which migrants can preserve a sense of self – as Hakka Chinese Indonesians – when the value of that identity is called into question. In this context, migrants experience practical limitations in translating cosmopolitan fantasies into lived realities. As a response, a romantic nostalgia for the home is constructed, which in turn provides the imaginative resources used for planning a return to the kampung halaman (Indonesian: home/home town).
    Keywords: Chinese Indonesians; Cosmopolitanism; Home; Marginality; Migration
  • Mother Tongue, Mothering, and (Transnational) Identity: Indonesian Mothers in Canberra, Australia – Ariane Utomo
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-3
    pdficon_small Download PDF
    This article focuses on the cultural-linguistic maintenance rationales, efforts, and experiences of a group of Indonesian mothers residing in Canberra, Australia. The conceptual framework rests on the premise of a bidirectional relationship between migration and mothering, and how this dynamic shapes the identities of both migrant mothers and, potentially, their children. The article’s auto-ethnographic approach centers on my involvement in a small community organization in Canberra that runs Indonesian language and dancing classes, primarily targeting young children of parents with Indonesian background. I argue that, while mothers’ collective efforts in this institutional setting may not be effective enough in achieving a native level of language proficiency among second generation children, the club facilitates the production of shared transnational identities among migrant mothers and the mothers’ collective aspirations for their children’s transnational identities.
    Keywords: Indonesian Diaspora; Migrant Mothers; Migration; Mothering; Transnational Families
  • Challenging a Home Country: A Preliminary Account of Indonesian Student Activism in Berlin, Germany Syafiq Hasyim
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-4
    pdficon_small Download PDF
    This article gives an overview on Indonesian student activism in Berlin, Germany. Based on documents (published and unpublished), interviews, and conversations with former and current student activists, the paper scrutinizes the trajectory of activism of Indonesian students in the capital of Germany since the 1960s and asks about the evolution of specific student organizations, the issues and topics they tackled, and their media and networking strategies. The article illustrates the activities of the PPI Berlin as a dominant example of Indonesian students’ political activism abroad and the activities of Indonesian Muslim students as a prominent example of religious-based activism which has gained significance since the fall of Suharto. These examples indicate the diversity of Indonesian student activists in Berlin that are nevertheless united in their aspirations to challenge politics back home.
    Keywords: Anti-Suharto Protests; Berlin; Indonesian Student Activism; Indonesian Student Associations; Religious-Based Activism
  • East Timorese in Australia: Affective Relations, Identity, and Belonging in a Time of Political Crisis – Hedda Haugen Askland
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-5
    pdficon_small Download PDF
    This article considers the relationship between the East Timorese diaspora and its homeland. More specifically, it explores how a group of East Timorese exiles living in Melbourne, Australia, who left East Timor or were born in exile from the time of the 1975 civil war up to the end of the Indonesian occupation of the territory in 1999, was affected by the 2006–2007 political conflict in East Timor. The article considers how past diasporic practice established the East Timorese community in Melbourne as a largely homeland-focused community and how the subsequent centrality of the discourse of home exposed the exiles to the political events of 2006–2007. Through an analysis of Pierre Bourdieu’s (1977) notions of habitus and practice, the article explores how the crisis affected the exiles’ sense of self, community, and nation, and how it led to a process of negotiation whereby the notions of the homeland and exilic longing were muted through a gradual movement away from the translocal sphere. The article represents a contribution to the discussion of diaspora as process, condition, and consciousness; that is, diaspora as a dynamic, culturally and politically reflexive group that mediates between and negotiates competing pressures of multiple homes, cultures, and social domains. It sheds light on issues related to political mobilization, peace, and conflict, and the role of reciprocity, trust, and emotions.
    Keywords: East Timorese Diaspora; Emotions; Habitus; Political Unrest; Translocal Practice
  • Imagining the Land of the Two Holy Mosques: The Social and Doctrinal Importance of Saudi Arabia in Indonesian Salafi Discourse – Chris Chaplin
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-6
    pdficon_small Download PDF
    The emergence of Salafi Islam within Indonesia has shifted the imaginary boundaries of Islamic identity. Although relatively small in numbers, Salafis propagate a religious discourse linked to scholars in Saudi Arabia. While it cannot be regarded as merely a type of ‘Saudization’, the kingdom is frequently exemplified as a model for a pious society as well as pragmatic solutions on how to deal with contemporary issues ranging from justice to terrorism. Indeed, Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal part in the Salafi imaginary, balancing a historical Islamic past with a modernist religious present and future. Based on fieldwork conducted from 2011 to 2012 in Yogyakarta, this paper builds upon this premise, offering both a description and an analysis of the importance of the kingdom as a source of educational sponsorship but also, more interestingly, as a source of religious authority and social ideals, articulated within contemporary religious literature and the movement’s study sessions (kajian). More pointedly, I argue that actors use Saudi Arabia to construct an imaginary ideal through which social and religious issues are contemplated and compared to apparent Indonesian ‘social corruption’.
    Keywords: Indonesia; Religious Renewal; Salafism; Saudi Arabia; Social Imaginaries

Im Dialog / In Dialogue

  • Seeing Indonesia From Behind Bars: An Interview With Vannessa Hearman – Antje Missbach
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-7
    pdficon_small Download PDF –  
    In the aftermath of the 1965 military coup that brought right-wing General Suharto to power in Indonesia, (para)military death squads killed between half and one million al­leged communists (especially union members, landless farmers, and intellectuals). Van­nessa Hearman completed her doctoral thesis at the University of Melbourne on the 1965–1968 anti-communist killings and violence in East Java, and the New Order regime’s struggle to win acceptance following the killings. She is currently a lecturer at the Depart­ment of Indonesian Studies, University of Sydney. In one of her current research projects, she is researching transnational activist and friendship networks born out of letters writ­ten by and to political prisoners incarcerated between 1965 and 1985 as part of the anti-communist persecution in Indonesia. In this interview, conducted in Perth, Australia, in July 2014, Vannessa Hearman speaks about political prisoners in Indonesia under the Suharto regime, their exchange of letters with pen friends around the globe, and what can be learned from these letters until today.

Südostasien sehen / Southeast Asia Visually

  • Tirolesia: A Trans-Medial Art Project Bridging Two Regions – Helena Manhartsberger
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-8
    pdficon_small Download PDF

Rezensionen / Book Reviews

  • Book Review: Ear, S. (2013).
    Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy 
    Sayed Nasrat
    DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-9
    pdficon_small Download PDF