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Project Schlehe/Müller

 

Popular Historical Cultures in Indonesia: Current References to the Past in the Context of Democratisation and Decentralisation

 

Spaces, media and meanings of the popular production of knowledge are by no means identical across the globe in times of globalisation, but rather shaped by local, cultural and political factors. This project is based on the example of Indonesia. There, democratisation, decentralisation and Islamisation are presently linked to volatile new processes of negotiation of cultural identities. Thereby, reference to the past plays an important role in creating identification and legitimacy. This goes not just for academic historiography and official memory culture, but equally as much for popular stagings of ‘traditions’ and references to the past. Popularly displayed historical culture in Indonesia is reflected in various expressive forms of portrayal, the spectrum of which ranges from religious rituals to miscellaneous art genres to festivals, parades and heritage maintenance in both an urban and rural context. These forms will be examined and connected to questions of how, from whom and with which effects they are produced, expressed, propagated, experienced and related to ideas of past and belonging and to images of local distinctiveness and subsequent processes of inclusion and exclusion. The focus is thereby on the interplay of popular stagings and subjective understandings of the past as well as its everyday relevance. Particular attention will be paid to Indonesian youths and, moreover, ethnic Chinese. The project is based on ethnological field research on Java and Sulawesi.

Project Director: Prof. Dr. Judith Schlehe (Ethnology)

Assistant: Evamaria Müller, M. A. (Ethnology)

 

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