CfP EUROSEAS 2015 Panel: “Indigenous mediascapes in Indonesia”


Call for Papers
8th EuroSEAS Conference, Vienna
August 11-14, 2015

Panel “Indigenous mediascapes in Indonesia”


Prof. Dr. Birgit Bräuchler, Institut für Ethnologie, Goethe Universität Frankfurt,

Description of Panel

The international advancement of collective human rights led to the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. It included the right of indigenous peoples to establish their own media and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.

While in places such as the USA or Canada indigenous peoples’ media use has attracted a lot of attention and fostered the rise of a ‘new media nation’ (Alia), there is a glaring lack of research on indigenous media in Indonesia. Recent democratisation processes in the country led, among others, to the gradual adoption of international policies on cultural human rights, the re-constitution of the original autonomy of local communities, their reclaiming of resources, and freedom of the press. Media – once the cornerstone of national unity – became increasingly used by different groups to push through their political and economic interests and as weapons in the many regional conflicts in the post-Suharto era. The expanding media scene was used to further marginalise and stereotype indigenous peoples as ‘primitive’ on an even broader scale, but it also fostered empowerment and the new indigenous movement in Indonesia is increasingly making use of media to ‘talk back’.

This panel aims to explore emerging indigenous mediascapes in Indonesia. It looks at how indigenous people or people claiming to be indigenous or to represent indigenous peoples use media for diverse objectives: e.g. to promote and strengthen their culture (for internal or tourism purposes or international recognition), to fight for their rights, to reclaim their land, to struggle against government policies and big resource businesses, to link up with the global indigenous movement, or seek international support. Whereas this panel aims to consider the whole range of media put to use, a special focus will be on new (integrative) media, such as websites, social media and mobile media/phones. Objective is to analyse indigenous media projects in their own terms, but also look at their embeddedness in specific sociocultural contexts and the broader Indonesian media landscape thus taking the interactions between indigenous and non-indigenous media actions and actors into account. As ‘indigeneity’ is a contested category in Indonesia, contributors are also asked to critically reflect on what ‘indigenous’ means in the context in question, who is claiming to represent whom, and what other conflicts such potentially essentialising and exclusionary categories may trigger. Contributions are ideally based on both theoretical reflections with regards to existing or new concepts of mediatisation, indigenous media and the struggle for cultural rights and on empirical data from anthropological research on the ground.

Please send your paper title and abstract (max. 350 words), along with your institutional affiliation and a short bio sketch (max. 150 words), to birgitbraeuchler[at] by February 15.