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CSEAS Fridays at Noon Lecture Series. #Refuse to Forget, #Remember 65: Millennials and Affective Engagement with New Order Violence

Elizabeth Drexler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State Universit
Friday, January 19, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
Room 555 Weiser Hall Map
Since 1998, Indonesian NGOs have launched numerous campaigns against unresolved cases of New Order (1966-1998) authoritarian violence. Early efforts led by those with direct experience of New Order era repression focused on documentation, gathering testimonies, organizing victims, raising awareness, “straightening” history, and advocating for human rights tribunals and other legal forms of justice. Currently, these modes of engagement and organization are changing, particularly among millennials. Drawing on field research between 2014-2017, I consider how youth are engaged and invoked by differently positioned actors and advocates and how youth themselves initiate projects to understand, know, and remember authoritarian violence. I document and analyze a shift in these campaigns from earlier legal and documentary modes of truth seeking and history writing to strategies of presentation and engagement that rely on embodied memory, “living in”, empathy, historical re-enactment, art, music, drama and aesthetics. While these current affective initiatives are deeply political, those who enact them often claim a space beyond politics. As stigmatization, historical injustices, and shades of authoritarianism persist despite on-going efforts to #remember history, I suggest that the affective dynamics linking and dividing historical moments, individuals and groups drive both action and inaction in the political present.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Discussion, Politics, Social, Southeast Asia
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Southeast Asian Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures