Jan 19, 2018 Last Updated 3:31 AM, Jan 6, 2018

In this issue

Published: Sep 11, 2007


Gerry van Klinken

With less than half of the population, the thousands of islands that lie outside Java make up 93% of the archipelago's land area. The colonial Dutch already knew that things are different in the 'outer islands'. Thinly populated, the area is quite unlike the intensively cultivated and now increasingly industrialised island of Java. In parts, the economy is extractive. All the mines, forests and giant plantations are there. Elsewhere it is impoverished - 'nothing but rocks', as President Habibie said about East Timor. The outer islands retain a frontier atmosphere first created by the Dutch. As in America's Wild West, tycoons and gun-slinging thugs play fast and loose with the natives and the bush.

The June 7 election result tends to confirm this image of the colonial frontier. Golkar got thrashed all around the archipelago, but it retained a lot of votes, and even areas of dominance, in the outer island periphery. The map of provinces where Golkar won a majority - from West Kalimantan all the way to Irian Jaya - makes us think the New Order lingers still out there. The election brought an exhilarating renewal to the heartland of Java, as Laine Berman and John Olle point out in this edition. But in Aceh for example, as Vanessa Johanson tells us in a riveting report, it was a failure.

East Timor is not alone. The vast outer islands region confronts us with colonial violence and exploitation in so many places it should make us think more seriously than the Jakarta-obsessed media have done to date. Roger Moody and Kathy Robinson in this edition of Inside Indonesia take us to the nickel mines of Sulawesi. Andrew Kilvert takes us to Irian Jaya, Geoffrey Gunn to East Timor, and Phillip Winn to the remote and beautiful town of Bandaneira. The people who live there are all hoping the renewal Indonesia is experiencing will touch them too. We hope you enjoy the trip!

Gerry van Klinken (editor@insideindonesia.org) is the current editor of Inside Indonesia.

Inside Indonesia 60: Oct-Dec 1999

Latest Articles

Review: Identity and pleasure, on screen

Jan 06, 2018 - FADJAR I THUFAIL

Source: Cinema Poetica

Identity and Pleasure: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture invites us to embark on a visual journey of difficult episodes in Indonesian history

Essay: Masked but not hidden

Dec 04, 2017 - DUNCAN GRAHAM

Credit: Erlinawati Graham

A small museum in Java is preserving a storytelling tradition, and the thoughts and feelings behind it

Essay: Getting to know you through a pendopo

Nov 13, 2017 - DUNCAN GRAHAM

A look at the journey and contribution of a longtime Australian teacher and researcher of Indonesian Studies

When a history seminar becomes toxic

Nov 02, 2017 - SASKIA E WIERINGA

Attacks on a meeting of survivors of 1965 and their supporters at the offices of the Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta in September 2017 do not bode well for human...

Facing history

Oct 18, 2017 - ELSA CLAVE & ANDY FULLER

Credit: http://www.tribunal1965.org

A witness account of the 2015 International People’s Tribunal on 1965

Subscribe to Inside Indonesia

Receive Inside Indonesia's latest articles and quarterly editions in your inbox.

 


Lontar Modern Indonesia

Lontar-Logo-Ok

 

A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar

Readers said:

  • Marriage denied
    Sayed - 30 Nov
    I am from Pakistan and living in Indonesia and I am refugee here. I have been here a long time for 5 years but still I did not get any answer from ...
     
  • When a history seminar becomes toxic
    Duncan Graham - 12 Nov
    Thanks for this detailed account - most reports have been superficial. The politics have been done well, but what about the people? I would have ...
     
  • When a history seminar becomes toxic
    Jose - 11 Nov
    Inciting violence is a purpose in itself - violence begets more violence. Turning a peaceful event into a violent confrontation serves its own purpose ...
     
  • Mining – who benefits?
    uhaibm@yahoo.com - 04 Nov
    This paper has been inspired in relation to the exploitation of natural resources, specifically the coal mining industry. I am doing some research ...

30th Anniversary Book

Inside Indonesia - 30th Anniversary Photo Book

 

Have you bought your copy of Inside Indonesia's 30th Anniversary book yet?

The book features 30 of the judges' favourite images from the 2013 Inside Indonesia Photography Competition.

Preview the book  and order your copy online (Soft cover approx AUD$23.00 / Hard cover approx AUD$35.00).