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Editors Wacana

Adrian Vickers

In Bali, heritage is more-or-less synonymous with tradition. The popular view of what constitutes Bali’s heritage tends to focus on the village and wider district of Ubud. Through examining at the strategies employed by the lords of Ubud during the middle part of the twentieth century, we can better understand how the image of heritage sites is created. In the case of Ubud, the construction of centre of tradition was carried out through alliances with local artists and with expatriates, notably Rudolf Bonnet. The latter were able to mobilize publicity and networks to attract resources and elevate the district’s reputation.

Finding a place for art archives

Reflections on archiving Indonesian and Southeast Asian art

Farah Wardani

This article is a collection of reflections of art archiving work in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, focusing on building an Indonesian art archive at Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA), 2006-2015, and Southeast Asian art archives at National Gallery Singapore, from 2015 to the present. The article provides insights, learning points, and perspectives on the importance of art archives to support art historical research and the development of art history in Southeast Asia. It sheds light on the challenges, opportunities, and current developments in the field of building archives.

From archaeological artefact to unlimited heritage concept

Redefining museum collection in the disruption era

Ali Akbar

The last two decades show how artefacts and heritage that have become museum collections have experienced the development of meaning. Along with that, disruption era, a period filled with changes caused by new innovations, which results in instability, during the last decade has affected various lines of life including museums. Meanwhile, the study on disruptive impacts on museums is considered rare, and specific studies in Indonesia, mainly in Jakarta, have not been found. This paper discusses the change of visitors’ point of view on collection and the strategy to invite the public so that they are willing to visit museums during this time. The methods used in this research are literature studies, observation, and predictive analysis by applying the theory of disruptive innovation (King and Baatartogtokh 2015). It is concluded that museums should display real collection as well as intangible culture, try to present real natural environment, increase community members’ participation, and keep themselves up-to-date with socio-cultural changes in the society.

From rubbish to cultural identity

Making archaeology relevant for the contemporary community

Irmawati Marwoto

Archaeological relevance for the present has become an important issue in the world of archaeology. This paper aims to examine how the biography of artefacts of pottery fragments from the old Banten site, the site of Banten Sultanate of the sixteenth century AD, became a marker of the cultural identity of Banten people today. These pottery fragments were studied using Michael Thompson’s rubbish theory (1979), which observes how the value of objects shifts from transient to rubbish to durable. Using the rubbish theory, archaeological practices that have only been aimed at scientific purposes can be useful for the people of Banten today. This paper will also discuss how people who have been ignored become an important part of archaeological practice and how archaeology can have an economic impact on today’s society.

The local and provincial archival collections on Java from the colonial era

The preliminary results of the inventorization project

Nadia F. Dwiandari and Johan van Langen

The National Archives of Indonesia (Jakarta) and the National Archives of the Netherlands (The Hague) have been collaborating on the Java Archival Guide Project. This project, which initially ran from 2016 to 2017, will be continued in a second phase. It will provide insight into the size and richness of the local and provincial archives formed on Java during the colonial period after the dissolution of the Dutch East India Company (1800-1949). The whereabouts of these archives in Indonesia have been unknown to many researchers, preventing access to academics, local historians, and family researchers. The collections encountered during the research for this project date from the last days of the Dutch East India Company to the Japanese invasion and the years of the Indonesian National Revolution. The completed phase of the project was limited to the repositories of local and provincial governmental agencies on Java. In some cases the colonial collections seem to have disappeared, and in others, the records seem to have survived the years almost intact.

The Panther’s Fang

In search of Indonesian television archives

Els Bogaerts

The television serial Siung Macan Kombang (The Panther’s Fang), produced and broadcast by TVRI Stasiun Yogyakarta in 1992, has lived on in the collective memory of Javanese television audiences. Likewise, Indosiar’s Javanese drama programmes, broadcast in the mid-1990s, retrieve reminiscences of past times, when private broadcasters served specific ethnic and linguistic audiences with local entertainment linked to tradition. However, since most Indonesian television stations have not archived their audio-visual collections, the public no longer has access to audio-visual content from a deeper past. Hence these cultural resources have become intangible heritage; when the programmes cease to be recollected in tales and blogs, they vanish from Indonesian media history and fall into oblivion. This lack of archives affects historical research significantly. As I demonstrate in the main part of this article, resources like scripts and the print press could assist television scholars to approximate historical broadcasts and broadcasting history as closely as possible. Nevertheless, however useful they are, they do not disclose the performative and televisual aspects of the programmes. To demonstrate the value and riches of audio-visual archives, in the final part I show how a small collection of Javanese-language television programmes in a Dutch university library could reveal a wealth of information concerning performance on Indonesian television and about television itself.

Editors Wacana

Religion, communism, and Ratu Adil

Colonialism and propaganda literature in 1920s Yogyakarta

Sri Margana

This article examines the social realities of literary works and the colonial perceptions of socio-political movement inspired by the ideologies of Islam, communism, and the Just King (Ratu Adil). The main sources for this study are four propaganda literatures published by the Resident of Yogyakarta, Louis Frederik Dingemans (1924-1927). It employs post-colonial literary theory to analyse the colonial authority’s perceptions of Islam, communism, and Ratu Adil, and examines how colonial rulers (as colonizers) positioned themselves as above indigenous society (the colonized) as the guardians of moral, social, and political order.

Joëlla van Donkersgoed

The history of the Banda Islands is revealed in material and immaterial heritage which can still be narrated, visited and experienced today. Using the technological tools available in the Digital Humanities, this paper proposes a project to create a virtual interactive platform in which documents and stories related to the colonial past can be gathered. Tools like crowd-sourcing and crowd-mapping can be used to establish this archive from the bottom-up, creating a platform allowing both the former colonizer and colonized to reflect on the past. Moreover, it will provide scholars with a source of information to revisit the history of the Banda Islands. This particular history is part of the current public debate in the Netherlands regarding the colonial past, moreover, it is central to the narrative concerning the ongoing conservation efforts to prepare the islands’ heritage to become an UNESCO World Heritage site for Indonesia.