Cars, Conduits and Kampongs offers a wide panorama of the modernization of the cities in Indonesia between 1920 and 1960. The contributions present a case for asserting that Indonesian cities were not merely the backdrop to processes of modernization and rising nationalism, but formed a causal factor. Modernization, urbanization, and decolonization were intrinsically linked. The various chapters deal with such innovations as the provision of medical treatments, fresh water and sanitation, the implementation of town planning and housing designs, and policies for coping with increased motorized traffic and industrialization. The contributors share a broad critique of the economic and political dimensions of colonialism, but remain alert to the agency of colonial subjects who respond, often critically, to a European modernity.
Contributors include: Freek Colombijn, Joost Coté, Saki Murakami, Michelle Kooy, Karen Bakker, Pauline K.M. van Roosmalen, Hans Versnel, Farabi Fakih, Radjimo Sastro Wijono, Gustaaf Reerink, Arjan Veering, Johny A. Khusyairi, Purnawan Basundoro, Ida Liana Tanjung, and Sarkawi B. Husain.
Freek Colombijn is an anthropologist and historian, currently working at VU University Amsterdam. He has published about urban development, pre-colonial state formation, environmental history, and violence in Indonesia. His current research is about environmental awareness and solid waste in cities.
Joost Coté is Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, (History) at Monash University. His research focuses on colonial and nationalist discourses in late colonial Indonesia. He is currently researching the biography of colonial town planner Thomas Karsten and his vision of Indonesian modernity.
All interested in the articulations between modernization, urbanization, decolonization and nationalism in colonial and postcolonial societies; all interested in the modern history of Indonesia, urban planning, urban development and colonialism.