Identity politics and style in the Malay music and culture of Riau Islands

MISS 1 - February 11

'Identity politics and style in the Malay music and culture of Indonesia’s Riau Islands'

Presenter - Professor Margaret Kartomi

When the postcolonial state of Indonesia committed itself to democracy and local autonomy in 1999, the Riau Islanders lobbied against decades of ‘internal colonialism’ and neglect by mainland Riau (of which they were part). Eventually they were granted permission to establish their own autonomous Riau Islands province. The new Riau Islander government encouraged the province to choose music, dance and theatre forms of which they were most proud, to promote and revitalise them as their local icons of identity following a major Festival of Malay Civilisation in the capital, Tanjung Pinang, in 2013.

This seminar explored the promotion and revitalisation of local culture and identity. Discussion focused on key themes in the book such as: artistic icons and their significance, changing performance styles, Indonesian-Malay concepts of space, place and generative memory codes that govern stylistic norms.

Watch the webinar here.