Indigenous media and conflict transformation in Indonesia

This project looks at indigenous media in Indonesia and how they contribute to transforming structural and cultural violence that is deeply rooted in the Indonesian state’s treatment of indigenous peoples. The project aims to investigate whether the use of (new) media can help transform conflictual communication and relations between indigenous peoples and the state and thus contribute to national peace-building.

Due to a developing global human rights culture and thriving civil societies worldwide, indigenous peoples became aware of the need of self-representation with indigenous media projects becoming an important (nonviolent) means to wage war against misrepresentations, land grabbing and cultural genocide. The project aims to analyse such emerging indigenous mediascapes in Indonesia as well as their embeddedness in broader socio-political contexts and media landscapes where indigenous media strategically interact with mainstream media, thus challenging established power relations. Such complexities can only be grasped through ethnographic fieldwork to be conducted online and in central and eastern Indonesia. It allows for a culturally informed view from below and an original contribution to the field of peace and conflict studies.

This project accumulates new knowledge and provides scientific advice that can be used by policy makers and NGOs who are at the interface of indigenous peoples, governmental organisations and peacebuilding in Indonesia.

Chief Investigator Dr Habil Birgit Braeuchler

Funder German Foundation for Peace Research, Germany

Date of Award 2016