Forskarseminarium: "Towards a Representational Frontier:.." med Sindhunata Hargyono


Datum: måndag 11 november 2024

Tid: 13.00 – 14.30

Plats: B600

Forskarseminarium: "Towards a Representational Frontier: The Making of the Indonesian National Front Yard" med Sindhunata Hargyono


In 2014, regime change in Indonesia brought an unprecedented nationwide infrastructure development project in historically marginalized border regions. I see this project as a double-voiced instance of frontier opening. On the one hand, the project aims at repurposing mostly rural border regions into productive resource frontiers by introducing new infrastructures that would facilitate better state controls and capital valorization. On the other hand, this project inaugurates what I call as representational frontier. This frontier occurs when frontier makers asymmetrically frame the limits and potentialities of “remote spaces” primarily through the language of sensorial perception, such as aesthetic regime and judgment. In Indonesia, the emergence of representational frontier is influenced by past territorial lost, entailing border development doctrine (i.e., seeing border regions as the national front yard), and the rise of a hyper-empirical political leader. It manifests in current planning and construction of monumental infrastructures designed to “accurately” represent the quality of the nation towards some imagined ever-gazing foreigners from across the border. This infrastructure politics of monumentality in Indonesian representational frontier, I suggest, provides a lens to reflect on the concept of territory and citizenship scripted into this border infrastructure development project. Here, the edge of territory radiates rather than envelops; and citizenship is primarily reconfigured in the granting of viewing, rather than ethical, rights to border communities.


Sindhunata Hargyono, Leuphana University Lüneburg.