City, Morality, and Politicisation: An Indonesian Case

Setiawan, Dwi (2015) City, Morality, and Politicisation: An Indonesian Case. In: Adaptation and the Metropolis, 25-09-2015 - 25-09-2015, London - United Kingdom.

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    This paper aims to discuss the representations and repressions of city in an Indonesian novel The Dancer (1982), written by Ahmad Tohari during the military era, and its post-military film adaptation with the same title by Ifa Isfansyah. The military regime tried to project the urban space as a solid, steady, and modern reality because it was a proof of the regime’s successful developmentalism. While the representation is supported by popular literature and cinema, more ‘serious’ works portray the urban space as “a site of socio-economic disjuncture and moral contradiction” (Paramadhita 500). However, in terms of re-solution, the latter are still trapped in the activisms of the middle class, which were the regime’s very concept of social improvement (Aspinall). In contrast, the post-military era’s literature and cinema tend to embrace the city and its contradictions, and this frees them from the middle class’ guilt as well as the urban poor’s radicalism. Following the realist trend of his time, Tohari’s novel portrays the city of Dawuan as a place of socio-economic tension and moral hypocrisy. The city’s middle class is negatively depicted as the source of politicisation in the neighbouring Paruk village. Nonetheless, the divided and hypocritical Dawuan is still seen as a better community than the backward and sexually immoral Paruk. The political and moral salvation for Paruk comes from the ‘apolitical’ military forces from the same city. Isfanyah’s adaptation follows the narrative of the novel regarding the city’s politicisation of the village. Yet, while showing the benevolence of the urban military, the film also shows its involvement in the destruction of the village and dis-engages it from the village’s future. The sexual immorality is associated mainly with the village but fairly suppressed in the film.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Additional Information: Seperti umumnya seminar humaniora di UK, seminar ini tidak menerbitkan proceedings. Saya masukkan di sini supaya programme book dll dapat masuk di repository untuk pengajuan KUM.
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban space, countryside, development, immorality
    Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
    Divisions: Faculty of Letter > English Department
    Depositing User: Admin
    Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2019 21:57
    Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 23:09
    URI: http://repository.petra.ac.id/id/eprint/18472

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