Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0006-2294 / 2213-4379
Published by: Brill Academic Publishers (10.1163)
Total articles ≅ 4,567
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Latest articles in this journal

Verena Meyer
Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 177, pp 234-242; https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-bja10031

Abstract:
Candra Aditya’s short film Dewi pulang (2018) shows how Dewi’s life in Jakarta is in tension with the life of her Javanese village, to which she returns when her father dies. Understanding Jakarta and the village as Wittgensteinean ‘forms of life’, I argue that the film portrays the two as simultaneously antagonistic and mutually intertwined, as each form of life is present in the other as a trace. The film uses the Javanese literary convention of sěmu, through which subtle messages are simultaneously revealed and concealed, to suggest that the transcendence of the conflict in the final scene defies reification through language because it seems impossible. By pointing to the reality of the unthinkable, the film proposes an understanding of incompatible forms of life and social locations as connected through complex interplays of presences and absences.
Caroline Drieënhuizen,
Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 177, pp 290-311; https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-bja10012

Abstract:
Natural history museums have long escaped postcolonial or decolonial scrutiny; their specimens were and are usually presented as part of the natural world, containing only biological or geological information. However, their collections, like those of other museums, are rooted in colonial practices and thinking. In this article, we sketch a political and decolonial biography of ‘Java Man’, the fossilized remains of a Homo erectus specimen, housed in Naturalis, the Natural History Museum, in the Netherlands. We describe the context of Dutch colonialism and the role of indigenous knowledge and activity in the discovery of Java Man. We also follow Java Man to the Netherlands, where it became a contested specimen and part of a discussion about repatriation. This article argues that the fossils of Java Man and their meanings are products of ‘creolized’ knowledge systems produced by Empire and sites of competing national and disciplinary histories and identities.
Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 177, pp 344-378; https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-bja10030

Abstract:
This article suggests that legalization and amnesty programmes have not been able to reduce undocumented migration in Malaysia for two reasons. First, the programmes merely serve as a registration tool that provides foreign workers with short-term work permits and as a surveillance tool to keep track of foreign workers. Second, the temporary work permits granted are no substitute for a migrant-labour management policy in addressing the acute shortage of low-skilled workers. Despite the introduction of these programmes, undocumented migrants have continued to exist because employers prefer to hire undocumented workers in their ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of costs, and the workers are dependent on their employers and agents as the gatekeepers of their legal immigration status. In 2016 and 2019, the Malaysian government introduced two reforms to its legalization and amnesty programmes: it eliminated outsourcing of the process in the Rehiring Programme (2016) and barred repatriated migrants from re-entering the country under the Back for Good amnesty programme (2019). Though these reforms have partially addressed the limitations of the previous programmes, they have not addressed the root cause of migrant labourers working without proper documentation.
Harry A. Poeze
Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 177, pp 445-459; https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-17702015

Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia, Volume 177, pp 208-220; https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-bja10027

Abstract:
Dewi pulang (Dewi goes home), the 2016 short film by Candra Aditya, offers a means to redefine the meaning of independence for contemporary Indonesian screen production. In the years of Reformasi following the end of the New Order, to be independent was to be in solidarity with the reform movement, and to express a DIY sensibility that did not rely on big production companies or the state. In recent years, the meaning of independence has been complicated by a changing cultural economy of film, including the accommodation of many previously independent filmmakers into the mainstream. Rather than seeing independence embodied in the film or filmmaker, this essay considers the history of short film and the foundational role of komunitas (communities) as the location for independent media practice. Independence is theorized as a characteristic of the assemblage of organizations, events, and infrastructures that facilitate the production, circulation, and consumption of short film.
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