Accepted Paper:

Mobilisation against land reclamation - Social media activism on Bali  

Author:

Birgit Bräuchler (University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

A nonviolent protest movement on Bali is currently articulating and mediatising dissatisfaction with the reclamation of land in Bali's south. Drawing on debates about global protest aesthetics and nonviolence the paper critically reflects on the challenges of social media activism on Bali.

Paper long abstract:

A nonviolent protest movement on Bali is currently publicly articulating and mediatising its dissatisfaction with the reclamation of land in Bali's south, meant to open up new space for tourism development. Drawing on current debates about performative aesthetics and nonviolence in global protest movements this paper looks at contemporary forms of mediatised resistance in Indonesia. Social movements, grassroots and marginalized people all over the world make increasing use of media to promote their cause - locally, nationally and internationally. Media have become a crucial means for nonviolent resistance and protest. In Indonesia, media were once the cornerstone of national unity. After an end was put to authoritarianism and press freedom was granted, media have become important means for subversive politics, empowering the marginalized, and resistance against the government, among others on Bali, the main tourist destination in Indonesia. Despite the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, the tourism industry is now booming more than ever before. The government is building on Bali's cultural capital, but its development policies are oriented towards increasing tourist numbers and infrastructure. Its aggressive development policies start to trigger resistance among the Balinese, who have long been depicted as peaceful, harmonious, cultural and apolitical people. In line with Balinese tradition, culture and art are being employed as weapons against outside intruders and as a means to criticise politics. The paper critically reflects on the potentials and the limits of social media activism on Bali.

Panel Tem01
Technological visions of the future: political ontologies and ethics