Accepted Paper:

"Lacks integrity and authenticity": trade, trading and uncomfortable encounters between heritage, globalisation and livelihood in Jakarta  


Traci Sudana (University of the Sunshine Coast)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers recognition and performance of trade and trading in Jakarta's old town, and considers how trade and trading impact upon livelihoods and everyday socialities.

Paper long abstract:

In July 2018, Jakarta's old town was rejected as a Heritage Listed site by UNESCO on the grounds that it "lacks integrity and authenticity".

That the area was once host to a "golden age of trade" was not disputed.

This paper fast forwards to a more contemporary Indonesia, and considers why some trades flourish and others are threatened in present day Jakarta, and how performance of trade influences everyday socialities.

This specific cultural context is considered through Aihwa Ong's concepts around the interplay of global forces intersecting with everyday practices. Of interest, is how different trade and traders get different investment, care and protection from the state, based on their relationship to global capital. Furthermore, how does this impact upon livelihood and socialities?

The paper is based on more than 24 months of longitudinal ethnographic field work with trans-regional medicine traders in Jakarta between 2007-2018. When this research commenced, trading medicine by the roadside was a popular profession. Fast forward to 2018, and medicine trading in this form is a threatened practice, often because of issues of perceived integrity and inauthenticity, while other forms of trade flourish.

Panel P04
Performing heritage, sustaining livelihoods: resilience, recognition and relationality