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Accepted Paper:

Imagining the Future in a Doomed Environment: Aspirations and Worries of Dayak Youths in East Kalimantan, Indonesia  
Michaela Haug (University of Cologne)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how young Dayak in Indonesian Borneo imagine their future while they grow up in a rainforest environment that is rapidly shrinking and undergoing profound change.

Paper long abstract:

Indonesia owns some of the largest remaining rainforest areas on this planet – which are shrinking at alarming rates. Reports on past and present forest loss and future predictions of further deforestation and their contribution to the ever more threatening global ecological crisis are thus omnipresent. For the people that live in and depend on the Indonesian rainforests, these bleak future scenarios are not only frightening images, that pop up in the media. For them, they pose a serious threat to their livelihoods and many experience the effects of deforestation and environmental degradation in their daily lives.

Drawing on my research among the Dayak Benuaq, an indigenous group of Indonesian Borneo, my paper explores how people imagine their future while being faced by catastrophic predictions that suggest that they live in a doomed environment. My focus lies primarily on the perspective of young people and how they respond to these gloomy forecasts in their endeavour to create their own individual futures.I present their hopes and worries and discuss an ambivalent feeling of being torn between the hopes associated with individual planning for the future and rather gloomy expectations regarding general developments.

Panel Exti09a
Creations of the catastrophes: imagining hopeful and hopeless futures in a collapsing world I
  Session 1 Friday 2 April, 2021, -