YALE INDONESIA FORUM WORKSHOP 2008
The past can be memorialized in any of a wide variety of ways. Monuments, archival records, and political rhetoric all carry forward memories and narratives of what has gone before. In Indonesia, though, history is preserved by very different means, and the popular narrative of events is often found in arts and media.
As important as the arts are for discovering the past, though, the past is also important for the creation of art. Memories and historical events constitute an important topic for literature, music, dance, film, and other art in the archipelago. Often art is inspired by a desire to promote or preserve a narrative of struggle or success.
The Yale Indonesia Forum Workshop 2008 wants to look at the reciprocal relationship of narrative, memory and history with arts and culture in Indonesia. It aims to address, yet hopes not be strictly limited to, some of the following questions: What is the relationship between contemporary art forms and regional or national identity in Indonesia? What are the continuing influences of religion and nationalism on the arts? What are the creative and dynamic interactions between ‘traditional’ art forms and more contemporary? What are the evolving relationships between Indonesian art form and Western modernism? What have been the effects of an increasing commoditization of and international interest in the Indonesian art world? What is the role of art criticism within the Indonesian media on shaping the arts there, and what are the roles of external influences? How do local discourses about the arts differ from global or academic discourse? How has state sponsorship for the arts changed in the reformasi era, and how have artists responded?
Bringing together three pairs of a senior and a junior scholar, the conference organizers hope to achieve a balance between academic research that addresses these questions, by Indonesians and others, as well as bring in people actively and creatively engaged in contemporary Indonesian arts, media and culture.