The Women’s March in Jakarta

I was in Jakarta for a quick three-day trip to attend the Women’s March last Saturday morning. The Women’s March was a moving carnival of hundreds of people; mostly young Indonesian women, a few genderqueer individuals, men, and some white people. Is the Women’s March ‘Indonesian’ in spite of its name? I’d say the Women’s… Continue reading The Women’s March in Jakarta

My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

I feel pleased and humbled to announce the publication of my first book, Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema (2017 Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters can purchased separately here) based on my field research between 2011 and 2012 in Jakarta and Yogyakarta where I was privileged to interview film directors, film producers, festival organisers, film critics and enthusiasts in… Continue reading My first book: Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema

Mapping gender in public toilets of the non-Western world

First published on The State Magazine on 10 July 2013 Toilets: we need them as we all pee and shit. It seems as if our most basic homeostatic functions exist outside of time and space, abiding by their own internal laws. This article, however, is about the laws that are external to the corporeal vessel:… Continue reading Mapping gender in public toilets of the non-Western world

Why did the independent Islamic film community fail in Indonesia?

Last year when I lived in Jakarta, I chased down people of the Indonesian film community – producers, directors, critics, scholars, festival organisers – to talk about the boom years of ‘Islamic cinema’ following the success of Ayat-ayat Cinta (2008, dir. Hanung Bramantyo). In the following interview, I spoke with the film scholar Katinka van… Continue reading Why did the independent Islamic film community fail in Indonesia?

All singing and dancing – Islamic pop music in Indonesia

First published on The State Pop singers like Vidi Aldiano are nothing like the nasyid* groups, the more conventional all-male singers of Islamic ditties. Young, fresh-faced and nary a skullcap in sight, he dresses like any other young man in urban Indonesia in ubiquitous t-shirt and slim-fitting jeans. The music is like any other unoriginal… Continue reading All singing and dancing – Islamic pop music in Indonesia

Field work food: Sundanese cuisine in Jakarta

During my field research in Jakarta last year, I became a fan of bakso urat (large meatballs made with bits of offal packed with collagen goodness), buntut sapi belado (oxtail cooked with chillies), road side nasi uduk (fragrant rice and uncooked herbs typically served with fried catfish or chicken), Sate Khas Senayan restaurant (best chicken… Continue reading Field work food: Sundanese cuisine in Jakarta

My interview with film director Nia Dinata

Nia Dinata is one of Indonesia’s most important film-makers. Known for tackling subject matters such as abortion, polygamy, and sexualities in a profoundly refreshing way, the films of teh Nia have received worldwide acclaim outside the geographically parochial national film industry of Indonesia. I had the valuable opportunity to ask teh Nia about her views… Continue reading My interview with film director Nia Dinata

The street as stage: Muslims participating in peaceful protests

While in Denmark and Indonesia this year, I found myself standing alongside people who took to the streets to demand the end of oppression against Muslims. In Copenhagen in late summer was a protest against the retainment of the Danish armed forces in Afghanistan. In Jakarta on Valentine’s Day feminist and Muslim activists and members… Continue reading The street as stage: Muslims participating in peaceful protests

Mainstreaming Islam in the Indonesian public sphere: Ummi Aminah as a case study

The film premiere of Aditya Gumay’s newest film, Ummi Aminah (Mother Aminah) in Jakarta last January 2012 was situated at the crossroads of events in Indonesian film industry. Prior to the screening of the film, the film director’s address to the audience expressed a plea to the public to consume locally-made films. As I write… Continue reading Mainstreaming Islam in the Indonesian public sphere: Ummi Aminah as a case study

Notes on power and the difficulties of theorising gender in Indonesian film-making

Talking about gender in Indonesian cinema is actually quite hard when you get down to establishing a sort of link between gender as an analytical construct and gender as understood in public discourse. What was always frustrating, was that when one began to talk about gender in film, the conversation turns into a discussion about… Continue reading Notes on power and the difficulties of theorising gender in Indonesian film-making