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Performances of the post-New Order

Bain, Lauren Halligan 2005 , 'Performances of the post-New Order', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Performances of the post -New Order explores the ways performances staged in
Indonesia since 1998 have made sense of, and contested, the political and social
realities of their time. Investigating both performances staged in conventional
theatres and those staged in the streets, the thesis looks at the ways these
performances have told the story of Indonesia's post-New Order or `reformasi'
era. The thesis contends that performance - which is essentially temporal and
necessitates multiple interpretations - is an ideal site for the investigation of
reformasi, which has similarly tenuous, contested, evolving and unstable
Performances of the post -New Order is an inter-disciplinary project. It
comprises four inter-related but separate chapters, each of which is informed by
its own theoretical approach, and engages with a different aspect of reformasi.
This structure reflects both the tensions inherent in inter-disciplinary work and
the need to tell several different stories in order to capture the complexities of
the reformasi era.
An important aspect of reformasi has been the implementation of regional
autonomy across Indonesia. The first chapter of the thesis looks, therefore, at
the ways in which theatre performances and events in Sumatra, Sulawesi and
Java have attempted to re-articulate the relationship between regional and
national identities. Case studies used in this chapter describe the ways theatre
groups have taken advantage of greater political space in which to re-imagine
cultural identity and their relationship with the political 'centre'.
Violence - in different ways - has been a constant feature of both the New
Order and the reformasi eras. Representations of violence and of distressed
bodies have been a prominent feature of Indonesian theatre since the 1990s.
The second chapter of the thesis discusses representations of violence and
physical pain and investigates to what extent it is possible to represent violence
without reproducing it. It also draws attention to the fact that representations of
violence in contemporary theatre almost always privilege the male body as the
site of suffering, usually rendering women invisible.
The third chapter picks up on the theme of women's invisibility, and looks at
representations of gender in post-New Order era theatre. This chapter
investigates the ways in which gender ideologies are both reproduced and
contested in performance, against a background of greater interest in gender
issues in the `reformasi era.
While the first three chapters draw on case studies of theatre performances
staged in conventional theatre venues, the final chapter engages with the idea of
performativity in its much broader sense. Looking at one particular site, the bunderan Hotel Indonesia in Jakarta, this chapter engages with questions about
public space, democratic participation, and the 'performance' of political
processes and events. It uses the bunderan Hotel Indonesia as a site through
which to describe some of the complexities of the reformasi era and to provide
historical context for contemporary uncertainties.
All four chapters of the thesis in different ways expose the often illusory and
ambiguous natures of post-New Order 'Indonesia'.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Bain, Lauren Halligan
Keywords: Theater, Women in the theater
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2005 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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