University of Tasmania
whole_BainLaurenHalligan2005_thesis.pdf (18.61 MB)

Performances of the post-New Order

Download (18.61 MB)
posted on 2023-05-27, 00:18 authored by Bain, Lauren Halligan
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 meanings. 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'.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

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

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager