This remarkable study of urban society in one of Indonesia's main cities explores the experiences of the people who occupy its alleyways, riverbanks and muddy roadsides. Its rich ethnographic detail describes how kampung residents have survived in the shadow of tumultuous economic growth and political reform while contesting government controls.
This is is a remarkable study of urban society in one of Indonesia's main port cities. It views Surabaya from the experiences of the people who occupy its alleyways, riverbanks and muddy roadsides, a group that has had little say in the making of policy or the writing of Indonesia's history. The setting is a crowded low-income neighbourhood (kampung) that lies between the Surabaya River and the city's main southern boulevard. For those who live along this kampung's narrow alleyways, the city can be a violent landscape of exclusion and social asymmetry. From this perspective, Indonesia's landmark events, from the revolution of 1945 and the destruction of the Communist Party in 1965 to contemporary urban renewal and anti-terrorism campaigns, take on a new complexion. Using rich ethnographic details, Robbie Peters describes how kampung residents have survived in the shadow of Indonesia's tumultuous economic growth and political reform and how they have contested government controls over the movement and settlement of people, limiting the state's ability to construct an urban citizenry that excludes newcomers. The kampung alternative is a 'participative' citizenship that embraces new arrivals and draws them into the everyday life of the alleyways, using simple rituals such as death commemorations to 'counter-map' static official representations of neighbourhood and community. Such local practices underpin kampung residents' claim to the alleyways and surrounding streets, where they struggle to maintain the informal economy that helps sustain their lives.
Table of contents:
Preface 1. Introduction: City and Country 2. Dinoyo 3. The Purge 4. Improvement 5. Factory to Mall 6. Crisis 7. Mental Illness 8. The Alley and the Street 9. Urban Renewal 10. Death and Life Glossary Bibliography Index
Robbie Peters is an anthropologist and director of the Development Studies Program at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has written journal articles on the political economy of violence, urban renewal and migration in the Indonesian city, as well as gender, migration and value in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His current research interest focuses on what he calls the shift from the mobilisation of people to the mobility of people as an economic development strategy in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on its major cities.