THE SOCIO-CULTURAL LIFE OF BATIK IN INDONESIA AND THE LIMIT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

Inditian Latifa, Dana Hasibuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study sets out to interrogate the historical transformation of culture utilizing batik in Indonesia as an illustration of the relationship between cultural practices, power relations and the logic of neoliberalism. By identifying the critical junctures in Indonesia that effect the formation of meanings attached to batik in the larger reconfiguration of capitalism during the Dutch colonial era and in the present circumstances of late capitalism, this study argues that the hybridity of batik production in the Dutch East Indies, as signified by the emergence of batik Belanda, exemplifies a period when the notion of batik as a mutually empowering form of trans-cultural practices was possible. Analyzing the disposition of batik today, this study further argues that, unlike in the past, trans-cultural practices during the current state-sanctioned deployment of batik as Indonesia’s national cultural heritage becomes only possible through practices of trade and consumption. This cultural formation offers a critique ideology toward the current national and global discourse of batik that reifies unbounded cultural practices as “cultural heritage.”
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Humanities Studies
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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