People's Voices: Media, Popular Culture and Democratization Process in Post-Reformasi Indonesia

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Thursday 01 November 2012


Seminar Room A, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Melani Budianta (Faculty of Humanities, University of Indonesia, Depok)


Indonesia Project
+61 2 6125 5954
Fourteen years after the Reformasi movement in Indonesia, the democratization process is facing a number of challenges. With the exposure of corruption in the House of Representatives and money politics in the political parties, people’s trust in structural democracy is declining. The lack of new figures in the political parties, and President Bambang Yudhoyono’s tendency to avoid responsibility on the grounds of democratic procedures aggravate the matter. On the other hand, a different atmosphere of democratic rigor can be seen in another arena: the media – especially the social media, U Tube, Twitter, Face Book – and popular culture. In this arena, artistic creativity blends in with political campaign to push democratic agenda in Indonesia. Using the cases of the Yogyakarta special status campaign and the Jakarta Gubernatorial election, the paper argues that people’s voice in the this new arena show resilience against divisive racial, ethnic and religious politics, which still colored political representation in formal democratic structures. Reaching people from different backgrounds – especially the youth – popular culture and social media serves as new force in channeling people’s political participation in Indonesian democratic process.

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