• Activist Archives: Youth Culture and the Political Past in Indonesia

    Pages: 296
    Illustrations: 18 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Preface  ix

    Acknowledgments  xiii

    A Note about Names  xvii

    Introduction. Pemuda Fever  1

    1. Archive  25

    2. Street  57

    3. Style  85

    4. Violence  117

    5. Home  147

    6. Democracy  179

    Conclusion. A Return to Home  209

    Notes  219

    Bibliography  247

    Index  269
  • "... the main strength of Activist Archives is that it raises important questions by not providing all the answers. In this way, it invites frequent re-reading, creating a richer understanding of the micropolitics of student activism upon each re-read."


  • "... the main strength of Activist Archives is that it raises important questions by not providing all the answers. In this way, it invites frequent re-reading, creating a richer understanding of the micropolitics of student activism upon each re-read."

  • "Elegantly written, rich with ethnographic and archival material, and bursting with theoretical insights, Activist Archives offers novel analysis of one of the most important subjects of contemporary Indonesia. In Doreen Lee's sensitive ethnography the student activist emerges expressing a mix of fiery passion, intellectual idealism, irreverent playfulness, hipster self-consciousness, nostalgia, rivalry, and disillusionment. Artfully tacking between theory and the activists' everyday experiences, Lee shows how 'generation 98' has both sustained its identity and faded in relevance. Activist Archives will be a classic." — Karen Strassler, author of Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java

    "Following the students through the city's streets, highways, dormitories, cafes, and other city spaces, Doreen Lee brings Jakarta to life, and what she tells us is truly enlightening. Activist Archives makes a significant contribution to Indonesian studies and to the study of youth activism in the world generally." — Rudolf Mr├ízek, author of A Certain Age: Colonial Jakarta through the Memories of Its Intellectuals

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  • Description

    In Activist Archives Doreen Lee tells the origins, experiences, and legacy of the radical Indonesian student movement that helped end the thirty-two-year dictatorship in May 1998. Lee situates the revolt as the most recent manifestation of student activists claiming a political and historical inheritance passed down by earlier generations of politicized youth. Combining historical and ethnographic analysis of "Generation 98," Lee offers rich depictions of the generational structures, nationalist sentiments, and organizational and private spaces that bound these activists together. She examines the ways the movement shaped new and youthful ways of looking, seeing, and being—found in archival documents from the 1980s and 1990s; the connections between politics and place; narratives of state violence; activists' experimental lifestyles; and the uneven development of democratic politics on and off the street. Lee illuminates how the interaction between official history, collective memory, and performance came to define youth citizenship and resistance in Indonesia’s transition to the post-Suharto present. 

    About The Author(s)

    Doreen Lee is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Northeastern University.
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