[skip to content]

Centre of South East Asian Studies


Genders and Sexualities in Indonesian Cinema
Genders and sexualities in Indonesian cinema: constructing gay, lesbi and waria identities on screen

Author: Murtagh, Ben
Routledge, 2014

Indonesia has a long and rich tradition of homosexual and transgender cultures, and the past 40 years in particular has seen an increased visibility of sexual minorities in the country, which has been reflected through film and popular culture. This book examines how representations of gay, lesbian and transgender individuals and communities have developed in Indonesian cinema during this period. The book first explores Indonesian engagement with waria (male-to-female transgender) identities and the emerging representation of gay and lesbi Indonesians during Suharto’s New Order regime (1966-98), before going on to the reimagining of these positions following the fall of the New Order, a period which saw the rebirth of the film industry with a new generation of directors, producers and actors. Using original interview research and focus groups with gay, lesbi and waria identified Indonesians, alongside the films themselves and a wealth of archival sources, the book contrasts the ways in which transgendered lives are actually lived with their representations on screen.

Mandy Sadan book pic
Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories Beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma

Author: Sadan, Mandy
Oxford University Press, 2013

Since independence in 1948, Burma has suffered from many internal conflicts. One of the longest of these has been in the Kachin State, in the far north of the country where Burma has borders with India to the west and China to the east. In Being and Becoming Kachin Mandy Sadan explores the origins of the armed movement that started in 1961 and considers why it has continued for so long. Being and Becoming Kachin places the problems that have led to hostilities between the political heartland of Burma and one of its most important peripheries in a longer perspective than is usually the case. It explains how the experience of globalisation and the geopolitics of competing imperial systems from the late eighteenth century onwards produced and then entrenched the politics of exclusion and resistance. However, it also uses detailed ethnographic research to explore the social and cultural dynamics of Kachin ethno-nationalism as it emerged during this period, providing a rich analysis that goes beyond the purely political. The research draws upon an extensive range of sources, including archival materials in Jinghpaw and an extensive study of ritual and ritual language. Making a wide variety of cross-disciplinary observations, it explains in depth and breadth how a region such as the Kachin State came into being. When combined with detailed local insights into how these experiences contributed to the historical development of modern Kachin ethno-nationalism, Being and Becoming Kachin encourages new ways of thinking about the Kachin region and its history of armed resistance, which has implications for how we understand many similar, troubled borderworlds in Burma and beyond.