The Cinematic Santri : Youth Culture, Tradition and Technology in Muslim Indonesia
The Cinematic Santri explores the rise and course over the last ten years of cinematic practices among a younger generation of NU associates (Nahdlatul Ulama), the largest traditionalist Muslim group in Indonesia and elsewhere. Theoretically, this dissertation draws on anthropological theories of discursive tradition and the ethics of and in everyday life, combined with an analysis of visual and material culture, in order to describe and analyse how young NU people have creatively adapted to, and successfully dealt with ‘modern’ film-making technologies and practices. Fieldwork for this research project took place during a one year stay at the Jakarta NU headquarters, and in an NU-affiliated pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in West Java. Here the author followed the pesantren students (santri) as they conducted film screenings and film discussions, when they watched popular films in a commercial cinema theater and created their own short films. He shows that the rise of cinematic practices is both a symptom of NU life, i.e, a result of changes in multiple sectors of the socio-political life of the NU community, especially among these young santri, and an approved method for them in dealing with problems of contemporary life. Their uptake of cinema in turn becomes an ethical practice that may help preserve pesantren traditions in a secular age of digital technologies.
- Ahmad Nuril Huda
- 01 July 2020
- The Cinematic Santri : Youth Culture, Tradition and Technology in Muslim Indonesia