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Research project

Revitalising the Musical Arts of Indonesia's Lampung Province

Document attempts to solve the problem of the Ulun Lampung's marginalisation, how their culture is being socially and politically appropriated and changed, and to develop ideas about ways in which a stigmatised people can grapple with socio-economic and cultural issues in an era of regional autonomy

Contact
Bart Barendregt

MSc Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology - Research opportunity 

(An Australian Research Council project) 

Neglected Indigenous peoples are emerging around the world, raising questions about how to overcome their stigmatisation and lack of opportunity. This ethnographic project, a cooperation between Australian, Dutch and Ulun Lampung (Sumatra) researchers, will critically examine and document how one marginalised Indigenous group in post-authoritarian Indonesia is trying to improve its socio-economic status and self-confidence with a strategy that involves revitalising the people’s musical arts, the ancestral philosophy, gender ideology, diverse ideas about Islam, cross-generational youth culture, and critical discourses and counter-discourses on heritage, environment, and the forces of modernisation.

This project aims critically to document attempts to solve the problem of the Ulun Lampung's marginalisation, how their culture is being socially and politically appropriated and changed, and to develop ideas about ways in which a stigmatised people can grapple with socio-economic and cultural issues in an era of regional autonomy. The team expects to find that its analyses of the musical arts will reveal not only the extent to which the Ulun Lampung sub-groups are changing their attitudes to racial and ethnic tensions, gender politics and youth culture, but also their concern for the lack of protection of the fauna and flora in their forest environment, and their depression at the loss of their ancestral lands to palm oil plantations and mining ventures, as expressed in some new traditional and popular songs

Possible ethnographic projects include,

  1. Cultural revitalisation through Lampung’s urban popular music scene (boy bands, reggae, rock, hip-hop, and Muslim-associated pop groups) in urban Bandar Lampung and Kotaagung;
     
  2. Popular music, youth culture and social media use in urban Bandar Lampung;
     
  3. Heritage initiatives in the field of the performing arts and Islam throughout Lampung Province.

For each of the projects an EUR 500, - support grant is available to students to help covering the costs of fieldwork. Students are invited to make use of our partnerships with Australian and Indonesian researchers, more specifically the University of Lampung.

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