The discourse of sexuality is inseparable from the tension and polarization that characterize politics and culture in Indonesia. Last year, after a series of anti-LGBT statements were publicly expressed by government officials and public figures, “pro-family” groups proposed to outlaw non-marital sex and homosexuality. This is not a sudden turn as debates around sex, bodies, and morality have been a national obsession for the past two decades. Sexuality is a contested sphere that reflects the fractured nature of the post-authoritarian nation.
Growing conservatism in Indonesia, as elsewhere, entails the attempts to regulate and censor women’s bodies. Tonight Indonesian fiction author and lecturer Intan Paramaditha will give a reading on how women’s resistance has been expressed through literature, film, performance, music, and visual arts and how a younger generation of women artists and activists use the media for political intervention. She views the term ‘women’s resistance’ as a productive term which, while aligning Indonesian feminists with the current global women’s movements, evokes further questions: how do we define local resistance? Who are resisting, and who are not part of it?
Intan Paramaditha (born in Bandung, November 15, 1979) is an Indonesian fiction author and a lecturer in media and film studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. She received her Ph.D from New York University (2014). Both her fiction and academic works explore the relations between gender and sexuality, culture, and politics.
A Perdu & Read My World Co-production