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The Politics of Heritage in Indonesia
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Book description

This study offers a new approach to the history of sites, archaeology, and heritage formation in Asia, at both the local and the trans-regional levels. Starting at Hindu-Buddhist, Chinese, Islamic, colonial, and prehistoric heritage sites in Indonesia, the focus is on people's encounters and the knowledge exchange taking place across colonial and post-colonial regimes. Objects are followed as they move from their site of origin to other locations, such as the Buddhist statues from Borobudur temple, that were gifted to King Chulalongkorn of Siam. The ways in which the meaning of these objects transformed as they moved away to other sites reveal their role in parallel processes of heritage formation outside Indonesia. Calling attention to the power of the material remains of the past, Marieke Bloembergen and Martijn Eickhoff explore questions of knowledge production, the relationship between heritage and violence, and the role of sites and objects in the creation of national histories.

Reviews

‘Bloembergen and Eickhoff demonstrate the Dutch roots of modern Indonesian conceptualisations of heritage, and how Indonesian practices stretch across Southeast Asia to India and beyond. This is a highly original and provocative contribution to global understandings of tradition and its ownership.'

Adrian Vickers - University of Sydney

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