Reading Indonesian Cities panel discussion Tues 12 July 5.30 pm

Indonesia Forum Panel Discussion

“Reading Indonesian Cities: Dreams, Nightmares and Memories of a Nation”

Tuesday 12 July 2016


Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room
Level 1, Sidney Myer Asia Centre

The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010

Indonesian cities are challenging environments for those who call them home and complex readings for their observers. The nation’s unfinished shaping is ingrained in the cities’ fragmented urban forms, multifaceted cultures, and unfolding transformations. Imagined identity and power relations have been constructed, enforced, and challenged, sometimes silently other times violently, through the pragmatic realities of the cities’ built fabrics and polarised social landscapes. This makes Indonesian cities a rich field to reflect on the stage of the nation today.

Almost two decades after the fall of the Suharto’s regime and at the time when the country is buoyed by the rise of a new type of leaders such as Jokowi, Ahok, and Ridwan Kamil, supported by the traditionally disinterested but influential urban middle classes, this panel discussion will explore the following questions:

  • Have Indonesian cities started to show evidence of the rise of new civic and democratic values in the country?
  • Have the cities begun to mend their fragmented realities and social divisions?
  • Have they provided the nation with spaces to contemplate on its numerous repressed memories of its troubling past?
  • Are they anticipating the future with more sustainable, socially inclusive and environment-friendly design?


  • Abidin Kusno (York University)
  • Vedi Hadiz (Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne)
  • Kim Dovey (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, the University of Melbourne)
  • Widjaja Martokusumo (Institut Teknologi Bandung/ITB)

Enquiries and RSVP to Hani Yulindrasari (

Admission is free, RSVP is essential

Light refreshments provided