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Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces

Evan Darwin Winet - Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces
Published: 2010-04-15 | ISBN: 0230546889 | PDF | 264 pages | 8.95 MB

Contemporary Indonesia is haunted by two millenia of migrations and inspirations from throughout Eurasia. However, the colonial administration in Batavia ultimately condensed the archipelago's heterogeneity into a distinction between Natives and the West, a distinction that has informed the national discourse ever since. Indonesia's modern theatre paradoxically uses its reliance on Western dramaturgies and theatrical traditions to transcend the parochialism of local ethnic performance traditions.
However, it's authenticity as an indigenous tradition is consequently always in doubt. In the postcolonial metropole, theatre artists represent Indonesia vis-a-vis spectres of an exogenous other. Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre explores genealogies of theatrical practice in colonial Batavia and postcolonial Jakarta from a performance of Hamlet under siege in the warehouses of the Dutch East Indies Company to Ratna Sarumpaet's feminist Muslim Antigones.

The book identifies structural, thematic and historiographical patterns linking the colonial to the postcolonial eras; patterns that often conflict with the prevailing historical narratives of the revolutionary nationalists and the Soeharto generation. The material investigated includes original and adapted dramatic repertoires and canons; genealogies of troupes and acting traditions; performance venues and spatial politics. Winet foregrounds the perspectives and debates of Indonesian practitioners and critics while framing the overall project through a combination of performance studies and phenomenology.

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