Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Reaching up to The Sky: A Grassroots Approach for Integrating Minority Groups in Yogyakarta and Bandung
Meike Lusye Karolus, Firdhan Aria Wijaya

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 709
Date: 2019-07-24 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


Since 2016, there have been several cases of intolerance towards the minority groups in Yogyakarta and Bandung. Those actions were triggered by conservative-extremist religious groups, which are seemingly becoming a more powerful source for disintegration, as well as offering threats to the freedom of expression and diversity. With the lack of protection from regional government apparatus, a locally initiated grassroots movements has endevoured to find alternative ways that open possibilities to create a space for minority groups.  In Yogyakarta, there is Pemetik Buah Khuldi, a community which provides alternative critical public education related to diversity issues and marginal groups. Meanwhile, in Bandung, there is Panggung Minoritas, an initiative that creates a safe space for gender and sexual minorities to meet, share, learn and discuss about gender and sexualities topics. Both groups have similar purposes which cultivate awareness and support minorities rights through education, support groups, and creative activities. By examining both independent community activities through a comparative ethnographic approach, we analyze how these groups are becoming more prevalent in the area in Java with frequent incidents of and rising motivation for intolerance, as some local people prefer a grassroots movement rather than formal groups to help them. Furthermore, this article seeks to contribute a relevant perspective on the recent situation of minority groups as part of our critical reflection on responding to the failure of the common project to recognise diversity.

Keywords: grassroots, minority group, disintegration, intolerance