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

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From Tolerance to Affective Engagement: Bandung's Creative Diversity and Peace Movement
Dayana Lengauer

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 126
Date: 2019-07-24 03:00 PM – 04:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-25


The paper gives a deep ethnographic account of the vibrant activities of a predominantly young generation in Bandung who strives to deal with diversity, beyond concepts of tolerance. Through a thick description of their practices and activities, I attempt to show how they perceive and conceive difference through experience and affective engagement. Furthermore, I argue that, through practical engagement, in form of workshops, discussions, cultural events, and so forth they not only strive to create a positive image of diversity, but also pave new ways of dealing with difference, particularly in times where public sentiments are easily influenced by less-pluralist views. This study is based in Bandung, the capital city of West Java, a region known for its high rate of intolerance. Bandung is also the stronghold of contemporary Islamic mass movements that have gained prominence particularly among Bandung’s younger generation not least because of their cunning adoption of Bandung’s creative urban cultures. Although activities that celebrate diversity are historically rooted in the discourse and endeavors of religious elites in Indonesia’s academic centers, they appear to gain a momentum now that social media has given them broad ways to reach out to diverse audiences. Rather than evaluating the size of this movement, this paper looks closely into its impact and ability to sustain pluralist sensibilities against the backdrop of increasing social, religious, and political polarization.

Keywords: Bandung, Diversity, Peace, Tolerance, Youth