Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

Font Size: 
Dwelling in the uninhabitable: Notes from the field
Marco del Gallo

Last modified: 2022-05-31


Coastal communities in cities around the world are reorganising their livelihood with anthropogenic climate change and pollution. Jakarta provides key insights: the megalopolis is subsiding at a dramatic rate while large amounts of chemical pollutants and plastic waste flow daily into its bay from multiple water sources. On the north coast, rampant urban development is creating new land and dispossessing residents to make space for high-end real estate and luxury gated neighbourhoods. As fish, fishers and fisheries are increasingly being pushed away into an uninhabitable space, their present as well as their future are deemed averse to modernisation. In contrast, emerging ecologies and fish economies suggest that fishing communities play an active role in Jakarta’s fast-changing urbanscape. Based on ongoing fieldwork among fishers in North Jakarta, this paper questions the experience of dwelling in what may be considered an uninhabitable space by conceptualising precarity and poverty in a way that draws attention to their non-inevitability, without being paternalistic, and whilst also doing justice to those violations that matter most to the people involved.

Conference registration is required in order to view papers.