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

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Rethinking the problematic of translating: Koroway’s community landscape, Southern Papua
Irfan Nugraha

Last modified: 2022-06-04


The recent predominantly focus on considering the “social-cultural-ecology” aspect employed in the name of “persevering nature, developing communities,” I argue the exercise deliberated at the moment of translating indignity perception on “what is and how is the relations with nature.” Based on my fieldwork at Koroway community which is on foraging and hunting activities, I found out the effort in inducting “emic lessons learned” and “local participatory” to minimize the asymmetrical power relations in the process of collecting and formulating data faces the problem when translating it into the “research outputs” (paperwork, planning, modelling, and budgeting). For the representative state agency, the translation is not simple as recording and adjusting the local categorization of nature or what is echoed by Simon Schama “landscapes is culture before they are nature; constructs of the image onto wood, water and rock.” The translation tied up with a set of rules, values ​​and ontology in the sense of a liberal market economy that does not neglect the ways of life of Indigenous, but to some extent exposed to the possibility of occupying the indignity common-sense ontology, as reflected in the result of how the indignity trying to suit in their “culture” into the projection of the state's model. In the last, I argue, that this un-equality situation was not dominantly (re) produced by the representative state's actor/agency, but translating mechanism itself preserve the violence against the indignity in the term of the ability of powerful actors to obscure their violence (Springer, 2016).

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