Revolutionary Communication and Global Emancipation in Colonial Indonesia

Date and Time: April 1, 2022, 10 a.m.
Location: Zoom

Join us for our sixth lecture in Global Asia in a Multipolar World virtual lecture series on Friday, April 1st at 10 a.m. AZT. This lecture will be provided by Dr. Rianne Subijanto, assistant professor of communication studies at Baruch College (City University of New York). It will be on "Revolutionary Communication and Global Emancipation in Colonial Indonesia." 


In 1920s, lower-class, ordinary Indonesians organized themselves in a global, popular and radical pergerakan merah (red movement), creating an age-in-motion in which labor unions, political parties and social organizations mobilized a united front under the umbrella of a communist movement. An analysis of this period from the perspective of communication studies reveals that two projects became intertwined in shaping this movement: a project of anticolonial struggle and a project of enlightenment. Understanding enlightenment as “an event in the history of mediation” (Siskin and Warner, 2010), this presentation discusses the dialectic of enlightenment as it was manifested in communicative practices and technologies in the Dutch East Indies. First, it explores the development of communication infrastructures in the Indies in the 19th century and early 20th century to provide a context for the national, archipelagic and global scope of the movement. Second, it delves into the vocabulary and discourses of enlightenment in print matters that were translated, adopted and modified by the movement. This analysis expands our understanding of emancipation, solidarity and liberation, going beyond (and challenging) a nationalist framework of the movement.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required*.

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