In 1991 I moved to Jogjakarta, on the island of Java, Indonesia, for doctoral research, a lone, female grad student in an entirely different world wanting to learn about entirely different ways of speaking and being. I had to radically recreate myself through a new language, a new way of dressing, a new attitude, to … More Under A Burning Sun
It was already quite late on the last night of the fasting month of Ramadhan, 1993. I was sitting on the bottom bunk bed along side Sari and her youngest brother Atong. She had asked me to come and sit here because she had something to tell me. We were staring at the old ceramic … More Untold Stories
It’s time to think about what istimewa really means – before it’s too late.
… More KAMI JUGA WARGA JOGJA ISTIMEWA: ‘LONDHO’ MENGAMATI JOGJA
This is one of the very first ethnographic articles I ever wrote, and which went on to thoroughly influence how I went about the rest of my career. Street kids trained me in ethnographic analysis, patience, trust, and how to combine advocacy with research. In short, if you are not giving back something to the … More The Family of GIRLI: the Homeless Children of Yogyakarta
The Jakarta Post | Sun, 03/08/2009 8:54 AM | Headlines The ad grabbed my attention in a way almost none ever do here. The TV commercial told a fascinating story. It opened with a young boy and girl, both handsome, both in high school uniforms, but clearly poor, living in a slum area that … More By the way: If white is might, stop watching your TV!
The Disaster of Development: How Women’s “Empowerment” Projects are Damaging Indonesian Smallholder Farming, Rural Families, and the Environment Laine Berman, PhD Abstract: Ecofeminism, or ecological feminism, is based on a belief that the social mentality that leads to the domination and oppression of women is directly connected to the social mentality that leads to … More The Disaster of Development: How Women’s “Empowerment” Projects are Damaging Indonesian Smallholder Farming, Rural Families, and the Environment
Published in Inside Indonesia No 75, 2003 Laine Berman Faisal and Jhoni came to Athonk’s tattoo studio with a small picture and a lot of hope. It was their own design. They had both tried kicking their putauw (street grade heroin) habits through a variety of rehabilitation programs. All failed. Now, they were trying something … More From Jungkies to Jihad: Drug Use in Indonesia
Published in the Jakarta Post 16 & 23 January 2005 (keeping with the drug theme – I wrote this story based on actual experience in 2004….) by Laine Berman Darkness falls quickly in Indonesia. Crisp cerulean skies turn grey, then green. The green lingers for a bit, turns the color of aged bronze, then the … More Short Story: As Darkness Falls
Drug offenses expose Indonesia’s problems (printed in Inside Indonesia but I don’t know when….. google gagal!) by Laine Berman For the past few years a great many articles have appeared on Indonesia’s drug ‘culture’ and the disastrous impact it has on youth. Blame is thrown about at all sides but little has yet appeared to … More Drug offenses expose Indonesia’s problems
Drug Use in Indonesia: a cultural-political perspective (this was written in 2002 but still quite relevant today) Men do not think they know a thing till they have grasped the “why” of it which is to grasp its primary cause. Aristotle’s Physica, Book II. Introduction Identifying the root causes of a social problem is … More Drug Use in Indonesia: a cultural-political perspective