Title: IDENTITY POLITICS AND REFUGEE POLICIES IN AN EASTERN INDONESIAN REGION
Speaker: Andrey Damaledo (CSEAS)
Place: Medium-sized Meeting Room 3F Inamori Building
Date: Thursday 27 February 2020
This talk explores the processes and contents of the Indonesian refugee intervention policy. It particularly focuses on the bureaucratic labeling of refugees as it unfolds in an eastern Indonesian region of Kupang. Kupang is a useful case study for elucidating the interplay between labelling refugee and its policy implications because the area has been hosting different kinds of refugees since the colonial times due of its strategic geographical location that borders Australia and East Timor. Drawing on fieldwork, newspaper reports, government accounts and other secondary sources, this talk’s argument is twofold: (1) refugee labels evolve over time depending on the larger socio-political situation but develop and form mostly to serve the interest of the host country than that of the refugees; (2) while refugee labels have been effective in justifying funding and policy intervention, they can lead to a process of refugee manipulation, marginalisation and exclusion.
Andrey Damaledo holds a PhD in Anthropology (ANU) and is currently a research fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University. Andrey was the recipient of a number of prizes including the Ann Bates Prize for the best PhD thesis on Indonesian studies at ANU and the Alison Sudrajat Prize for an Outstanding Indonesian Scholar from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is the author of Divided Loyalties: Displacement, Belonging and Citizenship among the East Timorese in West Timor (ANU Press 2018).