Seminar on Indonesian Politics

Time and Date: PM 4:30 on July 13 (Wed), 2022
Place: Mid-size Room at the 3rd floor of Inamori Memorial Foundation Building. 

Title: Say It With Flowers: Negotiating Political Space in National Monument Park during 2017 Jakarta Gubernatorial Election
Presenter: Raphaella Dewantari Dwianto (Department of Sociology – University of Indonesia)

In late April 2017, the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, witnessed a new phenomenon of thousands of flower-boards with various ‘thank-you’ notes (often a humorous note), being sent to the city hall by the people, to the then-governor and vice governor of Jakarta, who had just lost the local government direct election, in their attempt to run for the office for the second term. The city hall was not big enough, so the flower-boards were displayed in the National Monument Park across the city hall, which has always been public park (city square) since the era of Dutch Colonialization Era. The National Monument Park turned into a flower-display ground that attracted visitors from various part of the metropolitan.

The ‘thank-you’ flower-boards symbolized a silent counter-movement of the people, as a respond towards another group of protesters who had been campaigning for the ‘Movement to Defend Islam’ with their massive demonstration in December 2016 in the same ground of The National Monument Park, demanding that the then-governor of Jakarta be put on trial for blasphemy of the religion.

This paper highlights the process of negotiating space by the people using Jakarta National Monument Park through a silent counter-movement using flower-boards as a medium of negotiation.

Contact: Okamoto Masaaki (okamoto[at] (CSEAS)