A.C.A.B. – Studying Up the Rule of Law in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

My latest co-authored article “ACAB: Studying up the rule of law in Banda Aceh, Indonesia” with Acehnese punk Yudi Bolong is freshly out in Punk & Post Punk 6(2) Special Issue on ’Researching Punk Indonesia’

The article is a textual continuation for multi-sited ethnographic research that I have conducted between 2013-16, focusing in particular to social media, busking in the streets in the city of Banda Aceh, prison, and the court house and trial documentation.

The article draws attention to more mundane experiences of structural and physical violence and the obstacles, resourcefulness and ways of coping after the height of the global punk solidarity campaign of 2012 had passed. Drawing attention to silences in global solidarity efforts and the local media when the ‘Shari’a morality vs the right to be punk’ issue is not in focus, the article challenges such binaries, arguing that they hinder understanding of the everyday experience of punk, and overlook the wider misuse of state power, violations of rule of law, and the violent political economy in the post-conflict context of Aceh. Thus, it is argued that the punks in Aceh are constantly studying the hierarchies and relations of power through their embodied and gendered existence in the city. Attention to their everyday experience draws attention to their active negotiation of space and agency within such hierarchies.

The special issue editor Jim Donaghey interviewed contributor researchers for his methodological piece “Researching ‘Punk Indonesia’: notes towards a non-exploitative insider methodology” and his interview with me can be read in full here. The interview centers around research motivations, methodology, questions of insider/outsider to Acehnese punk scene, research as experience and affects, and how the research as been received by the punks, authorities, academic community, and general public.


Toivon repaleet Tikkurilassa 14.-27.8.: Aceh calling – globaali punksolidaarisuus

(For English scroll down)

Maanantaina 14.8. alkaa kaksiviikkoinen työrupeamani Tikkurilan kirjaston musiikkiosastolla (1.krs, avoinna ma-pe 8-20, la-su 10-16). Yhteistyö Vantaan kirjaston musiikkiosaston ja Vantaan Muuntamon kanssa esittää Scraps of Hope/Toivon repaleet  -lyhytdokkareita jotka liittyvät kaupunkietnografiseen tutkimukseen Acehin rauhan 1.vuosikymmenestä Banda Acehin kaupungissa. Yhtensä 13 lyhytdokkaria pyörivät non-stoppina musiikkiosastolla kahden viikon ajan.

Tapahtumaan liittyy kaksi video-keskustelutilaisuutta, joista ensimmäinen ma 14.8. klo 18-20 keskittyen joulukuussa 2011 tehtyyn punkpidätykseen, sen jälkeiseen globaaliin punksolidaarisuuteen ja katupunkkareiden arkeen Banda Acehin kaupungissa.

Videokeskustelu (joka on samalla samalla banda acehilaista punk-skeneä ja konfliktinjälkeistä maskuliinisuutta käsittelevä kirjan luvun luonnos) etenee seuraavien acehilaisten punkbiisien johdattelemana: Illiza bastard, Our Wound (Luka kita), Prison of thoughts (penjara pemikiran), Cheap film (film murahan), Difference is not a war (pembedaan bukan perang), ja A.C.A.B.

Tervetuloa Tikkurilaan!

On Monday (14th August) starts my two weeks long worksession in Tikkurila. It is a collaboration with the city library and popup office of City of Vantaa, Muuntamo. Over the two weeks Scraps of Hope short documentaries, narrating stories from the first decade of peace in Aceh, Indonesia, are screened non-stop (music section, ground floor, open on weekdays 8am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm).

I organise two video-talks (14th/21st at 6pm) )at the library and one longer session on the overall book project at popup office Muuntamo (Sat 26th Aug 10am-2pm).

The first one on 14th at 6pm focuses on the punk arrest of December 2011, global punk solidarity in its aftermath and everyday lives of the Tsunami Museum street punk community. Video talk unfolds in the order of the punk songs:

Illiza bastard, Our Wound (Luka kita), Prison of thoughts (penjara pemikiran), Cheap film (film murahan), Difference is not a war (pembedaan bukan perang), ja A.C.A.B.

Join me in Tikkurila!