Post D: Indonesian Punk Scene

Indonesian Punk is one of the largest Punk movements in the world, however it is not widely recognised or even known to exist. It’s an anarchic movement that began in the 80’s, where the wealthier youth of Indonesia brought Punk back home with them after holidaying in the United States. Music, magazines, and style sparked this revolutionary way of life, reaching crescendo in the 1990’s where it played a significant role in the protests against President Suharto and his 30 years of dictatorship. 1 (ABC 360Documentaries, 2014,)

Where the Punk movement had begun it’s decline by the late 1980’s throughout it’s country of origin, America, 2 (About Entertainment, 2015) the Indonesian Punk scene lived on throughout the new millennium. It was recently incited into a new wave of meaningful revolution, when in 2011 64 Punks were arrested at a concert by the Aceh government, who operates under Sharia Law. Although they were not charged with any specific crime, these individuals were detained and had their heads shaved of their counterculture hairstyles, then were forced to attend moral rehabilitation programs. 3 (BBC, 2011)

This “violation of human rights” 4 (BBC, 2011) led to a newly increased politicisation of Punk within Indonesia, many speaking out in mass against the corrupt practices carried out by the government. 5 (ABC 360Documentaries) Two Punks, Poloh and Kiki, told journalist Darius Ossami that they “will continue to fight so that we can dress as we like and for freedom of speech and our democratic rights in Indonesia”. 6(DW, 2013) It is stressed, however, that punk is not just about politics and anarchy, but also focuses on friendship and family. Another member of the Indonesian Punk sub-culture, Jarwo, tells the ABC of raising a family with the moral beliefs inherent to Punk. “…becoming a father in the punk scene is giving motivation to my kids. You have to see the world with your eyes wide open and with intelligence. You have to have a strategy for resisting this system that gives you the shits”. 7 (ABC 360Documentaries) These values are key in maintaining the idea and revolution of Punk alive within the next generation of Indonesians, and create a gateway to the radicalised political beliefs.

The Indonesian Punk scene is one made up of many individuals resisting a system they view as corrupt, and inciting change within their community. It has moved beyond the music and style into an anarchic battle for freedom of expression, whilst at its core maintaining a strong sense of family and community values.

Indonesian Punk Scene DW, 2013, Indonesia’s Punk Scene Rocks On, Darius Ossami, visited April 27th 2015,
Indonesian Punk Scene
DW, 2013, Indonesia’s Punk Scene Rocks On, Darius Ossami, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.dw.de/indonesias-punk-scene-rocks-on/a-16715001&gt;

Podcast of Interviews with Indonesian Punks:  http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2014/11/tsy_20141130_1005.mp3

(1) ABC 360Documentaries, 2014, Indonesian Punk: Punk’s not dead!, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/indonesian-punks/5909858#transcript >

(2) About Entertainment, 2015, A Timeline of Punk Music History, Ryan Cooper, visited April 27th 2015, <http://punkmusic.about.com/od/punk101/a/punktimeline.htm>

(3) BBC, 2011, Indonesia’s Aceh punks shaved for ‘re-education’, Karishma Vaswani, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-16176410>

(4) BBC, 2011, Indonesia’s Aceh punks shaved for ‘re-education’, Karishma Vaswani, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-16176410>

(5) ABC 360Documentaries, 2014, Indonesian Punk: Punk’s not dead!, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/indonesian-punks/5909858#transcript >

(6) DW, 2013, Indonesia’s Punk Scene Rocks On, Darius Ossami, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.dw.de/indonesias-punk-scene-rocks-on/a-16715001>

(7) ABC 360Documentaries, 2014, Indonesian Punk: Punk’s not dead!, visited April 27th 2015, <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/360/indonesian-punks/5909858#transcript >

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