Feminist Cultural Activism in Indonesia

Dr Intan  Paramaditha5

5Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

The global circulation of feminist ideas made possible by social media, and exemplified by the #MeToo movement, has increased the visibility of feminism in the public sphere. It has fostered new transnational alliances and the entrance of feminist discourses into the popular domain. However, the lived experiences of women in places with limited connection to transnational feminist network and access to social media interactions have posed challenges to the universalising views and practices of feminism. My paper will reflect on collaborative practices of feminist cultural activism in Indonesia through an initiative called Cipta Media Ekspresi (CME). CME was established in 2018 to provide grants for women artists and researchers in the field of arts and culture from different parts of Indonesia. What is gained and at risk when cosmopolitan feminist subjects interact and collaborate with women who articulate their agency through different means and paths detached from the global discourses of feminism? How do we acknowledge and theorise feminist practices by taking into account different circuits of knowledge production?


Dr Intan Paramaditha is a fiction writer and a Lecturer in Media and Film Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Her novel The Wandering (translated by Stephen J. Epstein) won a PEN Translates Award and will be published by Harvill Secker/ Penguin Random House UK in 2020.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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