By Evan Darwin Winet
Drawing examples from as early as a 1619 construction of Hamlet and as contemporary as 2007 performances through Indonesia’s most famed presidential impersonator, this publication considers how theatre services as a uniquely powerful medium for representing the contradictions of Indonesian id within the city colonial/postcolonial metropole.
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Extra resources for Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces (Studies in International Performance)
The transformations of Batavia/Jakarta as exemplary center for successive Dutch and Indonesian regimes has followed a familiar modernist revolutionary impulse: the desire to wipe the slate clean; to exorcise the old ghosts and to summon new ones. Although the revelry described in the chronicle of the 1619 Hamlet attests to a ‘contamination’ of Batavian society from the very start, the distinction between European and Native became increasingly stringent over the following centuries. Dutch colonial authorities under the VOC, and even more so the civilian administration that succeeded the Company’s collapse, segregated European and Native spheres of culture and arts.
2007: 97) Balme’s caution regarding this sort of metonymy may apply also to the specific metonymy of faciality.
A neoclassical proscenium theatre, erected in Batavia’s Weltewreden district in 1821 for a Dutch amateur theatrical society with a Latin motto, also served as an exclusive venue for European performing arts. During the same period, many regional native theatrical genres passed into new patronage structures that valued conservatism over dynamism. Thus, as in many other colonized societies, a stark distinction between European and Native increasingly slipped into a distinction between modernity and tradition.
Indonesian Postcolonial Theatre: Spectral Genealogies and Absent Faces (Studies in International Performance) by Evan Darwin Winet