Herb Feith Indonesian Engagement Centre’s Conference 2019

– The topic itself about Chinese Indonesians, it has always been misunderstood. People tend to think of Chinese Indonesians in.


– The topic itself about
Chinese Indonesians, it has always been misunderstood. People tend to think of Chinese
Indonesians in stereotypes. Here, in this conference,
they try to go further into the communities
of Chinese Indonesians and why they were stereotyped like that. – Indonesia is the closest neighbour and we have a lot of
histories in the past; good and bad. – The legacies of (foreign
language) assimilation policy still lives on, even though
it’s a much better situation now and certain discriminative
laws have been removed, but then in society itself
there is still the idea that Chineseness is foreign to the concept of the Indonesian nation. – The focus remains on
the future of Indonesia, without forgetting what
we have lost in the past. And what the past has promised
but failed to deliver. – Discrimination is
pretty much still there. Again, to recent cases
of political intolerance it also creates challenges for
Chinese Indonesians nowadays. – We’ve facing several
conflicts on ethnicities including how the Chinese
has been marginalised in our political and
social life in Indonesia. – We know that Chinese has
contributed so many to Indonesia from language, newspaper,
science, and so on. And maybe not everybody are familiar with. So here we discuss about. – After a long period
of time under Surhato where the Chinese culture was suppressed and there was a great
deal of discrimination; there was a great deal of hope
that the (foreign language) reformation era that followed
would be a good thing for the Chinese population
and in many respects it has been. – We don’t usually have
conferences organised specifically on Chinese Indonesians. – It is very cultural in a way, so it needs to be discussed on and on and people have to be reminded that living in a plural society means
that you have tolerate others. (bouncy electronic music) – We have some of the
world’s leading scholars in the field at this conference – We try to make it as open as possible; invitation and call for papers. They responded and they come
from very diverse backgrounds, we don’t choose them. We are simply choosing their… The best quality of all the submissions. – [Dr. Purdey] And so
you get this lovely blend of the academic with artists also and community agents coming
together in the same forum. – [Male Interviewee] The participants come from seven countries,
from four continents. – I’m very honoured to have been invited to speak about my research,
which has focused on the history of photography in Indonesia. Turns out that, that
history is entirely entwined with history of ethnic
Chinese in Indonesia. – I was part of a session
on gender and sexuality in Chinese Indonesian communities. Of which I believe is
probably one of the first time that angle has been discussed. – The topic of this conference is precisely in my
research field of interest. It’s been absorption of mine
for half a century and more. – This is such a great congregation
of distinguished figures in the field who has done excellent work on Chinese in Indonesia. – I think that the quality
of the presentations have all been excellent, and I think what is so good is that we see so many Indonesians here. – Every panel has built on the next and for me to be able to come here and see all the people I’ve
been reading for decades. It’s really quite remarkable. (bouncy electronic music) – You’ll see, we open special sessions for round table discussion where you don’t have to be academics, you don’t have to prepare a paper; you can be just anyone
interested with special passion on the kind of themes that we do. – We got questions from
the floor on language and identity issues and how to think about the unique position of
the Chinese Indonesians. – Each session is small enough and the interaction with the audience. And the timing of it is very nice too, because you can come out
and mingle with people and talk about the other sessions. – I’m happy to meet my old friends and I meet younger scholars, new people, I’m so happy about that! – There are people all
over the world who are here and who have so much to say to each other and we mostly read each other’s work. And that’s a very different
kind of conversation than actually being able to hear it and then talk to someone
afterwards casually in the hallway, and to be in a place like
this with such a gathering is just extraordinary,
it’s really exciting. – [Female Interviewee} We need
the face to face connections, one by one and then that
marvellous app to connect everyone to have conversations afterward. – This is the first time
that Monash has used an app for a conference like this. Instead of handing out paper
programmes, we are able to allow people to access the
app directly from their phone which means that they
have the schedule there; they’re able to connect
with other participants and make those kinds of connections beyond just being here right now. We have some really
exciting events as well. We’ve got the lantern making workshop and that was a great success. And we also have the (foreign language) cooking demonstration. – The library collections,
one of the most comprehensive collections on and in Indonesian and particularly on Chinese Indonesians. – [Female Interviewee]
It’s a prized collection that people come from
around the world to view. We’re seeking to highlight
that at the conference and provide the opportunity for people to go over to the library and see that. (soft chimes and wind instrumental) – The Herb Feith Centre,
which was actually formed and established to
continue the aspirations of the late Herb Feith. And that is to do with peace; that is to do with democracy; that is to do with Indonesian
studies, histories, and so on. – It’s good, we need to
understand each other. If anything I think the
Indonesian side needs to have an Australian studies centre. Seriously, because people
don’t understand each other. (calming instrumental music) – It’s important for us in Indonesia to keep that connection
alive through the Centre where it will serve as a platform for communication discussion
between Australia – Indonesia. The next generation I think
tend to forget history. Conference like this would bring them to the understanding of
yesterday, which is very important to step forward of the days of tomorrow. – I think scholarship
always makes people think and ask new questions. And you need to bring people together for the really big questions, but keep the focus very tight, which the organisers did this time. – Monash, being a prestigious university and Ariel himself also is a very strong activist for equal right. And I think he brings very
good message to the world. It’s not only to Australia or Indonesia, but to the world.

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