Pantura Stories: Resistance and Healing Across Regimes of Progress

Hendro Sangkoyo, School of Democratic Economics


In Search of Social-Ecological Transformation in Indonesia's Urbanizing Landscapes


The defining terms of this panel, an affirmative social-ecological transformation amidst a growing urban dystopia, deserve a sober scrutiny of both the radical proposition and that hegemonic, knotty processes of change. The present schematic essay wishes to address such entanglements in the case of the so-called pantura, a shorthand for pantai-utara, conventionally designated for the north coast of Java Island. The pantura parlance as such reveals a serial chronospatial re-framing, not only of the dominant modes of life on Java, but also of the social mobilizatory regimes, the epoch-specific energy signature and its extractive lynchpin, the operational and institutional modalities of capital expansion, the spatial re-organizations of labour, and the run-away social-ecological entropy at all levels of life-forms therein. Whereas such a matrix of transmutation goes beyond the process of becoming urban, it is a part of a larger topogeny of organized misery, hidden behind the camera obscura of progress, yet which has always been embedded within the nonlinear life-story of industrial urbanism. Against such backdrop, the call for a countervailing transformation, a resistance at the broadest sense, must first address the dark sides of urbanism through an engaged social-learning practice across the pantura of historical lifespaces. Likewise, to move forward in such a crucial direction, it is imperative to confront the coded words such as ecological modernization, urban sustainability and resilience, energy transition, or nature-based solution, which thinly veil the same addiction to the extrinsic nature of urban social metabolism.

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CCSEAS Conference 2021 |