Finally, after spending two years in Indonesia for dissertation research I have an announcement: my fieldwork has come to an end!
What was expected to be a year-long research ended up as two-years stay in the country – in fact, my longest stay after high school. Over the course of my fieldwork, I – rather unsurprisingly I’d say – ended up doing or getting involved in things outside of my research activities too. Essentially, it is a re-engagement with the Indonesian social movement landscape. I have to emphasize that this is not a bad thing. In fact, it helps a lot with my research.
Now, my days in Indonesia are numbered. I got my visa already and booked my flight back to my home institution, NIU. On August 21 I’ll be heading back to the US. Time indeed flies.
I will still go back for sure, but for now, let me say thank you very much for the many people, informants and good samaritans, comrades and colleagues, friends and families, who’ve helped me along the way. I can never repay your kindness – but let it be known that your contribution will always be remembered and acknowledged.
So au revoir! On to the writing phase!
Finally, I’ve almost completed my fieldwork in Bengkulu. More to come in the next couple of months!
It’s been a while since I write a blog post on this website! The last couple of months have been very busy for me – I wasn’t only doing my research but also, inevitably, involved in some activist work. So I ended up staying in Jakarta longer than I expected, but eventually I was able to spare some time for my last round of fieldwork. I made it, so here I am, in Bengkulu. To be more exact, I will spend the next two months in North Bengkulu District, looking at the evolving relationship between the Bengkulu Peasant Union (Serikat Tani Bengkulu, STaB) and the local elites in post-authoritarian era. Some elaboration on this dynamics have been written here (especially in this chapter), but the data only cover up until 2007. More still needs to be written about STaB and the North Bengkulu peasants, which is why I am here.
So far it’s been a productive fieldwork – I finished conducting several interviews and got hold of some key documents on the land conflict between local peasants and plantation companies. Overall, it’s a good start. I’m gonna be busy, and expect more to come in the next couple of weeks.
Ah, it feels good to be back on the field again.