Founders & Directors

The Observatory was founded by Gabriel Facal and Gloria Truly Estrelita.  Gloria Truly Estrelita and Sarah Anaïs Andrieu assume the direction for the period 2022-2026.

Gloria Truly ESTRELITA – Historian, Centre Asie du Sud-Est/CASE (EHESS-CNRS, Paris).

Gloria Truly Estrelita earned her master’s degree in Criminology from Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta. She also holds an LLM from Kyushu University, Japan, and a Master 2 in Asie Méridionale et Orientale (AMO) from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. Before coming to France in 2013, she worked at the Centre for Criminological Studies in Indonesia (Pusat Kajian Kriminologi) and taught Criminology at Universitas Indonesia as a guest lecturer. She was also an associate researcher at the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia/IRASEC (2019-2021). Currently, she is a PhD student at the EHESS Paris. She is interested in religion in prison, in particular in the Indonesian carceral system. Together with Gabriel Facal, she contributed to the 2020 edition of IRASEC‘s annual report.

Sarah Anaïs ANDRIEU – Anthropologist, Centre Asie du Sud-Est/CASE (EHESS-CNRS, Paris).

Sarah Anaïs Andrieu earned her PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology at EHESS, Paris. She works since 2005, about cultural and heritage politics, particularly regarding “traditional” practices in Indonesia. Living in Bandung since 2006, she has been working about Sundanese wayang golek puppet theatre considering its identity, mystical, heritage and political dimensions, ranging from local observation to the apprehension of international policies (2005-2018). She has also been studying the practice of female circumcision in West Java (2014-2015) and powerful objects (pusaka) (2018-2019). Her current topics still cover heritage and memory processes as linked to cultural practices. In 2020, she started new research about (a)-religious alternative groups (New Age and atheism) in Indonesia.

Gabriel FACAL – Anthropologist, Centre Asie du Sud-Est/CASE (EHESS-CNRS, Paris); Institut de recherches Asiatiques/IrAsia (Aix-Marseille Université-CNRS, Marseille); Patrimoines locaux, Environnement et Globalisation (PALOC, IRD-MNHN, Paris).


Over the past fifteen years, Gabriel’s work related to the themes of ritual initiation, martial arts, traditional authority, ancestry, political violence, religious violence, and popular resistance. His fieldwork started in 2004 in Banten, Indonesia, with the monograph of a village well-known for its martial initiation school. In his Ph.D. (2012), he studied the links of several martial arts schools to the regional government and military elites. He then focused on Indonesian national political dynamics, essentially on the issues of corruption and clientelism. He also worked on transnational jihadist organizations in Malay Southeast Asia (2016-2020). In the different fieldwork, Gabriel paid attention to the processes of engagement and disengagement, the multiple affiliations and relations to the state, sometimes ambiguous, as well as the dilemmas encountered by the militants. In paying attention to collective mobilizations, he researches on: when, why, and how do critics appear and consolidate, who articulates it, what factors maintain it in the long term or, at the contrary, interrupt it, and what is the concrete effect of the mobilization in terms of policymaking? 

Recent contributions to collective projects: Martial Arts:; Authority & Aesthetics:; Territory & Matrimonial Alliance: