Panel 5 – Goods, Tools & Transactions

Panel 5 – Goods, Tools & Transactions–Alternative Materialities & Non-Commercial Circulation

How is the transaction of material productions and immaterial goods mediated by social organizational modes of regulation that compete with, run in parallel to, or complement the capitalist model of accumulation? 

  • How are these organizational modes sustained by clientelist local networks and mechanisms of interpersonal arrangements?
  • Why do different kinds of reactions develop (from passivity to incorporation, to complaint, and contestation) in front of the governmental and management tools that contribute to the regulation/deregulation of economics and politics, and to the right to use and share?
  • What happens when the circulation of goods is oriented towards small-scale and intergenerational solidarity, rather than stimulating the desire for capitalization?
  • Do new technologies of expression, information, circulation, and communication favor social emancipation?
  • Are there common goods exclusive to one community that does not correspond or comply with public interests? It may be interesting to re-examine experiences of establishing “commons” on different spatial and temporal scales as opposed to the notion of “public” (and vice versa) to enrich reciprocal interrogation of these two fields of research.


Host institution: SEA Junction (Backup: ALTERSEA)

Chairperson: Iqra Anugrah (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)


Randiano Tamelan (Lakoat.Kujawas, Indonesia)Indigenous knowledge and the social movement: A lesson from Mollo, Indonesia

Abstract: Mollo land in the highlands of Timor is the site of resistance from a particular group of people who opposed the mining practice sponsored by the government from 1996 to 2006. The resistance was led by indigenous women who did peaceful protests by weaving woven cloth at the mining site. I conducted a qualitative approach using 3 Focus Group Discussions with indigenous women protestors and Mollo youth. The FGD is part of a larger ethnographic study to find out how the community directs its social movement to protect its identity. The results of this study appear in two main themes. First, the demonstration while weaving illustrates the symbolic meaning of human’s relationship with nature. The protest is also a form of women’s agency to oppose the complexity of the struggle created by the government which continues to put forward its agenda in mining activities. Second, although mining practices have long stopped, today’s youth view the government’s neoliberal policies as a threat that creates a more cosmopolitan space and threatens the rights and ways of life of the indigenous Mollo people. To this extent, the youth have created new forms of resistance by assimilating the function of the market for the preservation and promotion of their indigenous knowledge and practices. This research shows that the Mollo people embrace the values ​​of substantive authenticity in their social movements as an action to counter the dominant discourse that eliminates their identity in post-neoliberal reforms in Indonesia.

Keywords: Social movement, indigenous knowledge, youth, weaving, West Timor.

Bio & Contact: Randiano Tamelan is a community organizer of Lakoat.Kujawas, an indigenous organization located in Mollo, West Timor, Indonesia. He has been working closely to support the indigenous community especially the young people of Mollo since 2016. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 2020 with a Master’s Degree in Development Studies. He is also interested in studying issues related to the neoliberal government and its policy that impacted the marginal people in rural Indonesia.

Video presentation

Arya W. Wirayuda (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) Islamism, Economy, and Authoritarianism in Indonesia 

Abstract: The relationship between Islamism and the Indonesian economic system is a relatively recent inquiry. In the last decade, a body of literature has examined the aspects and influences of Islamic economics in economics and history. However, some other elements in the history of Islamic economics are still understudied, especially in the context of Indonesia under New Order authoritarianism. In particular, models and ideas advocated by the Islamic economic movement resonated with anti-dictatorship ideas and opposition of Indonesian Islamists. This paper, therefore, aims to investigate the relationship between Islamic economics and Indonesian authoritarianism by analyzing how Indonesian Muslim organizations strategically use Islamic economics and Islamic economic values to fight against dictatorship. This study uses historical methods with insights from economics and political science concerning the relationship between authoritarianism, social movements, and the economy. This article contributes to addressing the gap in analyzing how Islamic organizations in Indonesia responded politically and socially to economic dynamics during authoritarianism and regime transition. It also examines how the notion of Islamic economics was used strategically to challenge the neoliberal-capitalist orientation of the New Order dictatorship. Insights from this study will allow us to understand the changing strategies, tactics, objectives, and modes of Islamists’ opposition against the dictatorship.

Keywords: Islamism, Islamic economics, authoritarianism, Indonesia.

Bio & Contact: Arya Wanda Wirayuda is a PhD student at the Department of Modern and Contemporary World History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities, Airlangga University, Indonesia, since 2012. His primary research and teaching interests are the history of Islam, history of economics, social movements, research methods, and Southeast Asia. He has published several books as well as articles in journals and newspapers. Since 2003 he has been actively involved in several prominent Muslim organizations.;

Video presentation

Pierre Prouteau (LESC/Nanterre, France) – Are Thai Sound Systems a Hegemonic Tool or a “Weapon of the Weak”?

Abstract: Can sound systems help to transform and shape alternative futures and possible worlds? Are sound systems, whether intrinsically or contextually, hegemonic tools or “weapons of the weak”? This study interrogates the technological apparatus of sound system and its ability to fosters social emancipation in Thailand and beyond. A sound system is an electro-acoustical machine that electronically amplifies sound. Seen through a communication lens, it is a medium that contains “information”: sounds in all its forms – music, but also political discourse, trader’s litany, and religious repertoire. Anthropologically, it is a collective and hybrid entity composed of machines and humans gathered around it. Acoustically, it makes immanent and sensible extreme registers of sound (infra-bass and shrill) most notably through loudness as well as impressive other acoustic effects like echo, distortion, and the inherent ubiquity of the loudspeakers. In Thailand, the uses of sound systems span from religious activities, musical inebriety and dance, ritual transformation, to commercial and capitalistic concerns. Here, sound systems can be used as a politico-aesthetic tool for subcultures and subalterns or as an expression of fascist hate and militarization. Impacting individuals and shaping collectivities, the study of sound systems also interrogates the tension between atomization and unity inherent in its utilization. With the exception of Sutton’s (1996) work on electronic sound technology in Java, little work has been done to address the impact of sound system in Southeast Asia. This study therefore seeks to investigate the emancipatory potentials of sound system with a focus on the Thai context.

Keywords: Mediascape/Soundscape, Sound Systems, Thailand, Ethnomusicology, Apparatus

Bio & Contact: Pierre Prouteau is a PhD candidate at LESC/Nanterre and at CASE/EHESS. His research focuses on the sound systems in Thailand from an ethnomusicological and anthropological perspectives. His forthcoming publication is: Prouteau, Pierre (2021) “The Dual Fate of the Twin Horns – from United States anti-communist weapon to the Phetchabun processional bands’ sound system (Thailand)” in Haukamp, Hoene and Smith Eds. Asian Sound Cultures, London: Routledge.

Video presentation