began this book by asking what was Balinese about
the Balinese reggae, punk, and death metal scenes of
the 1990s. The far-reaching implications of this appar-
ently straightforward question have been key to discus-
sions of the New Order regime’s fi nal years. They also
have impelled studies of contemporary Balinese culture
by showing that “localness” may be revived when people
reject autochthonous modes of communality. Such rejec-
tions produce cultural schisms and allow alternative soli-
darities to develop.
It is important to refrain from dichotomous assump-
tions about the nature of political domination in New
Order Indonesia, particularly in
light of recent studies such as
Carol Warren’s (1993), which re -
veals the important political role of Balinese “subaltern
reconstructions” of the national ideology, Pancasila, and
Ariel Heryanto’s (1999b) accounts of how Indonesian
people often only symbolically registered compliance with
the New Order regime, thus practicing hyperobedience.
If domination inevitably inspires perpetual resistance,
hyperobedience implies that dominant discourses give
people the very tools they need to subvert that domination.
In hyperobedience, domination and resistance to it merge,
confusing the traditional resistance/domination dialectic.
The confl ation of these two dichotomous notions has
been compounded in this book’s focus on the New Order’s
fi nal years, in which discursive fl ux and contestation have
underscored the importance of problematizing the notion
of Balineseness and rendered the seemingly simple ques-
tion with which my research began profoundly complex.
Acknowledging such complexity is indeed elemental to
any approach which views cultural identity as a process of
perpetual negotiation and revision, and as a power struggle
which implicates discourses of the global, the national,
Previous Page Next Page