State-sponsored torture and peacebuilding encapsulate the essence of many of the current conflicts in Indonesia. Papua in particular provides a thought-provoking example of the intricacy and complexity of building peace amidst enduring conflict and violence.
This book examines the complex power relations that have constructed the gruesome picture of the fifty-year practice of torture in Papua, as well as the ongoing Papuan peacebuilding movements that resist the domineering power of the Indonesian state over Papuans. Conceptualising ‘theatres of torture and peace’, the book argues that torture in Papua is performed in public by the Indonesian state in order to communicate its policy of terror towards Papuans - it is not meant for extracting information, gaining confessions or exacting punishment. A Torture Dataset is provided, codifying evidence from a broad range of cases, collected through sensitive interviews. In examining the data, the author crafts a new, more holistic framework for analyzing cases of torture and employs an interdisciplinary approach integrating three different theories: Foucault’s theory of governmentality and sovereignty, Kristeva’s theory of abjection and Metz’s theory of memoria passionis (the memory of suffering).
The book successfully establishes a new understanding of torture as ‘public theatre’ and offers a new perspective of strengthening the existing Papuan peacebuilding framework of Papua Land of Peace. It will be of interest to academics working on Southeast Asian Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Human Rights and Anthropology of Violence.
Table of Contents
1. Locating Torture in Papua
2. Reconstructing Torture
3. A Geneaology of Torture
4. The Anatomy of Torture
5. Theatre of Torture
6. Theatre of Peace: Re-imagining "Papua Land of Peace"
7. Lenses on Torture and Peacebuilding
Budi Hernawan is Lecturer at Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta, Indonesia and Research Fellow at Abdurahman Wahid Centre for Interfaith Dialogue and Peace at Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to his academic career, the author worked as a human rights activist in the conflict area of Papua, Indonesia (1997-2009).