‘DIY or DIE’: Do It Yourself production and the struggle for an autonomous community in the Bandung hardcore punk scene

Sean Ryan Martin-Iverson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


The city of Bandung, Indonesia is home to a substantial hardcore punk scene; within this scene, a small but assertive DIY hardcore current strives to build a creative community that operates according to anti-capitalist DIY principles. Drawing on ethnographic research in the Bandung scene, I explore the value practices and social organisation of this community, focusing especially on three specific DIY projects: the Kolektif Balai Kota (City Hall Collective), an open, consensus-based collective that organises non-profit hardcore shows; the Endless DIY Store, a local independent distributor of DIY records, zines, and other products; and Inkoherent DIY Nutritionist, a record label that releases localised, affordable versions of albums by international DIY bands. Through such projects, and the social relations in which they are embedded, the ‘DIY kids’ (anak DIY) are building a cultural commons of shared means, knowledge and value as an alternative to the alienating logic of the capitalist market. While the autonomy of this DIY community remains partial, precarious and contested, the values they express and realise point towards alternative ways of organising cultural production and social life. Such practices of radical social creativity are an important part of the continuing political significance of punk in Indonesia and elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Punk Reader
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Transmissions From the Local and the Global
EditorsMike Dines, Alastair 'Gords' Gordon, Paula Guerra
Place of PublicationPorto, Portugal
PublisherUniversidade do Porto, Faculdade de Letras
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9789898648792
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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