The politics of cultural production in the DIY hardcore scene in Bandung, Indonesia

Sean Martin-Iverson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] In this thesis I explore the efforts by a group of young Indonesian hardcore punks to establish an autonomous community based on participatory 'Do It Yourself' principles, as they strive to avoid the reduction of their cultural production to an assemblage of commodities for sale. I position my thesis as a critical engagement with the social theory and political practices of the anak DIY themselves. My argument draws primarily on the participant observation fieldwork I carried out with the Bandung DIY community, and particularly the DIY activists organised around the Kolektif Balai Kota (City Hall Collective), in 2004 and early 2005. Drawing on global anarcho-punk and DIY hardcore currents, these 'DIY kids' (anak DIY) position themselves as critics of Bandung's thriving underground music scene, which they perceive as having 'sold out' to the commercial cultural industries. Indeed, while this scene has maintained a degree of independence from direct corporate ownership and control, it has increasingly been drawn into the capitalist logic of accumulation. More specifically, as the scene has developed into a small but significant youth-oriented fashion industry, the subcultural forms of independence, distinction, and resistance which characterise the underground have been transformed into a neoliberal form of competitive entrepreneurialism based on precarious cultural labour. Breaking with the spectacular subcultural transgression of the commercial underground, the anak DIY promote the values of kemandirian (autonomy) and komunitas (community) as a positive alternative to capitalist alienation. They seek to express and realise their values through their performances of DIY hardcore. DIY hardcore performances establish a positive synthesis between community participation and political critique and collapse the divide between performers and audience.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


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