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Soap Opera and Muddy Affairs in Indonesia: The Cultural Politics of the Lapindo Mudflow Case (2006–2014)

In May 2006 a devastating mudflow engulfed East-Java's densely populated area of Sidoarjo. Nine years later, the origin of the disaster still remains the topic of an ongoing scientific debate. Two opposing conclusions dominate: the catastrophe was either 'natural'-caused by an earthquake-or 'man-mad... Full description

Journal Title: Bijdragen tot de Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde, 2015, Vol.171(4), pp.455-488
Main Author: Bosnak, Judith
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 00062294 ; E-ISSN: 22134379 ; DOI: 10.1163/22134379-17104002
Zum Text:
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recordid: proquest1959130354
title: Soap Opera and Muddy Affairs in Indonesia: The Cultural Politics of the Lapindo Mudflow Case (2006–2014)
format: Article
creator:
  • Bosnak, Judith
subjects:
  • Indonesia
  • East Java
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Earthquakes
  • Disasters
  • Propaganda
  • Earth Science
  • Volcanoes
  • Studies
  • Drilling
  • Anthropology
  • Landslides & Mudslides
  • Bantu Languages
ispartof: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 2015, Vol.171(4), pp.455-488
description: In May 2006 a devastating mudflow engulfed East-Java's densely populated area of Sidoarjo. Nine years later, the origin of the disaster still remains the topic of an ongoing scientific debate. Two opposing conclusions dominate: the catastrophe was either 'natural'-caused by an earthquake-or 'man-made', triggered by drilling activities of the oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas. Soon after the eruption of the mudflow, a Surabaya-based artists' association produced a Javanese-language soap opera called Gali lubang, tutup lubang, 'Dig a hole, fill a hole'. Several national and international newspapers described the television programme as a damage-control device, because the series was sponsored by the oil-and-gas-winning company implicated in the disaster. This article, however, shows that the series cannot simply be set aside as propaganda. A profound study of the production process and of the content of the soap opera-placed within the broader context of the (inter)national debate on the origin of the mudflow catastrophe-reveals the panorama of self-interests and cultural politics that gave shape to a controversial series about a controversial topic.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 00062294 ; E-ISSN: 22134379 ; DOI: 10.1163/22134379-17104002
fulltext: fulltext_linktorsrc
issn:
  • 00062294
  • 0006-2294
  • 22134379
  • 2213-4379
url: Link


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subjectIndonesia ; East Java ; Petroleum Geology ; Earthquakes ; Disasters ; Propaganda ; Earth Science ; Volcanoes ; Studies ; Drilling ; Anthropology ; Landslides & Mudslides ; Bantu Languages
descriptionIn May 2006 a devastating mudflow engulfed East-Java's densely populated area of Sidoarjo. Nine years later, the origin of the disaster still remains the topic of an ongoing scientific debate. Two opposing conclusions dominate: the catastrophe was either 'natural'-caused by an earthquake-or 'man-made', triggered by drilling activities of the oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas. Soon after the eruption of the mudflow, a Surabaya-based artists' association produced a Javanese-language soap opera called Gali lubang, tutup lubang, 'Dig a hole, fill a hole'. Several national and international newspapers described the television programme as a damage-control device, because the series was sponsored by the oil-and-gas-winning company implicated in the disaster. This article, however, shows that the series cannot simply be set aside as propaganda. A profound study of the production process and of the content of the soap opera-placed within the broader context of the (inter)national debate on the origin of the mudflow catastrophe-reveals the panorama of self-interests and cultural politics that gave shape to a controversial series about a controversial topic.
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abstractIn May 2006 a devastating mudflow engulfed East-Java's densely populated area of Sidoarjo. Nine years later, the origin of the disaster still remains the topic of an ongoing scientific debate. Two opposing conclusions dominate: the catastrophe was either 'natural'-caused by an earthquake-or 'man-made', triggered by drilling activities of the oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas. Soon after the eruption of the mudflow, a Surabaya-based artists' association produced a Javanese-language soap opera called Gali lubang, tutup lubang, 'Dig a hole, fill a hole'. Several national and international newspapers described the television programme as a damage-control device, because the series was sponsored by the oil-and-gas-winning company implicated in the disaster. This article, however, shows that the series cannot simply be set aside as propaganda. A profound study of the production process and of the content of the soap opera-placed within the broader context of the (inter)national debate on the origin of the mudflow catastrophe-reveals the panorama of self-interests and cultural politics that gave shape to a controversial series about a controversial topic.
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