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Commemorating gendered violence two decades on: Chinese Indonesian women’s voices in the diaspora
chapterposted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Monika WinarnitaMonika Winarnita, Ken Setiawan
At the heart of this chapter is the question of how gendered and racial violence is remembered and commemorated from a situation of both temporal and geographical distance. The chapter answers this question by providing an ethnographic account of the process of commemorating the gendered and racial violence of May 1998 in the context of the Chinese Indonesian diasporic community in Melbourne, Australia. Commemoration is understood as both the practice of community remembrance and the political processes under which there may or may not be consensus about the representation of the event (Stephens 2006, 2). We pay particular attention to the works of two Chinese Indonesian women: Rani Pramesti, who identifies as an activist-artist; and Dewi Anggraeni, who sees herself as a writer and story teller. Both women have expressed how recent anti-Chinese sentiments have affected them and thus inspired their work to counter dominant narratives that silence the systematic gendered violence. At the same time, our discussion will show some of the challenges that emerge in this process, particularly in a diasporic context.