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Military Responses to and Forms of Knowledge About Natural Disaster in Colonial Indonesia, 1865–1930

journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-22, 01:55 authored by Susie Protschky
This is the first study to chart changes in military responses to natural disaster in colonial Indonesia (the Netherlands East Indies). It reveals that, up until the early twentieth century, colonial forces conducting wars of conquest across the archipelago were caught in disasters as they happened, and their responses were localized and reactive. Around 1918, colonial policy shifted toward a more coordinated, interventionist role for the military that attended to the humanitarian needs of Indonesian disaster victims. The groundwork for an integrated, first-responder role for the military in natural disasters was laid during the 1920s, with the establishment of an air force with capabilities in aerial reconnaissance and photography. These new technologies fostered a militarization of colonial knowledge about natural disasters that reached its fullest expression during the Merapi eruption of 1930 and, notably, exceeded operational purposes by shaping colonial science, as well as disaster-and geo-tourism.

History

Journal

Indonesia

Volume

2022

Pagination

65-88

Location

Baltimore, Md.

ISSN

0019-7289

eISSN

2164-8654

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

113

Publisher

John Hopkins University Press

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