"Programming" the Archipelago: Digital Visual Cultures and Nationalism in Indonesia


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Visual and Cultural Studies


This project examines the emergence of “digital nationalism” in post-authoritarian Indonesia, 1998-present, by analyzing three central case studies: Free Open Source Software (FOSS), video games, and social media. After the fall of Suharto’s regime, Indonesia became particularly passionate in its adoption of digital technologies, especially as an avenue for political and cultural participation. Examining key social actors in the three case studies and linking them to figures of modernity in Indonesia’s past, this dissertation explores the changing conceptions of nationalism in everyday public discourse propagated by the logic of computer programming. It further highlights the limitations of an optimistic belief about the power of “new” technology in upholding national identity.