Friday, April 08, 2016

Insularitas Akademik di Indonesia

Ketika saya memulai studi doktoral tujuh tahun lalu, saya sangat kesulitan menemui literatur mengenai kajian sosio-historis Indonesia yang ditulis oleh orang Indonesia yang layak dikutip sebagai sumber akademik. Akhirnya, daftar pustaka tesis saya mayoritas berbahasa Inggris. Hal ini mengganggu saya bertahun-tahun, yang pernah saya tulis di sini dan di sini.

Perasaan tidak nyaman ini berlanjut hingga titik di mana saya, dan beberapa kolega, memutuskan mengajukan proposal riset mengenai apa hambatan riset dan publikasi ilmiah di Indonesia. Studi tersebut dijalankan selama satu setengah tahun, di bawah Pusat Kajian Komunikasi, Departemen Komunikasi, FISIP, Universitas Indonesia dan Center for Innovation Policy and Governance melalui kolaborasi dengan Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Australia serta didanai oleh Global Development Network.

Pertanyaan mengenai 'kenapa tidak banyak akademisi Indonesia meneliti dan menulis mengenai Indonesia' terjawab, tapi jawabannya tidak menyenangkan hati. Secara struktural, birokrasi perguruan tinggi negeri membentuk perilaku 'tersekat-sekat' (insular). Lebih jauh mengenai apa itu insularitas bisa dilihat dalam materi presentasi di bawah ini.

Tugas saya sebagai akademisi adalah mengumpulkan data, mengolah dan menafsirkannya dengan jernih, lalu menuturkannya dengan cara yang ramah. Studi kami sudah tuntas, dan sharing hasil riset kami lakukan melalui the Conversation di sini, dan secara langsung melalui seminar bersama Knowledge Sector Initiative tanggal 6 April 2016 kemarin (berita di sini). Sekarang bagaimana hasil riset itu diterapkan bergantung pada pemangku kepentingan lainnya.

Saya akan lanjut dengan mencari peer akademik. Jika ada yang tertarik dengan hasil riset, saya bisa kirimkan melalui email. Silakan tinggalkan komentar di bawah.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Keluarga Komersial (OK. Video)

Last Monday (15/6), I got the chance to exchange views with the crowd at OK Video, which was really enriching (not to mention a breath of much-needed fresh air outside of campus). I sat in a couple of panels, although I didn't manage to get more time off from the office. But all in all it was really fun, and I thought of sharing. 

Sources linked.

While I was reading up for the panel, I got a good chance to reflect on changing continuities from the authoritarian period (1965-1998) to today. Overlaps and contradictions came to mind, and it gave a moment to think about democratisation from a different light. It is very important to me, as a scholar and mother, to contemplate about how the memories of the previous generation mean for those, like my son, born after Reformasi. What kinds of authorities must he, and my students and I and we, stand up to and speak up against today. Lets not forget that in many times and instances, within ourselves.

Below is presentation slide (IND). Many thanks to RuangRupa and IndoProgress for bringing in at least one female speaker :P. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Change Begins at Home

As part of my Indonesian civil servant recruitment (CPNS), I had to do a complete health check at a local State Hospital. I was ready to go through an inefficient, bureaucratic experience of a day (which was the reason why I had procrastinated for a year before actually doing it). To keep my sanity, I told myself to approach it as ethnographic research :p.

After being pointed to several mistaken desks, a hospital administrator directed me to the health check unit that takes care of CPNS like me. The lady in charge of the unit ticked some boxes after asking what ministry I was from. Then she put me in one group with several others who were also recruits like me.

We were lining up to get our blood drawn, and the lady put one folder on top of all our folders. "Yang ini diduluin ya, anaknya Pak Tono," she said, asking the laboratory officer to let the woman who came after all of us cut the line. The laboratory guy nodded.

I looked around for responses. Nothing. The five people before me did not feel that that was wrong.

I asked the whole room, including the woman whose back was to me, if that was alright. They were silent. "Jadi ngga apa ya, antrian kita diselak? Bapak, sistemnya gimana, ya?" I asked the guy what hell of a system he has. He took a deep breath, then asked me if one person cutting in would be okay. I asked back to the whole room. They said yes.

So apparently we have all agreed to let this happen.

As my order in the line came up, I hoped silently that they guy would not stab me with the needle repetitively (he didn't). Instead, he said softly to me that like me, he thinks it's unfair. "Siapa sih yang mau ya, Mba, membiarkan yang kaya begini. Tadi itu kerabat Direktur sini," revealing that the woman before was a relative of the unit's Director. I shared to him, as he was drawing my blood, that I was from UI. That like many bureaucracies, I have also experienced injustice, whether it directly or indirectly. "Tapi kan ngga bisa diam, Pak," I said. I asked what his name was, and saw his body tense up as he answered. I realised that he was afraid I would report him, when I had only meant to get to know a person, and let him know me as a person. The person he unwittingly wronged because he opted to avoid conflict.

I am not very sure how to process what had happened, aside from acknowledging the fact that power abuse is also permitted by us workers. That if we refused to be treated that way, it would not have happened. That being afraid we would get into trouble is not a reason to deprive others of what is rightfully theirs. We become just as responsible.

I also appeal to bureaucrats, despite handling 1,001 trinkets and facing frustratingly idiotic rules on a daily basis, to once in a while not delegate administrative tasks to our staff. By doing these things by ourselves, we are reminded of how we ourselves can inadvertantly participate in sustaining an inefficient system that could enable power abuse.

And, to me, it begins with little things. In our every day lives. Constantly, consistently, with practice.

If you're thinking of why we should do this, we are poorly paid and appreciated as it is. I'd like to share the opening of a book I was reading for a class (Mike Wayne [2003]):

For my son Jacob, because change begins at home.