Framing Piety, Visualizing Islam

Monday, February 2nd, 2009, 00:00 WIB

Framing Piety, Visualizing Islam
Visuality and Identity in the Age of Consumption amongst Indonesian Muslims


The historical relation of Islam and Indonesia actually is started since the creation of Indonesian as a nation state. It is obvious that during the Indonesian nation-state struggle (Laffan, 2003) Islam[s], indeed, is plurals not homogenous ( Lawrence , 1998). During the Indonesian`s revolution era to the Independent, at least two dominant Islam the Nahdlotul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyyah, now there are more than two Islamic parties with their own Ideologies (Riddel, 2002).
Nevertheless, most of those Islams are sharing the same action that is to change the Indonesian local religious tradition into more ‘Islamic’. In addition, Islam also in a more complex situation, it has to address the discourse of being modern in a new nation-state arena, in which in common Islamic consciousness it is secular and western orientation.

Proceeding to the strengthening of Islam in socio-political realm of Indonesia in early 1990`s, the visual image of mass people was colored with the luster of ˜jilbab` for the Muslim woman and ‘koko` shirt for man (Juliastuti, 2003; Jones 2007). Images of Islamic devotion such as tasbih (beads), handy-holy scripture, Islamic key-holder, Islamic sticker, and others popular and ordinary things is being creatively Islamicate, immensely visualizing the transformation of this ‘secular’ realms into a more `sacred` to the believers (Budiyanto, 2006; Lukens Bull, 2005).
This visual cultural shifting marked the new approach of Islamic movements from political power orientation to a strategy of Islam as a cultural-ideology for people ( Roy , 2004). The later was signified by the revival of Islamic books, newspaper, and magazines started since early of 1990s (Latifah, 2006).. Being Islamic (Islami) in any practices of life -or the shariatization of Indonesia - as the only solution for Indonesian crises is a common discourse of this current era (Collins, E.F., 2004). This negotiations and relational engagements of Islam with the contemporary cultural expression of modern Indonesian creatively create their unique visuality in articulating their Islamic identity.

In this case, this research will analyze the artifacts. In which, it wills scrutinize this Islamic material culture through the lens of visual culture by take into account the following components that comprise the overall ‘field of vision’ (Plate 2002: 5) in Indonesian community: The image itself - what it looks like, its execution, physical materials, etc; The relationship between the medium and the message, or form and content, of the image; The creator of the image, including his or her ethnic, gender, sexual, racial, religious identity; The nature of the language that surrounds the image in terms of explaining it, arguing against it, or for it; The responses, on all sides, to the image  physical responses, verbal responses in news papers and journals, the response of the museum goers, legalistic responses.
The historical context of the image - in this case, among thousands of other images; The identity of those who view the image considering a Muslim might understand the image differently than a Christian; and Indonesian differently than western European; The particular cultural crossings that are constantly taking place in the image itself or in the creator itself; In addition, the role of social, political, and cultural institutions in the creation and reception of art (e.g. Muslim dolls).

About the speaker:
Ary Budiyanto is a doctoral student of ICRS-Yogya. He earned his Master degree in Cross-Cultural Studies from CRCS and he received a Bachelor`s degree (S1) in Philosophy from Gadjah Mada University (UGM), He is interested in South East Asian-wide regional research on Islamic Movements in relation to mysticism and culture.

Date : Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Time : 12.30 pm - 2.30 pm (free lunch)
Venue : Room 306, UGM Graduate School Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung YKT
Speaker : Ary Budiyanto, M.A.

The forum is free of charge and on a first-come-first basis.

Contact person:
Maufur ipung (ICRS):
Mustaghfiroh Rahayu (CRCS):