This Grievable Life: Precarity, Land Tenancy, Climate Change and Flooding in the Kampung of Jakarta
Cuadra, Linda K.
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University of Washington Abstract This Grievable Life: Precarity, Land Tenancy, and Flooding in the Kampung of Jakarta Linda Kathleen Cuadra Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Professor Laurie Sears History Slum clearing in Jakarta has taken on a new intensity since the end of the New Order in Indonesia, despite the nation’s claim of providing a more democratic atmosphere and expansion of civil right for its citizens. This paper considers the conflation of forces that work to make the lives of Jakarta’s poor residents more precarious, considering Judith Butler’s ideas of precarity and dispossession and how these can lead not just to increased poverty but possibly to positive responses from the dispossessed. Considering how the poor have been moved as demand for developable land and land prices escalate in Jakarta highlights how disenfranchised the poor in modern Indonesia have become. Problems of flooding and climate change are explored, as well as the complicated nature of land use and land tenancy in Jakarta. Neoliberal pressures to both provide cheap, informal labor and to conform to international ideals about environmentalism are considered. Finally, this paper explores whether ideas of dispossession paired with social media may increase the ability of Jakarta’s poor to struggle against those external forces that pressure quality of lives toward penury.