IGLP alumni and Lecturer at City University London, Vanja Hamzic published the article “Unlearning Human Rights and False Grand Dichotomies: Indonesian Archipelagic Selves Beyond Sexual/ Gender Universality” in the Jindal Global Law Review.


“This study presents a critical genealogical analysis of the narratives and politics of representation of various human subjectivities in Indonesia who transgress dominant universalising sexual and gender norms. It traces various streams of regulation, including those reliant on liberal legalistic discourse of human rights, whose extremities produce the stringent ‘heteronormative’ versus ‘homonormative’ poles – the two mutually reinforcing other worlds bereft of the intrinsic complexity of sexual/gender experience across the country’s archipelagic selves. This tacit othering, inapt to account for numerous local identitary frictions, transitions and re-appropriations owed, inter alia, to distinct nonsexual and non-gender communitarian dynamics, continues to usher in an alien dichotomy of personhood, whose referential, idealised ‘self ’ and juxtaposed ‘other’ are both violently simplified and tainted with heightened ideological overtones. Against a backdrop of these impoverished binaries, this study confronts the multiple difficulties that a researcher of such phenomena inevitably encounters, ranging from the perils of internationalised taxonomies, such as ‘LGBT’, to the paradigmatic strategy of silent disidentification employed by the local subjectivities as a peculiar form of resistance. It is posited that these complexities are perhaps best captured and exposed if numerous globalised a priori binaries (‘hetero’/‘homo’, ‘male’/‘female’, ‘East’/‘West’, etc.) and legalistic ‘panaceas’ (eg liberal discourse on human rights) are gradually unlearnt and disestablished in favour of locale-specific inquiries into collective and individual selves and their counter-hegemonic social stratagems. The Indonesian narratives of archipelagic personhood offer one such opportunity.” (Hamzic, 2012)

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