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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Public history in Indonesia today faces considerable challenges. Despite the downfall of the New Order regime, its nationalist history program and agenda remain powerful in the culture. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the construction and use of authorized monuments and memorials. Monuments and memorials are evocative and affective; they promote and perpetuate emotional bonds. Drawing on familiar materials and symbols, they are aimed at particular audiences in specific contexts, and they are intended to be efficacious. As objects with the potential to affect communities or whole societies, they are also contestable. This chapter draws on what are arguably two of the most prominent public monuments and memorials in Indonesia—the Sacred Pancasila Monument (Monumen Pancasila Sakti), which speaks primarily to an internal or domestic audience, and the memorial to the victims of the Bali bombing in Kuta, which is primarily aimed at an international audience.

Keywords: Indonesia, public monuments, memorials, audience, Bali, Bali bombing

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