Transformations of youth resistance: underground music scene and Islamic politics

Crawford School of Public Policy | Indonesia Project

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 24 August 2022




Hikmawan Saefullah (Lecturer, Padjadjaran University)


Kate McLinton

Join in-person: McDonald Room, Menzies Library, 2 McDonald Place, ANU

Join online:
Webinar ID: 850 4235 3685
Passcode: 029070

About this seminar
The Indonesian underground music scene was once known as the bastion of progressive and radical Leftist politics for urban youths during the Reformasi era (1997-2002). After the fall of Suharto on 21 May 1998, leftist activism in the scene declined, and was followed by the emergence of the right-wing Islamic underground movement such as the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia-linked Liberation Youth and Hambos Community, One Finger Underground Movement, Punk Muslim, and Underground Tauhid. The rise of Islamic conservatism in this period also gave birth to what is known as the hijrah movement where some of the scene participants turned to Salafism and opposed music which they considered as forbidden in Islam.
This seminar examines the ideological and organisational shift of some underground music scene participants from secular, progressive, and leftist politics towards Islamic conservatism and right-wing Islamism in post-authoritarian Indonesia.

About Hikmawan Saefullah
Hikmawan Saefullah is a Lecturer in the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Padjadjaran University and a Fellow at the Center for Muslim Politics and World Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, Indonesian International Islamic University. He has been involved in the Indonesian underground music scene as both a musician and fan since the mid-1990s. In 2022 he completed his PhD in Politics at Murdoch University on ‘Transformations of Youth Resistance: Underground Music Scene and Islamic Politics in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia.’ His research interests include Indonesian politics, Islamic politics, Subculture/Youth Culture, Social Movements, International relations in the Middle East and Africa, Sunni-Shia sectarianism, and Media and Global Communication.

Photo: Bandung’s hardcore punk band Power Punk performing in DIY/underground rock show Kekesed Fest 2019. Source Hikmawan Saefullah.

Updated:  3 October 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team