(Re)Sourcing Development: Gender (Plays) in a Mining Town in Kalimantan, Indonesia


Event details

RE&D Research Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 01 July 2010


Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt


Jacqueline de Chazal
6125 3343
Large-scale resource extractive operations in Indonesia have brought into existence Company Towns’gated settlements that re-create within their strictly guarded boundaries an international community largely isolated from the surrounding Indigenous communities’where the social hierarchy mirrors the employment status. Within these Company Towns, the ‘mining camp’ occupies a special position as a multifaceted site for performances of differential power that the Company and contract employees enjoy. Within the mining camp, power play is gendered because of the masculinity that the mining industry cultivates and flaunts, and also the global character that the mining capital represents through resident and visiting experts, consultants and engineers from the older industrialized and/or richer nations such as the UK, USA and Australia. Gender in these mines is intricately tied to race.

This presentation will outline the articulation of gender and race in the mining camp’Tanjum Bara. Whilst gender is performed at multiple locations within the Camp, this presentation illuminates those places where interactions of a more ‘social’ nature take place: the dining hall, the tennis ground, the golf course, the swimming pool and the poolside bar. As temporary and longer-term liaisons are formed and broken on these sites, the places also shape how gender is played out by individuals who rewrite the strict but unwritten boundaries of behaviour.

Kuntala has extensive research experience on the social, environmental and gender issues related to mining development in Asia. In particular, she has written on the displacement of peasantry and indigenous peoples in eastern Indian colliery areas, on illegal mining, on the social impacts of the coal mining industry in Raniganj, and gender and livelihood issues in large and small-scale mines. Kuntala has written and edited several books; in the area of mining they include Social and Environmental Consequences of Coal Mining in India (jointly edited with G. Singh, D. Laurence, published from Calcutta, 2007); Women Miners in Developing Countries: Pit Women and Others (jointly edited with M. Macintyre, published from Ashgate, 2006. Her two forthcoming edited books are Gendering the Field: Gender and Sustainable Livelihoods in Mining (2010, ANU E Press), and Coal in India: Histories, Cultures and Ecologies (Routledge, 2011).

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