“Metal is Always Protest Music”: The Indonesian Heavy Metal Scene
Thursday, Feb. 15, 7:30-9 p.m.
MMaP Research Centre, second floor, Arts and Culture Centre
A free talk on Indonesian Heavy Metal music by visiting scholar Dr. Jeremy Wallach (Bowling Green University): Dismissed as politically inert, if not reactionary, by many in western countries, heavy metal’s relationship to progressive social change is complex. With the emergence of academic metal studies has come greater awareness of the profound dedication of the genre’s worldwide fanbase and the threat it has posed to totalitarian regimes-in some cases aiding in their demise. This is illustrated by the history of metal fandom in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, among other locales, but one of the most dramatic cases can be found in the largest metal scene in Southeast Asia: Indonesia. Indonesian metalheads protested against the dictatorial Soeharto regime prior to its downfall in 1998, and in 2014 one of them became Indonesia’s seventh president, defeating a throwback from the repressive Soeharto years. How was this possible? This presentation attempts to answer this question, drawing on twenty years of ethnomusicological research on the Indonesian metal scene.
Presented by MMaP Research Centre