Memory and nationalism: the case of Universitas Indonesia
Kemas Ridwan KURNIAWAN
ABSTRACT As the only state university that bears the name of the country, the Universitas Indonesia (UI) has played an important role in the history of the Indonesian nationalist movement for over half a century. Now located in two sites, one in the center of the city and the other on the outskirts, the history of this leading state university – its architecture and location, as well as its campus life and student movement – reflects the clashes of various forces and competing ideologies. This study looks at the relationship between public space and nationalism in Universitas Indonesia in an interdisciplinary perspective. It relates architecture and urban history with the operations of power and memory in a campus, which is seen both as an arena of struggle as well as containment. In that sense the campus is a reflection of public space in a broader sense. This paper raises a question about the kind of civic space emerging from the tension between the physical structure and environment of the campuses and the inner space of campus politics and students movement.
KEYWORDS: public space (place), power, memory, nationalism
Kurniawan teaches Architectural History and Design in the Department of Architecture Faculty of Engineering Universitas Indonesia. He graduated as Sarjana Teknik (Bachelor of Engineering) in Architecture from Universitas Indonesia in 1995. He obtained Master of Science in Architectural History in 2000 and Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture in 2005. Both were from the Bartlett School of Architecture University College London. His research interests are about design history, colonial and postcolonial architecture and urbanism as well as modernity and tradition in Indonesian contexts. Just recently he conducted research about the history of dome in the Indonesian Mosque in Sumatra (2010) and the history of the urban space in Pancoran Glodok Old Batavia (2011).