In some ways, it is a strange thing to be involved in the study of another country, to be a so-called "area studies" person. This is even more the case when the person doing the study is embedded one way or another in a part of the world whose relationship with the area being studied is built upon colonial and neo-colonial relations. In the case of Indonesian studies, when reading journal articles and English language books sometimes it feels like ONLY non-Indonesians are considered to have anything interesting to say when it comes to analysing Indonesian society. Anything an Indonesian says or writes can become simply an object of study and rarely seen as a help to understanding what is being studied.
Max Lane at a public forum on Indonesian politics, speaking on a panel with former President Abdurrahman Wahid (left), 2002. From tempointeraktif.com
Max Lane at the launch of the PEMBEBASAN newspaper, 2002. Also on the platform former President Abdurrahman Wahid.