Arnez, Monika

Monika Arnez obtained her PhD from the University of Cologne, Germany, in Indonesian and Malay Studies. She teaches undergraduate and graduate students and supervises B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. thesis on different issues related to Southeast Asia. Her latest research, which was part of the EU-funded project SEATIDE, focused on how the entanglement of state and non-state actors promotes or impedes dreams of social justice and prosperity in East Kalimantan. Other anthropological projects she has conducted since 2008 have analyzed ecofriendly Islamic boarding schools and women’s empowerment in Muslim women’s mass organizations in Indonesia.

Summary of Project: 

Shaping Knowledge: Land reclamation and sand mining in Indonesia

Sand is in high demand; it is the construction sector where most of the sand ends up. It is largely due to its insatiable appetite for sand that many beaches have been exhausted, and rivers and marine areas have now become the focus of the sand extraction industry. Another sector heavily depending on sand is land reclamation. Countries like Singapore, for example, have long relied on sand import from countries such as Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam for land reclamation before the latter prohibited the export of sand to their Southeast Asian neighbor. In addition, in many countries, land reclamation has occurred on an interregional basis.

This study is a multi-sited ethnographic study on how knowledge-shaping processes can inform a deeper understanding of land reclamation and sand mining in Indonesia. Informed by scholarly work on knowledge-shaping processes and migration and a theoretical framework of Feminist Political Ecology, this project identifies different attitudes and approaches towards sand mining and land reclamation, explains how particular types of knowledge are considered to be more legitimate and valid than others and analyzes the ways in which gendered migration related to sand mining and land reclamation.

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