Torture as Theatre in Papua

  • Budi Hernawan


Conceptualised as theatre, this article examines 431 codified cases of torture in Papua during 1963-2010 as well as 214 testimonies of torture survivors, state actors and third parties in order to explore the interplay and dynamics of four interrelated elements: rationalities that underpin the web of power relations, techniques of domination, actors with their multiple and fluid identities as well as their motivational postures. Theatricality proffers a new analytical lens to examine half a century of state-sponsored brutality surrounded by virtually complete impunity and denials which leaves a little space to escape the theatre. It discloses ‘the art of government,’ the way the Indonesia state exhibits its sovereign power to govern Papua.

Author Biography

Budi Hernawan


independent researcher

Focus: Extremely Violent Societies