Episode 8: Conflict and Muslim-Christian relations in Papua, with Umar Werfete

Umar WerfeteFor this episode, Kate spoke with Umar Werfete. Umar is a lecturer and a head of research at the State Islamic University of Jayapura in Papua, Indonesia.

He also researches religious issues in Papua in his position within the Division for Research and Development, Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) Papua and is responsible for peace education initiatives and interfaith dialogue in his position within the Division of Peace Education and Interfaith Relations, Council of Papuan Muslims.

We discuss key issues in interfaith relations in Papua today, and how civil society groups work to promote peace between faith communities in Papua when the potential for clashes between Muslim and Christian communities remains high.

We also discuss how developments outside Papua affect interfaith relations, including the ways in which Muslim-Christian relations in Muslim-majority Java affect interfaith relations in the province, as well as the kinds of programs and initiatives that have proven most successful for Umar and his colleagues in reducing conflict among cultural and faith groups in Papua.

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Episode 6: Gender politics in Indonesian media, with Firly Annisa

Firly Annisa 2 smallerFor this episode Kate interviewed Firly Annisa, an activist and lecturer in Media and Communication at Muhammadiyah University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Firly is also involved with the NGO Rumah Sinema (Cinema House) where she promotes media literacy amongst young people.

We spoke about issues around the portrayal of women in Indonesian media and advertising, and how social stereotypes of gender roles affect the way women see themselves and interact with society.

We also discussed the rising trend of Muslim Middle class consumption, the concurrent rise of Islamic fashion amongst Indonesia’s middle class, and the unrealistic moral and aesthetic pressures this highly visible consumer trend places on Indonesian women – from skin whiteness as an association with ‘Muslim piety,’ to the irony of the commodification of a pious aesthetic by the fashion industry.

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