IntroductionIndonesiais one of the country which has largest muslim population in the world. WithinIndonesian society, conservative norms circulating in its system andinstitutions for example, religions practices and traditional culture seen asimportant part that rule its society. Within this social composition, Punkexist as community that being seen as social disturbance and by some governmentand even seen as social “disease”. For Example, in Aceh 2011 punk communitythere were holding a concert and in the middle of the concert law enforcerinterrupting the concert to detain punk community member and send them to therehabilitation center because punk lifestyle was seen as practices that againstthe Islamic values (The Guardian 2011). Another arrest by law enforcer was alsohappen in Bali were punk being chased out.
The “hunt” by law enforcer andshunned out by the government has happen around Indonesia. Because of thesestigma and prejudices, they are creating misrecognition which then hamper punkmember socio-economic life. Thisessay will talk about punk community who experiencing social injustice throughthe stigma and label by the government, citizens, and law enforcer and how theexperience brings injustice to the Indonesian youth especially punk communitymember.Punkhistory, Ideology and its Indonesian ContextPunkare flourished in the underground music scene since early 1980s and it becomeslifestyles who are becoming the counter-culture of current established order orvalues.
According to Little (2011) In New York America, the music began withthe bands such as The Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads enter the Americanmusic scene and with the socio-economic condition where similar with conditionin London with Sex Pistols band as one of the famous music band in the front ofthis community. The condition that little were talking about is where there ishuge unemployment and dissatisfied experience that youth in those areaexperience. White (2011) also referring to Tricia Henry about punk members asthe middle-class youth who are rejecting the middle-class values in Americagathering together to participate and creating punk, similar to what happen inLondon where punk representing the working-class youth ideas against theestablished order. This economic and social environment create comfortablegrowth for punk idealism to spread among youth especially with the music as thecenter attraction. The fashion style ofthe bands began influencing youth in those cities as they become the symbol ofthose who rejects the current establishment of society. JonSavage in his England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyondtries to define punk as youth, street life and rebellion is important part ofbeing a punk and also strong individuality which later Craig O’ Hara in hisbook Philosophy of Punk defines individuality as Do It Yourself system(Gumilang and Ferry). In the practices of these ideologies, punk communitymainly created their own way to sustain their everyday life and holdingcommunity events similarly to what Do It Yourself system which stems forself-sustenance way of surviving, for example creating their own fashion shop,clothing, and recording label to support local punk community. for the youth whoenter the punk community, freedom become the main attraction for them becausethey can express themselves through music and fashion without the constraint ofnorms.
This is similar to Prasetyo (2017) argues on punk as global phenomenonwhich affects and being accessible to youth through those channels which cancreate their own empowerment and symbols on political grounds. These youthscreated their identities which Winker and Degele (2011: 54) stated that “Individualsconstitute their identities in delineation from others, while at the same timecreating a sense of belonging”. Particularsituation also happen to Indonesia during the years of Soeharto Presidency werethere are youths that is voicing their concern of the current regime and claimsthat there is injustice and were against the political choice of the currentregime which gives disadvantage to the society.
Consequently, Indonesianunderground music scene was introduced of Punk by the famous band such as SexPistols and The Ramones this is also resulted from the increased interrelatednessby the characteristics of globalizaiton. During this time Punk were spreadamong Indonesian youth through underground music scene. In Indonesia, themusic, culture, and fashion of Punk are flourished throughout the country.According to Pickles (2000): “Unitedby the desire to reclaim artistic creativity, the underground movement (punk)offers musicians an escape from the clutches of commercial culture.
Hollers,screams and growls are let loose. Unlike the mainstream music world which isengineered by profit-oriented major label corporations, expression is notrestricted.” As they flourished in the underground scenefollowers of punk were spread across Indonesia and active in creating their ownsystem in the society. This is particularly one of the reason why punkcommunity getting bigger because they are directly in touch with youth whichliving under poverty line which largely the one of the biggest category inIndonesia who has almost half of its population live under poverty lineaccording to World Bank (2017). As also happen with other punk community inother countries Indonesian punk community created their own identities amongIndonesian youth and living under the poverty line. Negative Stigma Punk in Indonesiaand its ImplicationsThe freedom thatthis community has become the main source of problem in Indonesian context.Getting tattoo, piercing, and their fashion style also music are considered asnegative and less appealing in any other style in Indonesia. Especially Punkalways being accused to relate in to crime by the government and even localpeople where they live in.
for example one of the police chief inspector inAceh statements as cited by Balowski (2012), “Howdirty would Indonesian society be if it was filled with homeless punks in everycorner of the city?” this shows that punk are seen as disturbance in thesociety and several stakeholders in the society wants to normalize them in orderto discipline them into a better member of the society. This particular notionwas not only belonged to the police itself it is also belong to the governmentwho sees them as an aberrance in the society and need to be re-educated. Inparticular there is a certain attached label of punk that being created throughthis process. Thisstigma is a creation of norms that created spread into the Indonesian society.
Thesenorms then justified what the police and governments speech and action towardthe community. This is based on the conservative that majority Indonesiansociety has which also government included in it. Through the perpetuation ofthis negativity in the media, government, and law enforcer created a secludedpunk in the society in their everyday life. Norms were incorporated intoinstitutions such as government and police department in Indonesia whichcreated statement or policy that drives away punk or normalize them into thesociety. This is similar of what Spade (2015: 5) that “this incorporation ofnorms into institution created security and vulnerability toward certain groups”.Surely, the dominant norms that circulated through Indonesian Society creatednegative prejudice and stigma for punk.
in 2011, in Banda Aceh punk concertwere stormed by police and punk members being detained by the police and sendto re-education facility. Aceh’s governor said that these were done to ensurethe future of these youth punk and to civilize them (Liu 2011). Similar sentimentalso shared among Indonesian regional government throughout the countries. Mostof them work with local law enforcer to discipline the punk in the street andeither send them back to their parents or send them to the re-educationfacility similar to what happen in Aceh.
Theperception of punishment and re-education from the governments shown thatthrough institutions called governments and local values injustice were createdwhich being punk symbolizes uncivilized behaviour and poor future. Because ofthey are still young they need to be re-educated for their future so they can beyouth that symbolizes good citizen as shown in Aceh where the youth were sentto be normalized and leave punk lifestyle. Notonly these stigmas and prejudices comes from the governments and law enforcerit is also come from local organization and their neighbourhood. They werestigmatized by the neighbourhood mainly because of their fashion style which isconsider abnormal and related to criminality. As an example, punk members groupwho live in Jakarta were getting negative sentiments and become the neighbourhoodtalks and the people of their neighbourhood hold meeting to discuss them andthey were decided to throw them out because they consider them as “criminalyouth” (Haska 2008).
The experience of this group of community member shownthat these punk members were not accepted into their society because theyrecognize them as a threat to their society. Sen and Nussbaum argues that allhuman should be able to exercise their capabilities without conderation ofwhere they live (as cited in Thom Brooks 2013: 517). in this term, Punk memberwere denied place to live and being a member of the society. This case also showsa status injury that Fraser (1998: 3)argues as a matter of injustice which entrenched in the social relationsbecause of misrecognition. Consequently, she also stated that “theinstitutionalized patterns of cultural value resulting a denied of status insocial interaction and participation in everyday social life”. Because of thisstatus injury punk members are being treated as social disturbance which makesthem secluded in the society in their everyday life.
Conclusions Punk with its music, culture, ideology has become main attraction foryouth especially for those who are under the poverty line as the way out fromthe current established order. Indonesian youth become enticed with thiscommunity as they see punk is viable option for them in the current society.Nevertheless, because of their ideology and appearance which do not fit withinthe established institution in Indonesia they became secluded throughgovernment policy, law enforcer action, and the people who give prejudice uponthem. This circulation of treatment and prejudice obstruct their socialinteraction and made them suffer in the everyday life as they being hunted andsend to re-education facility to normalize them. As the norms that permeatesinto the layers of institutions which made them as social disturbance and beingperceived as people who are deviant and need to be treated with punishment andre-education. The cases in Aceh where punk concert being stormed by policeshows that because of this stigma and prejudice its hampers their way ofactualization and social interaction towards their peers.