Arnez, Monika
The Asien-Afrika-Institut, University of Hamburg
Brief bio :
Monika Arnez, Assistant Professor in Austronesian studies at the Department of Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Hamburg, teaches introductory and intermediate courses on Southeast Asian culture, society and language and supervises Ph.D. thesis related to Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on the Malay world. Her research interest is on Islam as related to social practices and the environment, youth movements, gender and literature. Beside two edited volumes on Indonesian theatre (2013) and representations of morality and sexuality in Indonesian narratives (2011) she has published articles about the transformation of gender dynamics in Indonesia, propagation of Islam through narratives, women’s empowerment in Muslim mass organizations, and religion in the practice of daily life in Indonesia.
Individual Project :

Though the Indonesian government has increased efforts to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation in the last years, Indonesia still faces severe environmental problems of air and water pollution as well as destructive exploitation of other natural resources, especially forests and marine life. While pollution cannot be dealt with on a local basis, the modes of exploitation can be addressed locally, so it can be expected that local actors and communities have developed their own strategies for sustainability. The regions, where research will be conducted, are located in Java and Kalimantan. Many migrants, for instance teaching personnel, have come from Java to Kalimantan to ‘export’ education, and numerous people from Kalimantan regularly leave for Java to seek education.

The purpose of the study is to describe and examine the strategies local communities employ to contribute to sustainability in rural parts of Indonesia. It examines the extent to which the factors mobility, Islam and education influence these strategies. Moreover, it addresses the use of resource management, which is needed to retain critical ecological resources, and governance that influences resilience during self-organization. Furthermore, it will be shown how these often informal resource management practices feed back into the local communities. The methods used are multi-sited fieldwork, participant observation, guideline-based interviews, expert interviews, as well as focus group discussions.