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.


Papua; torture; survivors;

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DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/ijcv.416

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