Bali's Silent Crisis

Bali's Silent Crisis : Desire, Tragedy, and Transition

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Description

Bali and Balinese culture have become central to western imaginings of 'the east.' Along with its natural beauty and tropical sensuality, Bali's rich and complex culture has proved intensely alluring for western artists, scholars, and travelers. However,as this aesthetic imagining and desire for beauty have evolved into a mass tourism industry, the island people and their culture have experienced radical and rapid transformation. While many in the international community were stunned by the horror of themilitant bombings in 2002 and 2005, these attacks were merely the apex of a profound and ongoing crisis which resonates through the period of Bali's modernization and engagement with the global economy of pleasure. Bali's Silent Crisis examines and elucidates the complex cultural and political environment of contemporary Bali. The book explains the conditions of crisis in Bali in terms of a powerful collision of cultural elements and trends, focusing specifically on the double matrix of 'desire' and 'violence' that has characterized Bali's recent past. Moving beyond a simple opposition between 'tradition' and 'the modern', this book reveals a society that is struggling to reconcile its own profound aesthetic and sense of historical identity with the intense agonisms that are generated through rapid social and cultural change. Through its thematic approach, Bali's Silent Crisis presents an image of community trauma, creative resilience and pluralization. The book records the challenges and horrors associated with transition, as well as the formidable beauty that remains intrinsic to the island's sense of cultural destiny.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 252 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739132431
  • 9780739132432

About Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis is a professorial research fellow in the Global Cities Institute, School of Applied Communications at RMIT University. Belinda Lewis is a researcher in health promotion and international health in the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University.show more

Review quote

With academic backgrounds in cultural studies and health promotion they bring an interesting perspective to their subject and display an obvious concern for the long-term psychological health of Balinese caught up in the profound processes of change, violence, and desire that are encapsulated in the subtitle of their book....It is clear they have a great deal of affection for their subjects and come to their conclusions based on a long-term engagement with Bali....Overall the book is an ambitious undertaking in its attempt to synthesise and analyse such a wide array of topics and concerns. One of its strengths is the authors' attempt to address both positive and negative aspects of Balinese culture and society....It is refreshing to see a range of sourcesutilised that are not generally found in the more mainstream Bali studies literature. . . .the book represents an important and welcome scholarly contribution to our understanding of the challenges faced by Balinese in engaging with their contemporary world and their cultural and social resilience in dealing with the historical legacy of the last hundred years.--Brett Hough Bali's Silent Crisis is an ambitious undertaking that brings new perspectives to recent discussions on the difficult and contradictory situation in which Bali finds itself today, namely: a cultural-studies approach focusing on contests over meaningwithin a broadly political-economic framework; a gender/sexuality-based critique into the analysis of modern Balinese history; a focus on youth culture, especially in the under-researched areas of Denpasar and Kuta; a revalorization of the role of the 1960s hippie travelers in the making of tourist Bali; and, perhaps most importantly an effort to place the traumatic memories of 1965-6 at the center of the analysis of the contradictions of contemporary Balinese culture. As such it has something to say both to established scholars and visitors new to Bali..--Graeme MacRaeshow more

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