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

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

by Jeff Lewis Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia, Belinda LewisJeff Lewis Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University
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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 the militant 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739128206
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 04/16/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jeff Lewis is Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia. He is co-director of the Human Security and Disasters Research Program in the Global Cities Institute and a former Fellow of the Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics. He is the author of numerous journal articles on cultural transformation and crisis in publications including The Journal of Asian Studies, Media International Australia and Cultural Studies Review. His most recent books include Global Media Apocalypse: Pleasure, Violence and Cultural Imaginings of Doom (2013), Crisis in the Global Mediasphere: Desire, Displeasure and Cultural Transformation (2011) and Bali's Silent Crisis: Desire, Terror and Transition (2009). He has also published widely in newspapers and magazines in Australia and Indonesia and is a regular radio/TV commentator regarding violence, terrorism and the media.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Temple of Doom: Shadows in the New Bali Chapter 3 Development and Destruction: The Consequences of Change Chapter 4 Bodies in Motion: Love and Desire in Contemporary Bali Chapter 5 In the State of Transition: Civil Society, Corruption, and the New Risk Culture Chapter 6 Terror, Territory, and God: The Cataclysm of Violence Chapter 7 Conclusion: Visions of the Eternal Spirit

What People are Saying About This

Graeme MacRae

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 meaning within 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.

Customer Reviews