Say It with Flowers: Negotiating Urban Collective Memory in National Monument Park

    • Cover Photo
    • Presentation speakers
      • Raphaella Dewantari Dwianto, Department of Sociology, Universitas Indonesia


    In late April 2017, the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, witnessed a new phenomenon of thousands of flower-boards with various ‘thank-you’ notes, being sent to the city hall by the people, to the then-governor and vice governor of Jakarta, who had just lost the local government direct election in their attempt to run for the office for the second term. The city hall was not big enough, so the flower-boards were displayed in the National Monument Park across the city hall, which has always been public park since the era of Dutch Colonialization Era. The Park turned into a flower-display ground that attracted visitors from various part of the metropolitan. The ‘thank-you’ flower-boards symbolized a silent counter-movement of the people, as a respond towards another group of protesters who had been campaigning for the ‘Defend Movement for Islam’ with their massive demonstration in December 2016 in the same ground of The National Monument Park, demanding that the then-governor of Jakarta be trialed for blasphemy of the religion. This paper highlights the process of re-constructing collective memory of Jakarta people on the National Monument Park through a silent counter-movement using flower-boards as a medium of negotiation. This paper questions: who takes what part and how in the making of the ‘new’ collective memory; who are in(ex)cluded from collective memory by whom and how.