Afterimages: Constructing a counter-archive of south Bali histories through moving image

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In the past three decades the archive has been a significant site of engagement internationally for artists questioning how forms of history have been privileged and legitimised. This thesis builds upon this questioning of histories within the context of Indonesian contemporary art: extending upon a mode of practice that can be thought of as the counter-archive. It does so by extending the concept of archive to place: considering south Bali and its imaginary and material fragments as a living archive. This practice-led thesis constructs a south Bali counter-archive through a multi-channel video installation and an exegesis. The thesis examines two historical trajectories that continue to inform and contest the geography of Bali today. The first trajectory engages with material and immaterial traces of political violence from Indonesia’s 1965–66 anti-communist purges. In the second narrative, the project draws from Western surf odysseys that occurred in the 1970s. It examines the legacy of this early tourism through the lens of transculturation and considers how surf narratives sanitised geographies of trauma from 1965–66. Drawing from feminist methodologies of correction and contrapuntal strategies, this thesis posits that we read histories tangentially: connecting disparate narratives as a method of reframing historical knowledge.
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