On 5 December 2022, Mahardhika Sjamsoeded Sadjad successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Intimations of an "Us" when imagining and encountering the "refugee other": Reactions and responses to refugees' presence in Indonesia.
Based on research conducted in Jakarta, Cisarua (Java), Medan, the Riau Islands and Makassar, she asked: How do the representations of refugees in Indonesia’s media and political discourses, and in situated encounters with refugees, reflect and inform constructions of host societies’ identities? The empirical findings highlight how these representations work to produce constructs of host societies’ ‘selves’ and refugees’ ‘otherness’.
Sadjad was particularly interested in exploring host societies' use of use of words, expressed in selected texts and observed contexts, which illuminate what representation, reactions and responses do in the assemblage of refugee reception.
Her four empirical chapters show how representations, reactions, and responses to refugees are loaded with emotions, some of which function to motivate assistance, kindness and help that may offer a solidaristic shift in host societies-refugee relations, while simultaneously some contain discourses of insecurity and jealousy that counteract such solidarity.
Rewatch Dhika's defence introduction
A photographic reminder of the defence
Read Dhika's thesis
In the meantime you can download the abstracts.