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The Street Punks of the Tsunami Museum

From Planet 215

Marjaana Jauhola describes how an alternative sense of belonging is created across the city of Banda Aceh and the wider world by the Acehnese punk movement, in the face of persecution by the authorities.

I met with Yudi and the other Tsunami Museum street punks for the first time in June 2013 when I was doing urban ethnography fieldwork in Banda Aceh. When approached by Planet in May of this year to write a piece on the street punks in Aceh, I asked Yudi if he was interested in sharing his thoughts directly with the magazine’s readers. Yudi’s text is a result of sitting together and sharing my laptop with him at the museum.

The city of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of the westernmost province of Indonesia on the island of Sumatra, is mostly known as the epicentre of the Indian Ocean earthquake and the tsunami on 26 December 2004, but also as a place that is rebuilding itself after a thirty-year-long armed conflict between the Acehnese independence movement and the Indonesian central government. The Tsunami Museum is one of the new landmarks of the reconstructed city.

The Banda Acehnese punk community became part of a global media circuit of recycled quotes and images when sixty-five punks (sixty-two male and three female) were arrested at an event on the evening of 10 December in 2011…



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