New Active History Paper: David Webster, Narratives of Colonization, Decolonization and Recolonization in Papua

We are happy to publish a paper by David Webster of the University of Regina. This is the third paper written for ActiveHistory.ca. Check back next week for a translation of our first paper: Yves Montenay, Pourquoi le Vietnam s’en tire et Cuba s’enfonce. If you would like to contribute a paper to this website please consult our Paper Guidelines

Narratives of Colonization, Decolonization and Recolonization in Papua

Abstract
After the resolution of the Aceh dispute and the independence of East Timor, Indonesia’s most serious conflict is in Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). One major stumbling block to conflict resolution is the clash of historical narratives. Papuan nationalists claim their land was “already sovereign” from the 1960s and that the Indonesian state and military have denied them the right to self-determination. The Indonesian official narrative argues that Papua exercised its right to self-determination along with the rest of Indonesia in 1945. Conflict resolution in Papua will require a dialogue between the two historical narratives in order to create a space for understanding of the other side’s case. This paper reviews each side’s narrative of the conflict’s history, using documents published by each, and assesses the clashing historical understandings. Read Full Paper Here

Cover of Kembalinya Irian Barat [West Irian’s Return] (Jakarta: Arsip Nasional Republik Indonesia, 2002).

Cover of Kembalinya Irian Barat

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