Northwestern Events Calendar


Coping With Indonesia's Mudflow Disaster

When: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Public

Contact: Elizabeth Morrissey  

Group: Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS)

Co-Sponsor: Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Category: Lectures & Meetings


EDGS Graduate Lecture Series on Political Ecology

Prof. Anto Mohsin
Assistant Professor in Residence 
Liberal Arts Program 
Northwestern University in Qatar 

An ongoing mudflow catastrophe in Sidoarjo, Indonesia has submerged a vast area and displaced many villagers. This talk discusses the coping mechanisms that many of the internally displaced persons and indirectly affected victims used to deal with their deteriorating situations. Some of the strategies they employed include creating a sense of normalcy in a refugee settlement, using language to counter the dominant narrative of the disaster, forming victim groups to demand fair compensations, commemorating the disaster annually to enroll allies to their cause, and writing their stories to fight a collective memory loss. In many of these activities they were helped by groups of volunteers. One of them was the Kanai Newsroom, which was a media advocacy team setup to provide information for and train some victims to write, broadcast, and publish their stories online and in print. Voicing their conditions allowed these victims to create meanings out of their predicaments and put up a resilient response to the seemingly unending disaster. 

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