When the Personal Becomes Political: Infrastructural Violence and Socio-Spatial Exclusion of Persons with Physical Diffabilities in Yogyakarta, Indonesia



Mahan, Laura

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This thesis examines the experiences of people with physical disabilities as they experience inaccessible public and social spaces in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This paper seeks to contribute to the growing body of literature in the field of disability anthropology by analyzing the notion of “embodied spaces” by pulling insights from multiple fields, such as narrative, urban geography and disability studies on socio-spatial exclusion. Throughout the paper, I analyze how cultural meanings of bodily difference contribute to and perpetuate socio-spatial exclusion for people with physical diff-abilities in Yogyakarta. Through ethnographic analysis, semi-structured interviews and a survey of inaccessible public transportation, public spaces, and community awareness of diff-abilities, I argue that people with physical diff-abilities in Yogyakarta continue to face instances of socio-spatial exclusion stemming from the Dutch colonization from 1602 to 1949 when the Dutch brought with them the medical model of disability. I also explore how people with physical diff-abilities in Yogyakarta are experiencing new forms of socio-spatial exclusion through globalization and political activism as they demand a more inclusive society.



Diffability, Space, Disability, Embodiment, Indonesia, Geography