Forum Interseksi

WHERE WE STARTED FROM

 

Selabintana

Forum Interseksi was initially an internal program of the Japan Foundation Jakarta Office where Hikmat Budiman, cofounder and is currently the chairperson of the Interseksi foundation, had worked with for five years. Assigned as a program coordinator of the intellectual exchange division of the foundation, in the year 2000 he designed a program to facilitate discussions amongst young Indonesian intellectuals and activists on current political issues resulted from political turmoils in Indonesia during the period of post “reformasi” movement. He proposed the program to the former director general of the foundation, and later was noticed that his proposal could only be realized in the next following Japanese fiscal year. Based on the proposal, in the fiscal year of 2001, the foundation initiated a forum later to be named “ Forum Interseksi” for young intellectual in the region of Jakarta, Bandung, Bogor, Depok, and Yogyakarta to critically and freely discuss the current issues they have been faced with.

The main objective of the discussion was to encourage young activists and/or intellectuals to share ideas to each other and to build critical understanding of social, cultural and political phenomena recently occurred after the downfall of Soeharto’s New Order Regime back in 1998. The first discussion, convened in the Japan Foundation Jakarta office building, tried to elaborate the political stance and ideological position of Indonesian civil society organizations after the demise of Abdurrahman Wahid’s power. This issue is politically critical in that while Wahid has long been known as one of the prominent figures actively involved in the prodemocratic movements during Soeharto’s tenure, along with the coming of Megawati to power many people doubt if she has as a strong commitment toward democratization as people tend to believe Wahid did.

Attended by 15 selected participants, the discussion was conducted by Hikmat Budiman as the program coordinator of the intellectual exchange division of the Japan Foundation at that time. The forum went on discussing not only the political and ideological stance Indonesian CSOs should side with, but also on how to regain one of the fundamental aspects of democratization, the public sphere, which had long been coopted by the State through its authoritarian government. One of the participants, Philips Jusario Vermonte, coined the term “interseksi” (intersection) to describe the intersection of interests and concerns shared together amongs civil society organizations, the state, and business sectors. Some other partipants proposed utilizing the concept as an alternative to the mainstream perspective in which CSOs has always been seen as opposition forces against the state. According to the forum, that’s not always the case anymore as we are now living in a radically new political situation. While that’s by no means throwing away the idea of opposition against the state all together, the formation of civil society organizations should rather be based on cooperation with other elements of society, not opposing to each other.

The forum agreed that we have to leave the notion that for the CSOs to win the state has to lose. At the end of the first discussion, all participants were asked to give suggestion on what kind of forum they actually want to participate in, what specialty could make a different with other existing forum, who they recommend to be the participants for the next discussion, what topics to be elaborate in the next discussion, and who is the speaker they considered competent for the topic they agreed on to discuss.

THE FIRST MEETING

  • Date : October 30, 2001
  • Venue : The Japan Foundation Office, Jakarta
  • General Theme: Indonesian CSOs After Abdurrahman Wahid Era

Speakers and themes:

  • Juni Thamrin (Political Position of Indonesian CSOs After Wahid Era: Political Perspective)

Paper Title: Peta dan Peran Civil Society Organization di Indonesia Paska Pemerintahan Wahid (The Role and Political Map of Indonesian CSOs After Wahid Administrative)

  • Dr. Mudji Sutrisno (Indonesian CSOs and the Creation of the Publicsphere:Philosophical Perspective)

Paper Title: Ruang Publik/Res Publica (Public Space) List of Participants

  • Didik Supriyanto (Jurnalist,Detik.com online media, former Secretary General of Indonesian Independent Jurnalist Aliance, Jakarta)
  • Philip J. Vermonte (Researcher at Central for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta)
  • Jujur T. Susilo (Student, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta)
  • Gutomo Bayu Aji (Researcher at Indonesia Institute of Sciences)
  • E. Kusnadiningrat (Lecturer, Jakarta Syarief Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Renata Aryuningtyas (Assistant Program Officer, Tifa Foundation)
  • Sapei Rusin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Juni Thamrin (Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Mudji Sutrisno (Lecturer, Driyarkara School for Philosophy, Jakarta)
  • Gusnellly (Researcher, Indonesia Institute of Science, Jakarta)
  • T. Hari Prihatno (Executive Director of PROPATRIA Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Kurniawan Hastuti Dewi (Researcher, Indonesia Institute of Science, Jakarta)
  • Ratu Syafitri M (Center for Cultures and Languages, Jakarta Syarief Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • M. Nurkhoiron (Assistant Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • Maho Sato (The Japan Foundation)
  • Hikmat Budiman (The Japan Foundation)

All participants were very eager to have the next discussion inviting more participants from many different backgrounds. Participants agreed to have the next meeting in Bandung to elaborate the issues on communalism and the prospect of democracy. Participant from DESANTARA Institute for Cultural Studies was interested in coorganizing the next discussion

THE SECOND MEETING

Coorganized with DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies

  • Date : January 15th –17th , 2002
  • Venue : Hotel Panorama Bandung, West Jawa
  • General Theme: Communalism and The Future of Indonesia Democracy
  • Speaker and theme : Dr. Pratikno (Communalism, Regional Autonomy, and the Future of Indonesian Democracy)
  • Paper Title: Bangsa yang Tidak Sempat Dewasa, Memahami Radikalisme, Otonomi Daerah, dan Demokrasi Paska Orde Baru (An Infantile Nation, Understanding Radicalism, Regional Autonomy, dan Democracy After Indonesia’s New Order)

List of Participants

  • Sapei Rusin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Didik Supriyanto (Executive Editor for Detik.com online media, Jakarta)
  • Pratikno (Lecturer, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta)
  • M. Nurkhoiron (Assistant Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • Sen Tjiauw (Journalist for FORUM KEADILAN, Jakarta)
  • Renata (Assistant Program Officer, TIFA Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Novin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Diding (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Fadil (Nahdatul Ulema’s Research and Development Division, Jakarta)
  • Waidl (Nahdatul Ulema’s Research and Development Division, Jakarta)
  • E. Kusnadiningrat (Lecturer, Jakarta Syarief Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Landry H. Subianto (Researcher, Central for Strategic and International Studies)
  • A. Malik Haramain (Post graduate student, University of Indonesia, Jakarta)
  • Miftahuddin (Assitant Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • M. Alfan Alfian (Deputy Director, KATALIS Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Philip J. Vermonte (Researcher, Central for Strategic and International Studies)
  • Darpan A Winangun (Jurnalist, DANGIANG, Bandung)
  • Gutomo Bayu Aji (Researcher, Indonesia Institute of Science, Jakarta)
  • Djujur T. Susila (Student, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta)
  • Chaider S. Bamualim (Lecturer, Jakarta Syarief Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Novi (DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • Maho Sato (The Japan Foundation)
  • Hikmat Budiman (The Japan Foundation)

Overal, the forum was excellent, and intellectually challenging, participants were very active, and the topic was heatedly discussed until midnight. Most of the participants had written a 2-3 page paper addressing the topic they have been interested in and related to the general theme. All participants were given 15-20 minutes for presentation. After participants’presentation, they were enjoined to further elaborate the general theme of the discussion. All participants agreed to give the forum a name, Interseksi (Intersection). Participants were asked to revise their paper to incorporate ideas they developed during the discussion in the hope that they could publish the results of the discussion as a book. For the next discussion (slated to be held in March 2002), participants decided to further discuss the issues on regional autonomy and its political and social consequences to the people in the region and the process of democratization.

THE THIRD MEETING

March 19, 2002

  • Venue: The Japan Foundation Jakarta Office
  • General Theme: Regional Autonomy, Regional Justice

Speakers and themes

  • Dr. Francisia Seda (Regional Autonomy, and Development: Sociological Perspective)

Paper Title: “Qua Vadis Indonesia?”: Sebuah Pemikiran Awal Mengenai Perubahan Sosial yang Paradoksal (“Qua Vadis Indonesia”?: A Preliminary Remark on Paradoxal Social Changes)

  • Dr. Tri Ratnawati (Regional Autonomy and Local Politics)

Paper Title: Masalah “Keadilan Regional” Dalam Otonomi Daerah (The The Problem of “Regional Justice” in Regional Autonomy) List of Participants

  • Philip J. Vermonte (Researcher, Central for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta)
  • Landry H. Subianto (Researcher, Central for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta)
  • Djujur T. Susila (Student, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta)
  • Gutomo Bayu Aji (Researcher, Indonesia Institute of Science, Jakarta)
  • Diding (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Chaider S. Bamualim (Lecturer, Jakarta Syarief Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Miftahuddin (Assitant Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • M. Nurkhoiron (Assistant Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies, Depok)
  • Sen Tjiauw (Jurnalist for FORUM KEADILAN, Jakarta)
  • Sapei Rusin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Francisia Seda (Lecturer, Univesity of Indonesia, Jakarta)
  • Tri Ratnawati (Researcher, Indonesia Institute of Science, Jakarta)
  • Maho Sato (The Japan Foundation)
  • Hikmat Budiman (The Japan Foundation)

Despite only few participants attended the meeting, the discussion was still very interesting Considering how hard it had been for the participants to write the 2-3 page paper for each discussion they had partipated in, they then set up a team of 5 participants to write a detailed guide lines for the next following meetings.

THE FOURTH MEETING

Date, Venue: on August 12-14, at Selabintana Hotel, Sukabumi, West Java.

selabintana_hiking

 

List of Participants

  • Philip J. Vermonte (Researcher at Central for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta)
  • Landry H. Subiakto (Researcher at Central for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta)
  • Diding (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Jujur T. Susilo (Student, Department of Sociology, Gadjah Mada University)
  • Gutomo Bayu Aji (Researcher at Indonesia Institute of Science)
  • Ridwan Almakassary (Lecturer at Jakarta Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Sapei Ruskin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • M. Nurkhoiron (Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies)
  • Hery Haryanto Azumi (Institute for Social Institution Studies, Jakarta)
  • T. Heppy Suaidi (KONTRAS-Aceh, Aceh)
  • Asep Kurniawan (TPRHR-Bandung, West Jawa)
  • Kacong Mohammad Johari (LATIN, Bogor)
  • Engelberd Rohi (KIPP- Surabaya)
  • Waidl (LAKPESDAM – NU, Jakarta)
  • Sinung Karto (KONTRAS-Jakarta)
  • Maho Sato (The Japan Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Hikmat Budiman (The Japan Foundation, Jakarta)

THE FIFTH MEETING

Date, Venue: January 27-29, Hotel Grage Sangkan Hurip, Kuningan West Java.

Kuningan_2

Started in the fourth round of its Discussion Series INTERSEKSI decided to not inviting well known speakers, and instead teamed up two working-groups, each consist of two and three members respectively, to prepare working papers to be presented in the forum. The two working groups were assigned to conduct small researches on the subject of civil rights with different focuses. The focus of the first working group was on the basic ideas (conceptual discourses) of the civil rights developed in Western (and Islam) intellectual tradition, while the second group was focused on Indonesian experience regarding the implementation of and the search for particular (local) concept of the civil rights. While the first group was based on a literature study, the other one came up with a report based on field research.

It is worth noting that, based on the two working papers, although conceptually the idea of the civil right is rather easier to define as something rooted in the liberal political tradition in the west, it has been quite problematic when the concept meets realities in Indonesia. Unfortunately, a member of the first working group who had been assigned to make a literature investigation on what the Islamic concept of civil rights is and in what way such ideas do contribute to the civil rights discourses in Indonesia could not come to the forum. All participants were also asked to write a 3-page paper related to the general theme of the discussion. To them were given about 20 minutes to make a presentation. The absence of senior speakers had indeed made the discussion more dynamic.

The presentations made by the two working-group are very good and all participants were vividly debating the subject until late of night. Although, for some reasons, some former participants could not participate in this forum, INTERSEKSI had managed to have some new participants who were as good as or better than the former. To my experience, this is the best forum that INTERSEKSI has ever had. At the end of the forum INTERSEKSI appointed again three different working groups to prepare working papers for the next discussion scheduled to be convened in January 2003.

In January 2003 Interseksi had been able to organized its fifth round discussion series, and invite more participants from such richer backgrounds as feminist organizations, and Forum Rektor, a trans-campus organization which was established to critically monitoring the general election and the politics of contemporary Indonesia. Still in this forum Interseksi kept its previous decision not to invite senior speakers. Instead of spending two to four hour listening presentation by “intellectual celebrities” from Jakarta, they spend all the time available to make their own presentation. Furthering their discussion on the subject of the Civil Rights, some former participants either tried to improve their paper presentations or change their topic altogether, while the new participants had made their best to enrich the forum by presenting their own perspectives on the subject.

New to the discussion was the feminist or gender-based perspective elaboration on the subject of civil rights where women had always been neglected in the discourse and, as a consequence, had always been victimized. The fifth round meeting was also managed to give more time to discuss issues and concept of civil rights in the area of islamic studies. Two participants from Islamic State University, Jakarta (formerly known as the State Institute of Islamic Studies, IAIN) delivered the presentation on the subject and had vividly generated challenging debate amongst participants. Another topic heatedly debated was the controversies about civil disobedience. Some argued that civil disobideince is in itlsef a part of civil rights hence must be incorporated in to the state constitution. On the other hand, while considering civil disobedience a part of civil rights, other participants convincingly arguing that this kind of civil rights need not be incorporated in to the state constitution as this will only reduce the essence of the concept of civil disobedience. The end of the meeting was focused on discussing the future of forum Interseksi. They agreed to, in the future, make Interseksi less dependent of the Japan Foundation’s initiative.

List of Participants

  • Philip J. Vermonte (Researcher at Central for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta)
  • Diding (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • Jujur T. Susilo (Student, Department of Sociology, Gadjah Mada University)
  • Ridwan Almakassary (Lecturer at Jakarta Institute for Islamic Studies)
  • Sapei Ruskin (Researcher, Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative, Bandung)
  • M. Nurkhoiron (Program Officer, DESANTARA, Institute for Cultural Studies)
  • Adriana Veny (Jurnal Perempuan)
  • Irene Gayatri (Ridep Institute)
  • Astara Anantia (Ani Iwasaki Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Sobar Hartini (Pusat Kajian Wanita, UI)
  • Engelberd Rohi (KIPP- Surabaya)
  • Waidl (LAKPESDAM – NU, Jakarta)
  • Chaedar Bamualim (UIN, Jakarta)
  • Miftahuddin (Desantara, Depok)
  • Hanif Suranto (LSPP, Jakarta)
  • Mashudi Nursalim (Ridep, Jakarta)
  • M. Kurniawan Ginting (YPSDM- Forum Rektor)
  • Amir Mahmud (Swamitra, Cirebon)
  • Maho Sato (The Japan Foundation, Jakarta)
  • Hikmat Budiman (The Japan Foundation, Jakarta)

BOOK PUBLISHING AND LAUNCHING PARTY

komunalisme

In March 2003, Interseksi published its first book edited collaboratively by Hikmat Budiman (the Program Coordinator in Charge of Intellectual Exchange division of the Japan Foundation Jakarta office) and Landry H. Subianto (researcher from CSIS and one of Interseksi’s members). The title of the book is Komunalisme & Demokrasi, Negosiasi Rakyat dan Negara (Communalism and Democracy, Negotiation Between People and the State), and is based on a rewritten version of the individual papers participants had presented at the second meeting in January 2002. It comprises of 9 (nine) essays written by the participants with one postscript essays written by Hikmat Budiman. On March 31 Interseksi and the Japan Foundation Jakarta office is jointly convening book launching and discussion inviting three speakers: one from Interseksi, and the other two from other institutions.