Since the final years of the twentieth century, Indonesian society has

experienced and negotiated particularly intense and multi-faceted social

change. In the onset of the economic crisis in 1997, and the downfall of

Suharto the following year, intergroup and interpersonal tensions some-

times erupted into open conflict, democratization lunged forth hand-in-

hand with the implementation of Regional Autonomy, and, more recently,

natural disasters have devastated large areas. Discussion of the cultural

dimensions of this period has generally been hindered by a lack of postNew Order conceptual tools, and geo-political preoccupation with regional

terrorism has dominated intellectual circles. In this light, studies into the

burgeoning arenas of pop culture and new media offer fresh insights into

the everyday lives and aspirations of people in the region.