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Subproject 1: Michael Eilenberg

Frontier Infrastructure: Modernist Utopias of Order and Control in the Indonesian Borderlands

This subproject looks at three concurrent processes of infrastructure developments as state-making taking place along the Indonesian-Malaysian border on the island of Borneo – A) road building B) the construction of Special Development Zones and C) population resettlement/model towns.

I am interested in the incomplete and continuous colonization process of the Indonesian borderlands. I am looking at territorial planning, corporate expansion, agrarian change, sovereignty and modernist configurations through the assemblage of these large-scale infrastructure projects. 

What happens when these infrastructure dreams or hallmarks of developmentalism do not materialize as intended or their continuous construction becomes a permanent state? How does such territorial planning shape and entice capital expansion and privatization on the frontier? How are these modernist infrastructureprojects organizing local mobilities, connectivity and pace of life on the frontier?

See for example commercial from the Ministry of Village, Disadvantaged Region, and Transmigration, Republic of Indonesia (Jakarta Post/Oct 19 2016).