Youth, Activism and Ziarah: Young Women Activists on Muslim Pilgrimage in Contemporary Indonesia

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


    Pilgrimage studies in Indonesia mainly focus on the issues of pilgrims' motivation, religious tourism, sacred geography, and the figure of the holy person buried at the visited shrines. Women's agency and gender issues tend to be overlooked in these studies. This paper attempts to remedy this by looking at how young women activists perform and interpret their pilgrimage (ziarah) to local, mostly male saints and how the actual performance of pilgrimage influences and/or inspires their consciousness of gender issues in their own activism. The paper is based on research in Jombang, East Java where a new instance of local pilgrimage to the tomb of Abdurrahman Wahid, ('Gus Dur'), the fourth President of Republic of Indonesia and former chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, who died in 2009, attracts many pilgrims. On the basis of interviews with some young women activists from some youth organizations in Jombang who visit the shrine, this paper demonstrates the impact of pilgrimage activities on the gender consciousness of these female activists. Although most holy persons these women visit are men, such visits are among the key factors to enhance their activism and the way they run their organizations. The paper therefore provides rich insights in the interplay among the issue of youth, activism and pilgrimage in contemporary Indonesia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2018
    EventEASA Conference Stockholm : Staying, Moving, Settlin - University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
    Duration: 14-Aug-201817-Aug-2018


    ConferenceEASA Conference Stockholm

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