Journal article

Java Spirit

Benjamin Hegarty

The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2014


Java Spirit is a short documentary film about the diversity of religious practice on the island of Java in Indonesia. As stated on the DVD cover, the film seeks to counter ‘misleading negative stereotypes of Islamic countries like Indonesia’. In doing so it goes beyond sensationalist perspectives offered by the Western media through an exploration of the variety of spiritualities present on the island. As Edward Said (1997, xlviii) wrote presciently fifteen years ago in Covering Islam about the depiction of Islam and Muslims in the media, ‘sensationalism, crude xenophobia, and insensitive belligerence are the order of the day’, the construction of an ‘imaginary line between “us” and “them”’ ..

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