A paradise bombed

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  • Published 20030902
  • ISBN: 9780733313318
  • Extent: 160 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

JUST AFTER THE Bali bombings of October 12, 2002, a colleague asked one of those curly questions academics sometimes get asked in seminars: ‘Has Bali’s place in the Indonesian imagination now changed; is it like New York in the United States after September 11, when it became part of America’s “heartland”?’ I thought the better question was about Bali’s place in Australia’s national imagination. Has Bali become more, or less, of an Australian “heartland” in the devastation of Paddy’s Bar and the Sari Club? How do Australians cope with the idea that our island of domesticated exotica has been made unsafe?

Before the bombings, paradise island occupied a special place in our mental map of the Asian region. Bali stood apart from the rest of Indonesia at the idyllic end of a spectrum in the Australian imagination, an extension of Byron and Noosa. The bombings targeted our sense of place, a paradoxical reminder that we are still in Asia, and Indonesia is our nearest Asian neighbour.

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About the author

Adrian Vickers

Professor Adrian Vickers is Professor of South East Asian Studies, University of Sydney.He has been carrying out research on Indonesia for many years. His...

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