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The Politics and Anti-Politics of Humour in Indonesian Digital Media

Jessika Tremblay (University of Toronto)  |  @jessnerz

Recently, a popular Indonesian variety show called “Yuk Keep Smile” (Go Ahead! Keep Smiling) received a warning from the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission for delivering non-educational and immoral content to viewers. Yet the show reflects a public appreciation for apolitical humour and entertainment that also finds its way into popular social media like Facebook and Twitter. While the role of social media in fomenting political movements has recently garnered much scholarly attention (e.g. Farsangi 2010; Postill 2013, 2014) the ethics of how some individuals choose to self-censor their exposure to political digital content requires more attention. Drawing on brief clips or images from “Yuk Keep Smile” and print-screens of political jokes or memes from social media, this presentation will explore how Indonesians living in urban Yogyakarta, a Javanese cultural hub, consume and produce humour to participate in, or isolate themselves from, political conversations.

View Jessika’s discussion online. Tune in from 2.45pm-3.00pm EST Saturday 6 December for the live-stream.

View Jessika’s project pages at and Follow her on Twitter @jessnerz.


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