Frictions of the ‘New Normal’: Figures of Covid-19 Solidarities in Indonesia

September 2022

KUNCI Study Forum & Collective


The official rhetoric regarding the ‘New Normal’ in Indonesia has become infused with the discourse on the imagination and aspiration of life beyond COVID-19. In this essay, we investigate how the idea of the New Normal is being complicated, negotiated, and contested by different grassroots solidarity practices in Indonesia. Embedded in specific local contexts and struggles, members of Indonesian civil society have been actively constructing and strengthening platforms of solidarity since the pandemic began. They comprise individual and collective initiatives that embody local, national, and trans-local aspirations of new ways of living amidst the widening gaps of inequality caused by the current pandemic. Their solidarity practices reveal how narratives of the New Normal are not the mere nostalgic longing for what has been normalized but have become ethical tools for rearranging the world, beginning anew.

This paper is part of our series “Lessons learned from Covid-19: Transforming a Global crisis to global Solidarity.” Download a PDF for the full series here.

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