Contemporary Wayang Archive

Assistant Professor

The archive will showcase twenty-four full length recordings of contemporary versions of wayang kulit, Java’s oldest performance tradition. These performances, available to the international community for the first time, question the conventional aesthetic forms of wayang and repurpose the tradition for a younger generation of spectators by including references to popular culture, including topical stories and constructing puppets from unconventional materials. The resulting performances also address a variety of social concerns, presenting an inventory of positions in times of drastic cultural change. The videos in the archive are subtitled in English and a side bar provides translation notes and explanatory material such as a list of the Javanese honorifics which were conserved in the translation. In addition to the archive, Miguel’s dissertation has been developed as a website which explores the thematic and aesthetic adaptations of this performance collection in greater detail. Both the archive and the dissertation will be made freely available to the public in the near future.