Amrina Rosyada

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Northwestern U.

Grant number

Gr. 10723

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Rosyada, Amrina (Northwestern U.) "Dirty Business: Claiming Citizenship through Waste Practices and Politics in Indonesia"

My dissertation explores how citizens use everyday waste practices and politics to claim their rights to a more equitable urban infrastructure. I will conduct a 12-month fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, a city facing waste infrastructural inequalities and crises. Suffering from those problems, lower-class Yogyakartans employ unauthorized waste practices—including waste burning, public dumping, and landfill blockade—perceived as irresponsible by the government and environmental NGOs. Drawing on literature about waste infrastructure and citizenship, I will investigate how these “irresponsible” waste practices serve as a way for lower-class Yogyakartans to claim their rights to a better waste infrastructure amidst the certainty of pollution and toxicity. My dissertation seeks to answer three key questions. First, it investigates how upper-level actors within Yogyakarta’s waste regime plan waste management solutions, and who benefits or becomes marginalized from them. Second, it examines how lower-class Yogyakartans use waste practices to advocate for more equitable infrastructure and citizenship. Lastly, the research explores how waste becomes a tool of power to challenge infrastructural neglect. Focusing beyond the harmful potential of waste, my dissertation emphasizes the importance of waste as a technopolitical locus for everyday citizenship struggles in Yogyakarta.