Yatun Sastramidjaja is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, where she also obtained her PhD and Master’s degrees in Anthropology. Previously she held research and teaching positions at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Yatun’s main research interests include youth and student activism, political culture, democratisation, citizenship, popular cultures, heritage and memory, and digital infrastructures in Indonesia and more broadly Southeast Asia in a transnational context. Her current research focuses on two (related) topics: 1) contemporary youth activism in Southeast Asia, in relation to local histories of student protest; and 2) the ambivalent relationship between digital technologies and fragile democracy processes in Southeast Asia. She investigates these topics in three overlapping research projects. The first project, titled “Viral Citizenship: Digitised Youth Activism and Reconfigurations of Democratic Citizenship in Southeast Asia,” explores the rhizomatic evolution and multi-mediated ecology of youth activism in Southeast Asia; this research is supported by a visiting fellowship at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. The second project (with Ward Berenschot, Wijayanto and Ismail Fahmi), on “Cyber Troops and Public Opinion Manipulation,” is an interdisciplinary collaborative research on “Cyber Troops and Public Opinion Manipulation: A Mixed-Method Study of Social Media Propaganda in Indonesia”; this research is supported by an Anticipation Grant Indonesia-The Netherlands from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences / KNAW. The third project (with Julienne Weegels and Luisa Gonzalez Valencia), titled "P(R)OTESTAS: The Politics and Aesthetics of Digital Authoritarianism and Protest in the Global South," is a collaborative cross-regional research that examines the tension between digital democratisation and securitisation in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and seeks to analyse how the sociotechnological affordances of the digital sphere inflect the politics and aesthetics of authoritarianism and protest in specific political conditions in the Global South; this research is funded by a Global Digital Cultures grant from the University of Amsterdam.
Yatun has authored several articles and book chapters based on her previous and current research, and she is currently preparing an edited book tentatively titled Between #Activism and @uthoritarianism: Digital Technologies and Democracy in Southeast Asia. Her book on Indonesia's student movement, based on her PhD dissertation and follow-up research, is forthcoming.