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Seminar | Eco-relational citizenship: Perspectives from Bara and Cindakko indigenous communities of Sulawesi | Andi Alfian

January 16 @ 15:30 - 17:00

Indigenous peoples in Indonesia are continuously targeted by governmental and non-governmental development programs, leading indigenous communities to a myriad of challenges. These development programs often employ top-down or modern-western approaches that erroneously ignore the rich civilizations of indigenous peoples.

As a result, these approaches separate indigenous peoples from their invaluable knowledge and assets, leaving them disengaged and disconnected from their cultural context. In response to these concerns, this study seeks to provide insights by addressing essential questions: How to incorporate indigenous knowledge into indigenous community development programs, especially in terms of citizenship? How can indigenous knowledge, which includes the diverse societal systems and daily practices of indigenous peoples, inform the concepts, strategies, and approaches that foster indigenous citizenship toward inclusive-ecological citizenship?

To achieve these objectives, an intensive three-month ethnographic study was conducted in Bara and Cindakko indigenous communities in Sulawesi, Indonesia. This study uncovers a groundbreaking idea, coined as ‘eco-relational citizenship,’ derived from the indigenous knowledge of the Bara and Cindakko communities. This concept illuminates the inseparable connection between indigenous citizenship, nature, and religiosity. By embracing this concept, profound change can be achieved, allowing indigenous peoples to reclaim their rightful place and fostering a more just, inclusive, and sustainable future.


Andi Alfian obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy of Religion from Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Alauddin Makassar and a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta. He is the founder of Sekolah Anak Muda (@sekolahanakmuda), a non-profit movement based in Sulawesi, Indonesia, that holds public discussions over social, ecological, and educational issues related to youth and indigenous peoples. He is researching indigenous philosophies relating to ecological solidarity in some indigenous communities in Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Diana Suhardiman is director of KITLV and appointed professor by special appointment of Natural Resource Governance, Climate and Equity at Leiden University. Her research looks at natural resource governance and development with particular focus on equity and inclusion.

Format, date, time & venue

This seminar is a hybrid event and will be held in the conference room of KITLV (room 1.68) and online via Zoom, on Tuesday 16 January from 15.30 – 17.00 PM (CET).


1. On location: if you want to join this seminar on location, please register via: [email protected].

2. Online: if you wish to join this webinar online, please register here.


This seminar is organized by KITLV in cooperation with the Indonesia Nederland Society.


Appanaung ri je’ne ritual in the Bara indigenous community. Photo by Andi Alfian, 2022.



January 16
15:30 - 17:00
Event Category:


KITLV & Indonesia Nederland Society


KITLV, room 1.68 & via Zoom