As part of monumental nation-building relics of the Suharto regime, Taman Mini “Indonesia Indah” showcases the image of the Indonesian archipelago and its provinces in an iconic, reductionist, and ahistorical manner. Thus, as noted by John Pemberton, the park’s spatiotemporal dimension is one of its most salient features, since the blend of various historical signs and simulacra plunges the park in an “everlasting present.” In this article I expand on three decades of postmodern analyses of Taman Mini. I examine its peculiar temporality by establishing parallels with one of its antecedents and inspirational models in particular: Disneyland. By focusing on the transformations occurring in the Papua Pavilion, I bring out the tension between the rigid and quaint park’s atemporal ideological and imaginative setting and the emancipatory internal forces that strive to reconfigure it. I eventually argue that, despite the current changes, the park continues, as foreseen by Benedict Anderson, to cling to “essence and continuity,” rather than “existence and change.”


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 25-44
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.