Indigenous people from West Papua, a territory under Indonesian rule, are foraging for food in spaces by the side of the road, in the ruins of recently logged forests. Living on the margins of market economies and transportation infrastructures comes with opportunities as well as risks. Emergent ecosystems are teeming with grasshoppers, katydids, praying mantises, and other edible insects, as well as marsupial game animals. Children are finding happiness in the hap of what happens in these multispecies worlds. At the same time, plans by technocrats in distant metropolitan centers to turn nomadic hunter-gatherers into a governable population have gone awry. Infrastructures and modern medical practices protect some people in Indonesia from tropical diseases like malaria, while Papuans die. Black lives matter. But some black lives matter more than others. The case of one black boy who was shot dead along the side of the road in June 2015 while hunting with friends is part of an ongoing process of genocide in West Papua. Race, nationality, and class all help determine who has full personhood before the law. In pursuing the elusive promise of justice in West Papua, indigenous people are pushing back against powerful assemblages and infrastructures, creating the conditions for continued life in multispecies communities.

This content is only available as a PDF.

References

References
Ahmed, Sara.
2010
.
The Promise of Happiness
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
.
Benjamin, Walter.
1968
.
Illuminations
.
New York
:
Schocken Books
.
Bowker, Geoffrey C.; Star, Susan Leigh.
1999
.
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
.
Cambridge, MA
:
MIT Press
.
Coon, Carleton Stevens.
1962
.
The Origin of Races
.
New York
:
Knopf
.
Derrida, Jacques.
1992
.
“Force of Law: The ‘Mystical Foundation of Authority.’”
In
Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice
, edited by Cornell, D.; Rosenfeld, M.; Carlson, D. G.,
3
67
.
New York
:
Routledge
.
Derrida, Jacques.
1994
.
Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International
.
New York
:
Routledge
.
Duffels, J. P.; van Mastrigt, H. J. G..
1991
.
“Recognition of Cicadas (Homoptera, Cicadidae) by the Ekagi People of Irian Jaya (Indonesia), with a Description of a New Species of Cosmopsaltria.”
Journal of Natural History
25
, no
1
:
173
82
.
Foucault, Michel.
1984
.
“Right of Death and Power over Life.”
In
The Foucault Reader
, edited by Ranibow, Paul,
258
72
.
New York
:
Pantheon
.
García Canclini, Néstor.
2005
.
Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity
.
Minneapolis
:
University of Minnesota Press
.
Haraway, Donna Jeanne.
1985
.
Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s
.
Socialist Review
15
, no.
2
:
65
108
.
Haraway, Donna Jeanne.
2003
.
The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness
.
Chicago
:
Prickly Paradigm Press
.
Haritaworn, Jinthana.
2015
.
“Decolonizing the Non/Human.”
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
21
, no.
2
:
210
13
.
Karma, Filep.
2014
.
Seakan Kitorang Setengah Binatang: Rasialisme Indonesia di tanah Papua (We Are Half Animal: Indonesian Racism in West Papua)
.
Jayapura, Papau, Indonesia
:
Deiyai
.
Kirksey, S. Eben.
2012
.
Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
.
Kirksey, S. Eben; Brodine, Maria; Shapiro, Nick.
2013
.
“Hope in Blasted Landscapes.”
Social Science Information
52
, no.
2
:
228
56
.
Kirksey, S. Eben; Helmreich, Stefan.
2010
.
“The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography.”
Cultural Anthropology
25
, no.
4
:
545
76
.
Kirksey, S. Eben; van Bilsen, Kiki.
2002
.
“A Road to Freedom: Mee Articulations and the Trans-Papua Highway.”
Bijdragen to de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde
158
, no.
4
:
837
54
.
Marks, Jonathan.
2002
.
What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee: Apes, People, and Their Genes
.
Berkeley
:
University of California Press
.
Monbiot, George.
1989
.
Poisoned Arrows: An Investigative Journey through Indonesia
.
London
:
Michael Joseph
.
Nixon, Rob.
2011
.
Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
.
Cambridge, MA
:
Harvard University Press
.
Parreñas, R. S.
2012
.
“Producing Affect: Transnational Volunteerism in a Malaysian Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.”
American Ethnologist
39
, no.
4
:
673
87
.
Roberts, Dorothy E.
2011
.
Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
.
New York
:
New Press
.
Stengers, Isabelle.
2011
.
Cosmopolitics II
. Translated by Bononno, Robert.
Minneapolis
:
Minnesota University Press
.
Stewart, Kathleen.
1996
.
A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an ‘Other’ America
.
Princeton, NJ
:
Princeton University Press
.
Tallbear, Kim.
2015
.
“An Indigenous Reflection on Working beyond the Human/Not Human.”
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
21
, no.
2–3
:
230
35
.
Tsing, Anna.
2014
.
“Blasted Landscapes (And the Gentle Art of Mushroom Picking).”
In
The Multispecies Salon
, edited by Kirksey, S. E.,
87
109
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
.
Weheliye, Alexander G.
2014
.
Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human
.
Durham, NC
:
Duke University Press
.
Wolfe, Cary.
2013
.
Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame
.
Chicago
:
University of Chicago Press
.