03/12/2021

‘Politics of recognition’ needed for the betterment of Papua – Opinion

Papua is commonly linked with human rights violations, under-development, discrimination, racism, and questions about the history of integration. However, from Oct. 2 to Oct. 15, Papua hosted the 20th National Games (PON), which received praise from both the domestic and international communities for its “elegant and luxurious” organization, supported by the establishment of world-class sports infrastructure and facilities.

In such cases, PON in Papua could be seen as “a new deal for Papua”, as the sporting event has served as a mediating structure that transforms Papua’s “marginalization and alienation” into “recognition”.

Theoretically, the politics of recognition have played an important role in the fight of marginalized and minority groups in Papua who have seen themselves as both unequal and distinct from a dominant majority within the nation-state.

The recognition could further promote Papua as an “integral” part of Indonesia and instill a sense of pride given Papua’s capacity to hold a successful national sporting event.

This recognition was complemented by the host province’s success in finishing fourth among 34 provinces in the medals tally.

Source: Jakarta Post