Colin Cahill '07 Wins Fulbright Scholarship
For Colin Cahill '07, Indonesia has become almost a second home. Grants from the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and the Freeman Foundation allowed the anthropology major to travel and conduct research there in 2004, 2005 and 2006; now, at the end of summer 2009, he'll return, courtesy of his newly awarded Fulbright scholarship.
Cahill's 10-month project will continue his previous explorations of artistic representation and censorship in Indonesia. It's a complicated issue, he says; although the end of President Suharto's“New Order” regime in 1998 halted decades of government-sponsored censorship of journalism and the arts, there are still artists whose voices are excluded from the country's public spaces.“In this new era of â€˜freedom,' I want to step away from the monolithic analysis of censorship as something that happens between â€˜the government' and â€˜the people,'” he explains.
Focusing on the city of Yogyakarta, Cahill will study the artists involved in creating local murals, their relationships with their communities, the subjects of their murals, and their financial sources. He hopes to call attention, he says, to“the many subtle ways in which censorship still might or might not exist in Yogyakarta.”
Cahill first became interested in issues of Indonesian art when he was introduced to the urban art collective Apotik Komik during his freshman year. The group, internationally known for its public art projects, collaborated with Haverford students to create a mural on the theme of“art for peace.” Through his involvement with Apotik Komik's work, Cahill also forged a close relationship with Haverford visiting professors Leslie Dwyer and Degung Santikarma:“They have been extremely important and supportive advisors,” he says.
Cahill currently works as an assistant for an interior designer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but is happily anticipating his return to an academic milieu.“I am really excited to have the opportunity to return to Indonesia and ethnographic fieldwork,” he says.“It will be interesting to reconnect with my studies from Haverford.”