KITA Discourse Series 6/2018: Reimagining the Lines in Orang Asli Studies, 29 June 2018

On 29 June 2018 (Friday), KITA Discourse Series No. 6/2018 was held with the following particulars:

Title: Reimagining the Lines in Orang Asli Studies
Speaker: Dr. Govindran Jegatesen, Research Fellow, KITA
Venue: KITA Meeting Room

Abstract: Based on the findings of his PhD research, the researcher will briefly discuss the ways in which indigenous participants in Malaysia’s urban space maintain connections between themselves and their communities in the rural areas. His finding’s indicate that attempts to create new economic connections in addition to existing socio-cultural ones reflect not only Orang Asli resilience as indigenous peoples in the face of a modernizing Malaysia, but their ability to view the urban space as a source of economic opportunities – one that they utilize toward increasing the socio-economic circumstances of their communities at the rural settlements. Following this, the researcher will discuss the need for a shift in the discourse surrounding the Orang Asli towards narratives that prioritize empowerment, resilience and adaptability.

About the Speaker: Through the use of interdisciplinary and participatory approaches, Dr. Govindran Jegatesen pursues his research interests in the areas of indigenous studies and ethnology, gender, and migration. He is currently working on his book ‘The Aboriginal People of Peninsular Malaysia – From the Forest to the Urban Jungle’ which is based largely on the fieldwork conducted during his PhD candidature. He have recently joined Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), UKM as a Research Fellow.