Indonesian Cultural Representation in Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) Virtual Exchange Programs


The virtual exchange program is one of the media used to facilitate cross-cultural understanding among students in a time when physical encounters cannot take place. The program invited participants to acknowledge multiculturalism and generate respect and empathy among various collective identities. Drawing on the Stuart Hall’s theory of representation, this study examines and analyzes the cultural elements displayed during a series of virtual exchange programs held in 2021. Specifically, it discusses the representation issues related to Indonesian cultures discovered during the virtual cultural exchange programs administered by the Directorate of Partnership/Office of International Affairs Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) Yogyakarta during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study revealed that the representation of Indonesian cultures in the programs was partial and Java-centric. The depiction of Indonesian cultures through visual and audiovisual tools was dominated by the elements derived from Javanese culture and tradition. Hopefully, this study can enrich the ongoing academic conversations on Indonesian cultural representation in the age of new media.

Keywords: Indonesia, cultural representation, virtual exchange

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