“Challenging Hegemony: Nurhadi-Aldo and the 2019 Election in Indonesia” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336. 2020.1748896) is a new article by Timo Duile of the Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Bonn University, Germany and the Faculty of Social and Political Science, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia.
The abstract for the paper states:
During the highly polarised 2019 presidential election campaign in Indonesia, calls for not voting for either of the two candidates (golput) were stronger than in previous elections. This article analyses the social media phenomenon of Nurhadi-Aldo, a fictional presidential and vice presidential candidate duo, as a campaign for golput, reaching hundreds of thousands of Indonesians on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Drawing on Gramsci’s concept of “common sense,” this article suggests understanding the fictional Nurhadi-Aldo election campaign within the context of a hegemonic social bloc which relies on a political language through which marginalised groups cannot express their aspirations in terms of their economic identity. Rather, the language of religious morals and reactionary nationalism is the default stance. An analysis of the issues, arguments, symbolism, and language used in Nurhadi-Aldo memes suggests that the campaign offered a new style of golput campaign since it used language and political symbolism that ran counter to the political language of the ruling social bloc.