SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Tilley, Lisa (2020) '"The Impulse is Cartographic" Counter-mapping Indonesia’s Resource Frontiers in the Context of Coloniality.' Antipode, 52 (5). pp. 1434-1454.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (352kB) | Preview


Resource frontiers continue to expand globally across Indigenous lands as states and corporations enact forms of expropriation redolent of the formal colonial era for the sake of extraction. In the face of this expansion, the burden remains largely on frontline communities to defend their ecologies using the tools available to them. Across Indonesia’s resource frontiers, the “cartographic impulse” Edward Said once named to describe anticolonial struggles is apparent in the form of counter-mapping, which seeks to secure adat (customary) rights and defend Indigenous lands against extractivist expansion. This article revisits this practice and argues that the counter-map and its goals remain tenuous—mapping in its scalable form risks processing complex and multi-dimensional ways of relating to land into two-dimensional representations appropriate for a liberal property regime, while adat itself is a contingent and mutable legal goal. Ultimately, the article echoes emerging calls for the burden to be shifted away from frontline communities through the pursuit of just transitions to post-extractivism

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 00664812
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 19:07
Related URLs: (Publisher URL)
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item