Experiences and Reflections – Martin Slama
The Digital Ethnography Research Centre presents Martin Slama (Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences).
Martin Slama's presentation is based on online and offline research carried out for the project "Islamic (Inter)Faces of the Internet: Emerging Socialities and Forms of Piety in Indonesia". The project views the internet as a collection of interfaces among which social networking sites feature prominently, and links Islamic everyday piousness and regular religious gatherings to social media usage (such as Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp). These interfaces, as the name of the most popular site, i.e. Facebook, suggests, provide ample opportunities to exhibit visual and textual material, especially people's religious expressions. In the Indonesian context in particular, social networking interfaces have become sites where the country's many "Islamic faces" are displayed.
The paper discusses these emerging forms of conveying and expressing Islam as well as the socialities and constructions of authority that are generated in intersecting online/offline realms. By doing this, the paper particularly refers to concrete research experiences in the field (offline and online) and offers methodological reflections on a study of Islam that is conscious of the dis/junctures of virtual and actual realms in the construction of Islamic practice and authority. For more information on the project, especially the visual material that has been generated so far, please see: https://www.facebook.com/IslamicInterFaces
Martin Slama is a researcher at the Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences. He has extensive fieldwork experience in Indonesia conducting research on young internet users (for his PhD), on diasporic Hadhrami-Arab communities (post-doc), and currently he focuses on Indonesian Muslims' uses of social media. His latest publications include "File Sharing and (Im)Mortality: From Genealogical Records to Facebook" (in Sanjek, Roger/Tratner, Susan, eds.: eFieldnotes: The Makings of Anthropology in the Digital World, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) and From "Stone-Age" to "Real-Time": Exploring Papuan Temporalities, Mobilities and Religiosities (ANU Press, 2015) that he co-edited with Jenny Munro.