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The Nation-State and the City Hall

The Nation-State and the City Hall

(p.3) Chapter 1 The Nation-State and the City Hall
After the New Order
Abidin Kusno
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter outlines the spatial representation of the city hall in Jakarta. The structure is a symbol of civic autonomy embodied in the urban “public” space. While adorned with iconographic as well as symbolic elements to represent political idealism, the city hall is also subjected to different public perceptions. The attachment of the city to the nation-state has made the city hall a citadel of authority rather than a space for interplay between citizens and officials. In addition, the structure is considered the stadhuis of European merchant-administrators and the colonial state to its postcolonial incarnations.

Keywords:   spatial representation, civic autonomy, Jakarta city hall, public space, political idealism, stadhuis

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