UNRAVELLED HOMES: Forced Evictions and Home Remaking in Jakarta

Clara Siagian*, Ariane Utomo, Muhammad Insan Kamil, Brian Cook

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explores the contours of modernization in the unmaking and remaking of homes among evicted and resettled families in highrise housing. We examine the trajectories of forced eviction by drawing upon interviews with 17 individuals from nine evicted families who have transitioned from living in informal settlements to highrise social housing (rusunawa) in Jakarta. Drawing on two strands of literature—‘developmental idealism and the family’ from population studies and the critical geographies of ‘homemaking’—we argue that the demolition of houses is but an initial event in a long, quiet and subtle, yet profoundly defining, process of ‘upgrading’ families as part of ‘improving’ society, according to developmental logic. The disciplining of the urban poor does not end with the demolition of their houses, but rather continues as part of the fulfilment of shelter. This article attends to the slow unravelling of home hidden and embedded in post-eviction everyday lives, which are often overlooked because of the overt and violent brutality of forced eviction. While eviction can be seen as the violent visual expression of developmentalism, we argue that the relocation in rusunawa is where this ideal permeates into daily domestic life, making mundane activities a battleground for different ideals of ‘home’.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)386-404
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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