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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

When the Imam Dreams of Blessed Waters: Negotiating Environmental Knowledge in Small Islands of Eastern Indonesia

Thursday 13 February 2020
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Much has been said about the centrality of dreaming in Islam. At the same time, the environmental dimensions of Islam (Dien, 2000) and the importance of water and water management in Islam have been long discussed by multidisciplinary research and theory. This lecture seeks to identify points of departure from contemporary debates around water, Islam and dreaming and to discuss the central role of dreaming about water when conveying environmental knowledge (i.e. knowledge about weather and seasons) in small islands of North Sulawesi (Indonesia).

From the Imam to those who collect drinking water from the well and the well itself, this is a story of collective individualism and everyday life within island Islam. Sources presented will include vignettes from ethnographic research conducted amongst Bajo communities of Eastern Indonesia. These sketches will further situate dreaming and water as not only mediums but also as environmental messages. 

About Elena Burgos Martinez

Elena Burgos Martinez is a cultural anthropologist and sociolinguist based at Leiden University's Institute of Area Studies. She has conducted extensive ethnographic research in small islands of Indonesia and she is currently planning to expand her research across areas and regions. She is interested in maritime history, political ecology and environmental theory.

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