Martin Aleida’s Tanah Air: Struggling with the Concept of Nation

Sulistya Ningtyas


This study aims to examine the paradoxical problems of the nation in Martin Aleida’s Tanah Air short story. It also identifies alternative spaces depicted in the story using a concept of spatial politics proposed by Upstone. By using textual analysis, the results show that the meaning of the nation is problematic since the main characters glorify the nation, which in fact is a product of colonial culture. To overcome this problem, alternative spaces are present in the form of a journey as a nomad, exile, and migrant. The alternative space in the form of the most-free journey, as a nomad, is carried out as the character moves around from Indonesia, Egypt, China, and Belgium. As an exile, both grudge and nostalgia grow together in the inner self of the character with his background as a victim of the regime’s atrocities. While as a migrant, the character emigrates from her origin country to the Netherlands.


National space, Exile, Migrant, Nomad, Tanah Air

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