Siti Maimunah and Abdallah Naem

The Balian

The Balian by Siti Maimunah and Abdallah Naem. Image: Blood and seed
The Balian by Siti Maimunah and Abdallah Naem. Image: Blood and seed

Over the half century, the capitalist frontier is changing landscapes of Kalimantan following the global commodity market demands, teritorrialization, the new religions, and extractives projects.  Pristine forest and river as the medium for the Balian or shaman were heavily been destructed because of the extractive penetration in Kalimantan.

 The Balian (Shaman) known as ‘the liaison between the outside world and the inside world’, maintaining more than human relations takes a central role in the community as a spiritual leader and healer while challenging the power relations of formal religion and health institutions. This photos and videos are exploring the Balian ways of seeing the world and understanding the more than human relationship at the resource frontier in Kalimantan and explore how the view presents a decolonial critique of the development model that promotes economic growth at the neglect of caring for the land, forests, and rivers – the most important natural elements for Dayak people. However, the photos describe the challenges to the Balian for practicing their knowledge and caring in the midst of changing landscapes and social relations in Indonesia.

This collaboration argues that the Balian take the political role in the community, to maintain the relationship between the human and non-human nature, it is the practicing care politics and potentially has a key role in restoring the relationship between human and non-human nature  in Kalimantan..


continue to view The Balian



Calling the spirit, healing the body(s).
February 2020
Video: Siti Maimunah



In the night of healing.
February 2020
Photo: Siti Maimunah



Extracting the body(s)
November 2019
Photo: Abdallah Naem



When the rice and dirang flowers arrived from a river journey
March 2020
Photo : Siti Maimuna



Contesting religion, connecting space
September 2017
Photo: Siti Maimuna

Tecirot bird comes, healing the body(s) of rice

The Balian Bawe comes, speaking to the bird, the rice, the soil

March 2020

Video: Siti Maimunah

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