Infrastructures of Escort: Transnational Migration and Economies of Connection in Indonesia
This article argues that antar-jemput (escort) is critical for understanding low-skilled international migration from rural Indonesia to countries across Asia and the Middle East. Antar-jemput forms the basis for the development of a migration infrastructure comprising recruitment, documentation, transport, temporary housing, reception, and physical restraint centered on the “protection,” or perlindungan, of the migrant. Such so-called security measures set the stage for protection rackets. As villagers have increasingly been valued as an overseas labor reserve since the 1980s, a culture of (im)mobility has taken shape, especially for female migrants, centered on the vulnerabilities of traveling alone and the comfort and security of traveling together. From this perspective, antar-jemput offers an entry point for conceptualizing migration infrastructure in Indonesia not strictly as an apparatus for the regulation and extraction of labor, or the management of a particular population, but also as an historically embedded cultural form.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 77-95
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program