This is not a Kowangan


For my 2016 Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation minor thesis, This is not a Kowangan: a case study in community collaboration as conservation, I explored how the significance of this rare Javanese musical instrument is better understood and enhanced by collaboration with a broad range of expertise including musicians, activists and ethnomusicologists from Australia and the source community in Indonesia. In addition to working closely with the instrument’s owners at the Music Archive at Monash University, I travelled to Wonosobo, Indonesia and established many friendships and living links between the local bundengan revival movement and Melbourne, Australia.

This thesis received the 2016 Alexander Copland Award for best conservation minor thesis, which allowed me to return to Indonesia in 2017 and continue building upon these partnerships.

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