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The Construction of Acehnese Identity in Serambi Indonesia after the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding

  • Febri Nurrahmi Universitas Syiah Kuala
Issue       Vol 1 No 2 (2018): Talenta Conference Series: Local Wisdom, Social, and Arts (LWSA)
Section       Articles
Keywords: Construction Acehnese Identity Serambi Indonesia Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding
Published 2018-12-10


The signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Indonesia and The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in 2005 in Helsinki officially ended the armed separatist movement in Aceh. The long history of separatist movement in the region had created the question of identity between Acehnese and Indonesian identities among Acehnese. This study investigated the construction of Acehnese identity in relation to Indonesian identity in Serambi Indonesia, the most prominent local media, after the signing of the Helsinki peace accord. This study used a textual analysis to examine the construction of Acehnese identity through the use of symbolic language. The sample of 88 articles collected from July 2012 to May 2013 were analyzed based on five coding categories; themes, framing perspectives, labels to describe Aceh, labels to describe Indonesia, and depiction of Aceh-Indonesia relations. Findings revealed that Serambi Indonesia had managed to negotiate the tension between Acehnese and Indonesian identities. The newspaper overtly legitimated Aceh as an Indonesian region while maintaining the specialty of Aceh in comparison to other provinces of Indonesia. These findings suggested that the local media played a significant role in identity reconciliation during the reconciliation process in the post-conflict area