Indonesia: Exploring Social Change

Yogyakarta and Bali, Indonesia

Join us in Indonesia January 2-14, 2017!

This program will spend 10 days in Yogyakarta and Bali, Indonesia taking a behind-the-scenes look at history and tourism in these two provinces. Led by Balinese anthropologist Degung Santikarma and VIA’s Izzy Rhoads, a PhD Candidate in Law, this is not your average eco-tour.


This tour, led by two academics with decades of experience in Indonesia will focus on contemporary social issues, community resilience, and social change. Over the course of ten days we will explore issues from fair trade, to gender and sexuality, Islamic permaculture and other spiritually-inclined social movements, Indonesian political history and the long-term effects of the Cold War and US foreign policy in the region. We'll take a closer look at environmental activism and response to large scale tourism in Bali, disaster risk reduction, arts and social movements and current trends in appropriate technology for community development - all of these are ways that local communities are responding to social and environmental change in Indonesia.

We will meet directly with local activists and groups in both Java and Bali working on these issues. In addition to meeting with local organizations, we’ll explore Bali’s rice fields, Hindu temples and beaches, Java’s volcanoes, and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist temple – and the Hindu temple of Prambanan.

Participants will have access to a curated reading list on contemporary issues in Indonesia, dozens of activists, academics and professionals in Indonesia, and visit VIA partners that are currently hosting long-term fellows from our Global Community Fellowship program.

VIA is not a tour company, and this is not your average tour. Each of our excursions and visits to community organizations will be visits to long-standing partners with whom we have developed relationships over nearly 50 years of working in Indonesia. We’ll be examining and understanding local issues from people directly involved in advocacy, campaigning and the day-to-day work of social change. We will see tourist and heritage sites from multiple perspectives, and come away from the trip with a multi-faceted understanding of contemporary Indonesia.