Rebels without a cause: Inside Indonesia's violent biker gangs
July-September 2015
By: Eduardo Mariz , Rendi Widodo
Exalt to Coitus members gatherings.

Indonesian schools are the origin of many of these problems, particularly bullying. Sometimes teachers label the students they see as deviant, indirectly excluding them from the school system. A clear indicator that violence is linked to schools is that once members finish or abandon school, they also tend to leave their gangs. Fathun believes that globalization has changed the priorities of Indonesian youth, who now seek a stronger identity. “The politics of identity in Indonesia have increased with the process of decentralization and democratization,” he said. “The new generations are now trying to find a source of identity. Involvement with these kinds of communities (motorcycle gangs) gives them an identity.”

With globalization, the influx of foreign popular culture has shaped the formation and identities of motorcycle gangs in Indonesia. Hollywood movies such as the “Fast and Furious” series have helped define gender roles inside gangs, placing men at the center and women as complements. When recruiting new members, men need to prove they can commit violence, while many women must have sex with gang members if they seek to belong, according to Praditya, who has found recent evidence that women-only gangs may also be forming in Indonesia. The “Hunger Games” movies have also been credited with popularizing archery. While this is a traditional method of hunting in Indonesia, it has now captivated the interest of young urbanites and gang members alike, who frequently employ arrows in their attacks. However, chief among all films is “Crows Zero,” a 2007 Japanese action movie that represents a source of inspiration for many youngsters joining motorcycle gangs. The film depicts a violent struggle between gangs of high school students and has spawned two sequels. The series has a huge following in Indonesia and even inspired a short fan spinoff here titled “Gelut Jero.”

"Crows Zero," a 2007 Japanese action film that represents a unanimous source of inspiration for many youngsters joining motorcycle gangs.

Dealing with the problem


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