“I Prefer to Die on the Mountain”: Local Resistance to National Park Development on Mount Merapi


  • Steven Rodriguez University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA


In 2004, the government of Indonesia declared Mount Merapi to be the nation’s thirty-ninth national park. However, since the mountain is a key feature of the sacred landscape of central Java, the creation of Merapi National Park was greeted with widespread protests from the villagers and farmers.

Author Biography

Steven Rodriguez, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Steven Rodriguez received his PhD in history from UCLA, completing a dissertation project that examined national park development and nature tourism in Indonesia and Vietnam. Prior to pursuing a career as an academic, Steven worked as a script reader for DreamWorks and was the proprietor of Angel City Bookstore located in Santa Monica, California. His current research projects include a study of French programs for national park development in Indochina and a history of Indonesian mountain climbing in the 1980s and 1990s.