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Why Indonesian government's latest campaign for national sport event is offensive for Papuans

By Aryo Danusiri, Assistant Professor, Universitas Indonesia
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The Indonesian government’s recent campaign to promote an upcoming sports event in Papua shows the country, with more than 1,300 ethnic groups, still struggles to ensure equal representation of its various cultures.

The event’s location, Indonesia’s easternmost province Papua, is home to the dark-skinned Melanesian Papuan people. Yet, the government appointed a white-skinned Javanese Instagram celebrity Nagita Slavina as the event’s ambassador. In the poster, the fair-skinned Nagita is seen wearing a Papuan headpiece and traditional costume.

Some have criticised…

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