#PapuanLivesMatter in the Wake of #BlackLivesMatter: Relations of Collective Identity in Twitter Activism

  • Yasmine Anabel Panjaitan Universitas Indonesia, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Lulu Nurul Janah Universitas Indonesia, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
Keywords: Collective Identity, Twitter Activism, Papuan Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, Appraisal Theory


Collective identity, or a sense of ‘we-ness’ in relation or contrast with one another, is a crucial feature of social activism. Especially considering the rise of intersectional movements in today’s era, it is important to look into the role of collective identity in shaping online movements. This article intends to unravel the relations of collective identity in the Twitter activism #PapuanLivesMatter that emerged in the wake of #BlackLivesMatter. Thirteen tweets that carry the hashtags #PapuanLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter, either separately or together, were analyzed. The theory of appraisal from Martin and White was applied to identify how the tweets enact relations of collective identity by looking into the implicit and explicit evaluation of the text that relies on positive and negative classifications. The results show that the relations of collective identity in #PapuanLivesMatter during the rise of #BlackLivesMatter are congruent at the broad level and divergent at the group level. At the broad level, #PapuanLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter address the same issues and collectively work toward raising awareness for discrimination against black lives. Although #PapuanLivesMatter still maintains its representation of discrimination at the group level, it propagates ideologies and objectives that are exclusively directed for West Papuan causes, namely ethnic discrimination and political self-determination.


Download data is not yet available.


Ayers, M. D. (2013). Comparing collective identity in online and offline feminist activists. In Cyberactivism: Online Activism in Theory and Practice (pp. 145–164). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203954317-13
Benford, R. D. (2013). Identity Fields. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470674871.wbespm103
Bonilla, Y., & Rosa, J. (2015). #Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States. American Ethnologist, 42(1). https://doi.org/10.1111/amet.12112
Cordell, M. (2013, December 13). West Papuans tortured, killed and dumped at sea, citizens' tribunal hears. Retrieved December 15, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/13/west-papuans-tortured-killed-and-dumped-at-sea-tribunal-hears
D’Ambrosio, A. (2019). (PDF) #BlackLivesMatter and hashtag activism in a critical discourse analysis perspective | Angela D’Ambrosio - Academia.edu. https://www.academia.edu/39497569/_BlackLivesMatter_and_hashtag_activism_in_a_critical_discourse_analysis_perspective
della Porta, D., & Diani, M. (2020). Social Movements: An Introduction (3rd ed.). Wiley Blackwell. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Social+Movements%3A+An+Introduction%2C+3rd+Edition-p-9781119167655
Droga, L., & Humphrey, S. (2002). Getting Started with Functional Grammar. https://books.google.co.id/books/about/Getting_Started_with_Functional_Grammar.html?id=PE6jAAAACAAJ&redir_esc=y
Flesher Fominaya, C. (2010). Collective Identity in Social Movements: Central Concepts and Debates. Sociology Compass, 4(6), 393–404. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00287.x
Gamson, W. A. (1991). Commitment and agency in social movements. Sociological Forum, 6(1), 27–50. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01112726
Hood, S. (2004). Managing attitude in undergraduate academic writing: a focus on the introductions to research reports. https://books.google.co.id/books?hl=en&lr=&id=oi1XZ4MwYm8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA24&dq=info:b4QpzVTBGfAJ:scholar.google.com&ots=XbAhNMBY72&sig=DZlxgtxlIcuNiYTRmz22i01VxqI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Hunt, S. A., & Benford, R. D. (1994). IDENTITY TALK IN THE PEACE AND JUSTICE MOVEMENT. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 22(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/089124194022004004
Kirby, J. (2020, June 12). "Black Lives Matter" has become a global rallying cry against racism and police brutality. Retrieved December 15, 2020, from https://www.vox.com/2020/6/12/21285244/black-lives-matter-global-protests-george-floyd-uk-belgium
Konnelly, A. (2015). #Activism: Identity, Affiliation, and Political Discourse-Making on Twitter. In The Arbutus Review • Fall (Vol. 6, Issue 1). https://www.tweetarchivist.com/
Kreis, R. (2017). #refugeesnotwelcome: Anti-refugee discourse on Twitter. Discourse & Communication, 11(5). https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481317714121
Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. R. (2007). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. In The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230511910
Melucci, A. (1989). Nomads of the Present: Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary ... https://books.google.co.id/books/about/Nomads_of_the_Present.html?id=M08fAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y
Melucci, A. (1996). Challenging Codes. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511520891
Notley, T., & Crosby, A. (2019). Transmedia Activism: Exploring the Possibilities in West Papua. In Transmedia Practice (pp. 77–88). Inter-Disciplinary Press. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848882614_009
Polletta, F., & Jasper, J. M. (2001). Collective identity and social movements. Annual Review of Sociology, 27(1), 283–305. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.283
Robie, D. (2017). Indonesian double standards over press freedom endanger safety of Papuan journalists. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321198169_Indonesian_double_standards_over_press_freedom_endanger_safety_of_Papuan_journalists
Robinson, J. (2012). UN’s Chequered Record in West Papua. Retrieved from https://www.globalpolicy.org/nations-a-states/51421-uns-chequered-record-in-west-papua.html
Rootes, C. (1999). Environmental movements: From the local to the global. Environmental Politics, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/09644019908414435
Rudig, W., & Diani, M. (1995). Green networks: a structural analysis of the Italian environmental movement. Edinburgh University Press. https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/publications/green-networks-a-structural-analysis-of-the-italian-environmental
Saunders, C. (2008). Double-edged swords? Collective identity and solidarity in the environment movement. The British Journal of Sociology, 59(2), 227–253. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2008.00191.x
Shelby, by T. (2002). Foundations of Black Solidarity: Collective Identity or Common Oppression? Ethics, 112(2). https://doi.org/10.1086/340276
Snow, D. (2001). UC Irvine CSD Working Papers Title Collective Identity and Expressive Forms. www.democ.uci.edu
Stoecker, R. (1995). Community, Movement, Organization: The Problem Of Identity Convergence In Collective Action. The Sociological Quarterly, 36(1), 111–130. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1533-8525.1995.tb02323.x
Sutrisno, B., & Sutrisno, D. (2020, June 15). Protests demanding release of seven Papuan activists continue as verdict trials near. Retrieved December 15, 2020, from https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/06/15/protests-demanding-release-of-seven-papuan-activists-continue-as-verdict-trials-near.html
Stryker, S., Owens, T. J., & White, R. W. (2000). Self, Identity, and Social Movement.
Taylor, V., & Whittier, N. E. (1992). Collective identity in social movement communities: Lesbian feminist mobilization. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-98605-004
Taylor, Verta. (1989). Social Movement Continuity: The Women’s Movement in Abeyance. American Sociological Review, 54(5). https://doi.org/10.2307/2117752
Thörn, H. (2009). The Meaning(s) of Solidarity: Narratives of Anti-Apartheid Activism. Journal of Southern African Studies, 35(2), 417–436. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070902919959
Titifanue, J., Kant, R., & Finau, G. (2020). 11. A crucible for bottom-up regionalism?: The digital renaissance:west papuanmedia suppression and social media in the pacific. Pacific Journalism Review, 26(1), 140–147. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v26i1.1079
Titifanue, J., Kant, R., Tarai, J., & Finau, G. (2016). From Social Networking to Activism: The Role of Social Media in the Free West Papua Campaign. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312594933_From_Social_Networking_to_Activism_The_Role_of_Social_Media_in_the_Free_West_Papua_Campaign
Vachhani, S. J., & Pullen, A. (2019). Ethics, politics and feminist organizing: Writing feminist infrapolitics and affective solidarity into everyday sexism. Human Relations, 72(1), 23–47. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718780988
Varagur, K. (2020, June 16). Black Lives Matter in Indonesia, Too. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/16/black-lives-matter-papua-indonesia/
What drives discrimination and how do we stop it? (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2020, from https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/discrimination/
Wibawa, T. (2020, June 11). 'Papuan lives matter': US protests spark debate over 'deeply rooted' racism in Indonesia. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-12/black-lives-matter-protests-debate-over-racism-papuans-indonesia/12331580
Zappavigna, M. (2018). Searchable Talk: Hashtags and Social Media Metadiscourse. Bloomsbury. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326476427_Searchable_Talk_Hashtags_and_Social_Media_Metadiscourse
How to Cite
Panjaitan, Y. A., & Lulu Nurul Janah. (2022). #PapuanLivesMatter in the Wake of #BlackLivesMatter: Relations of Collective Identity in Twitter Activism. JOELS: Journal of Election and Leadership , 3(1), 37-55. https://doi.org/10.31849/joels.v3i1.8840
Abstract viewed = 306 times
PDF downloaded = 325 times