You are here: Home Abstract Newcomers Look for Gold: Working and Becoming Someone in Aceh's Highlands

Newcomers Look for Gold: Working and Becoming Someone in Aceh's Highlands

Newcomers Look for Gold:       Working and Becoming Someone in Aceh's Highlands


Giacomo Tabacco


Abstrak

Rich gold deposits have recently been discovered in the mountains near Calang (Aceh). Since then, many mining firms mushroomed in that area causing a massive flow of nonAcehnese People who are interested in the new gain chances. As Mining industry is not well rooted in Calang's highlands, -contractors use foreign sponsors to finance activities, hire migrant workers to employ in heaviest tasks and are advised by Javanese experts on gold-mining techniques. Besides, digging business in the surroundings of Calang have not been regulated yet by local or national laws and, although not illegal, it is still an informal industry. Miners,  who may come from far-away rural villages in Java, get,  for instance, very casual  jobs  that  are  linked to the actual  finds  of  the  metal:  if  the  exploration is unsuccessful for  too long,  companies  which promised easy money disappear  without paying workers. As a first-year PhD candidate, in this paper I aim to give an initial outline of my research which is based on the mentioned area and will starts in February 2013. During the fieldwork, I wish to focus on the reasons which brought workers to relocate to Aceh,  including  the  possibility  that  weaker  family  members  are  obliged  to  agree  to dangerous job proposals.  I am also considering miners' ambition for a more prosperous future, their marginality as regards the family of origin and Acehnese contractors or coworkers, their anxiety for being far from home and fears for an unsafe job. Finally, I Am going to concentrate on how people who work at the mines,  in particular the laborers, react to life's hardness, job instability and unemployment through networking with peers and learning new skills to be used in newer individual projects.

 



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