The Newsletter 69 Autumn 2014

Borobudur saujana: as far as you can(not) see

Sara Guagnini

Saujana, which literally means as far as you can see, is the Indonesian translation for the UNESCO category acknowledged in the World Heritage Convention (WHC) as cultural landscape (CL). The term is defined in the Indonesian Charter for Heritage Conservation as the inextricable unity between nature and manmade heritage in space and time.1 Unfortunately, of the 66 designated world cultural heritage landscapes, only one is located in Indonesia. This is despite the fact that CLs in Indonesia have the same outstanding characteristics when compared with others on the UNESCO list. Borobudur Temple Compounds (Central Java, Indonesia) – a World Heritage Site since 1991 – is an ‘outstanding’ example of how ineffective is the application of the WHC in Indonesia, as it does not take into account the local notion of saujana.