Ternate, the largest city in North Maluku province, is a visually dramatic cone-shaped island. Once the world’s single producer of cloves, it was a hub of the international spice trade, enabling the Sultanate of Ternate to become amongst the wealthiest and most powerful polities in the vast archipelago that extends from mainland southeast Asia to New Guinea island. Ternate is also renowned because in the mid-nineteenth century the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace sent his account of evolution by natural selection to Charles Darwin from there, a document known as the “Ternate Essay.” Until 2010, Ternate was the provincial capital of North Maluku, before it was moved to Sofifi on the nearby west coast of the much larger island of Halmahera. Controversies surrounding heritage conservation and visions of the city’s identity represented by different persons and collectivities are especially striking in Ternate. Different visions of the past and future, competing forms of Islam, and contested development projects manifest themselves in discussions about the renovation of the old Dutch Fort Oranje, a ‘mosque war’ pitting the Sultan’s mosque against a modern, Saudi-style one recently constructed along the waterfront, the vision of a Waterfront City or one branded as, first and foremost, Islamic. Connected to the violence elsewhere in Maluku, especially Ambon, Ternate’s conflict also took place in the early 2000s amidst the enormous changes, political rivalries, and vast uncertainties that followed the end of the Suharto regime. In addition to a Sketch walkers’ collective, a photographer community, and the Ternate Heritage society, the Sultanate and modernist Muslims have also tried to impose their conflicting views regarding what the city should represent and look like. This diversity and the controversies it gives rise to will be central to this research project. PhD Researcher: Danishwara Nathaniel.