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Programme name amendment

The research programme will be entitled Independence, Decolonization, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950.

The guiding principle behind the research programme has always been that the topics of war and violence should be placed within a broader political, social and international context. For that reason, the term Decolonization was added to its title when the programme was set up in early 2017.

However, it has transpired that this term does not fit with the programme’s intention of mapping out the dynamics of the events, taking into account the (varied) perspectives and voices of those involved. Decolonization can be understood to be a term that is primarily linked to the Dutch perspective, and that does insufficient justice to the action perspective of the Indonesian nationalists. The latter became crystal clear through contact with colleagues in Indonesia and it was therefore totally logical to the research group that the term Independence should be added to the title. 

Witnesses & Contemporaries

Stephanie Welvaart and panel members during Decolonization or rekolonization? (13-9-2018)

The Witnesses & Contemporaries project, which is part of the research programme Independence, Decolonization, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950, focuses on gathering the experiences of those who were involved, both in the Netherlands and Indonesia. In doing so, the project aims to build a bridge between the people who were in Indonesia between 1945 and 1950 and the researchers. The sharing of personal stories with researchers, both orally and in writing, ensures that a more complete picture is obtained.

On its site, the Witnesses & Contemporaries project publishes a series of blogs about the interviews held and about the valuable ego documents (such as letters and diaries) the project has been alerted to. In his blog, Maarten Hidskes describes his own remarkable experiences during his travels through Indonesia in October. There he spoke to hundreds of students, veterans and other eyewitnesses about the subject matter of his book entitled Thuis gelooft niemand mij (Nobody At Home Would Believe Me), which has now also been translated into Bahasa Indonesia. In his book, Hidskes reconstructs the experiences of his father, who was involved in the cleansing of South Sulawesi under Captain Westerling.
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Reflections on the public event in September

Anne van Mourik and Alex Lekatompessy (Delta Dua) during Decolonization or recolonization?

On 13 September 2018, a second meeting relating to the research programme, under the heading Decolonization or recolonization?, was held at Pakhuis de Zwijger. The meeting focused on the importance of personal stories, the need for polyphony, and the inevitability of conceptual confusion, and was very well attended. Click here to read a summary of the evening, written by Kayleigh Goudsmit. The livestream of the meeting can be viewed here.

Indië Tabee? A discussion meeting

On Sunday, 25 November, the Indisch Herinneringscentrum held a meeting entitled ‘Indië Tabee?’. This gathering concluded the Gepeperd Verleden series of meetings looking at what a shared colonial heritage means from various perspectives. Researcher Remco Raben, who is involved with the Political Administrative Context project, and Stephanie Welvaart from Witnesses & Contemporaries took part in the meeting and wrote a blog about it.
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Getting to know... Emma Keizer

Emma Keizer and Tico Onderwater in the National Archives of the Netherlands.
 
Emma Keizer has been part of the research team since February 2018. In October, she started working on the project International Political Context, led by Jeroen Kemperman and Tom van den Berge. Previously, she assisted Hans Meijer with his research into East Java (Regional Studies). Emma obtained her master’s degree in International Relations in Historical Perspective last June, and is the youngest researcher on the team. Nevertheless, she already gained a great deal of research experience relating to the Indonesian decolonization war and has a substantial publication to her name. Find out more about Emma here.

Indonesian eyewitness testimony via Skype

In early July, a series of unusual court hearings were held. These involved women and men from South Sulawesi being interviewed about the murder of Indonesian men by Dutch soldiers in 1947. Researcher Esther Captain was present at one of these hearings and wrote a report on it.
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Do you have any questions about the research programme? We will be happy to answer them. Please contact us via info@ind45-50.nl. We already answered a number of frequented asked questions here.
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