Writing history

beyond Dutch East India Company nostalgia

Ayu Utami, Lizzy van Leeuwen

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The Dutch perspective on the Netherlands’ role in the history of Indonesia has always been very one-sided. New insights are shattering the nostalgic view of the ‘Dutch East India Company mentality’ and offer a different perspective. In recent years various Dutch authors have published work on the structurally violent nature of the Netherlands’ colonial past. It is now time for us to move on, beyond self-pity and repentance on the Dutch side. A truly postcolonial debate must include both Dutch and Indonesian perspectives. That is why we are also examining the Indonesian perspective on Dutch colonialism. What is the social and cultural impact of colonial history on Indonesian society? What is the contemporary Indonesian perception of the Netherlands? This debate will explore and discuss the possibilities of writing a common history. With a.o. Ayu Utami and Lizzy van Leeuwen.

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