Decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950 is a large-scale, joint inquiry carried out by KITLV, the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The project has been made financially possible by the Dutch government, due to its decision on 2 December 2016 to lend its support to a broad inquiry into the events of this period.
The programme comprises nine subprojects and aims to answer questions regarding the nature, extent and causes of structural transborder violence in Indonesia, considered in a broader political, social and international context. In this context, detailed attention will be paid to the chaotic period spanning from August 1945 to early 1945 – often referred to as the Bersiap – and the political and social aftermath in the Netherlands, Indonesia and elsewhere.
It is expected that KITLV will be responsible for the synthesis and will carry out the subprojects Regional Studies and Bersiap. For these projects the group, together with Indonesian colleagues, will carry out research in several Indonesian regions. These subprojects will be the continuation of the KITLV-project Dutch military operations in Indonesia 1945-1950 that has run since 2012.
The programme has a strong international character. There will be cooperation with researchers from Indonesia and other countries involved and sources originating from Indonesia, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States (United Nations) will be used more than previously was the case. Furthermore, the programme explicitly includes the opportunity for witness accounts from the Netherlands and Indonesia to be presented. Witnesses can come forward themselves or will be traced by researchers, in order to allow them to document their personal accounts for future generations.
The three institutes stress the importance of broad national and international support for the programme. In order to achieve this, the institutes have appointed an international scientific advisory board and a Netherlands societal focus group (Maatschappelijk Klankbordgroep Nederland).
For more information see: http://www.ind45-50.org/en/home
For the purpose of this inquiry, it is important that those involved are seen and heard. If you have material or more information about Indonesia in the 1945-1950 time period and are willing to contribute to our research, please contact: email@example.com
KITLV / Amnesty International Seminar
‘The Politics of Islam in Indonesia: Jakarta elections and beyond’, By Sidney Jones & Chris Chaplin
Is conservative Islam gaining ground in Indonesia? The gubernatorial elections in Jakarta have convinced many that the political clout of Islamic organizations has grown. Demands that the incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama – a Christian of ethnic Hakka Chinese descent better known as Ahok – be convicted of blasphemy have been front and centre of efforts to diminish his electoral popularity. Furthermore, mass demonstrations by Islamic conservatives against the governor have dwarfed policy debates between the gubernatorial candidates.
As Amnesty International have reported, the charge of blasphemy has become increasingly common, with an estimated 106 convictions for blasphemy between 2005 and 2014, compared to approximately 10 during the 33 years of Suharto’s New Order. These developments suggest that religion is increasingly politicised in a country known for its moderate version of Islam.
Yet, not everything is as it seems. During the first round of the elections, Ahok still managed to eke out a small victory. Furthermore, Islamic identity may have played a crucial role in mobilising demonstrators, but the size and success of the rallies was in no small part due to established support networks between Islamic conservatives and politicians who wished to usurp the popular governor.
Accordingly, this talk discusses the ramifications of sectarian mobilisation, debating the wider implications of the Jakarta elections for the agenda of Islamic advocates and their ability to utilise religious and ethnic identity for political purpose. Sidney Jones, a prominent expert on Islam and terrorism in Indonesia will discuss these issues together with Chris Chaplin, a postdoctoral researcher at KITLV.
Sidney Jones: Director, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, Jakarta, Indonesia. From 2002 to 2013, Jones worked with the International Crisis Group, first as Southeast Asia project director, then from 2007 as senior adviser to the Asia program. Before joining Crisis Group, she worked for the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and New York (1977-84); Amnesty International in London as the Indonesia-Philippines-Pacific researcher (1985-88); and Human Rights Watch in New York as the Asia director (1989-2002). She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She lived in Shiraz, Iran for one year as a university student, 1971-72, and studied Arabic in Cairo and Tunisia. She received an honorary doctorate in 2006 from the New School in New York.
Chris Chaplin: Researcher, KITLV / Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. Chris is a postdoctoral researcher at the KITLV, where he is investigating the influence of conservative Islamic movements on ideas of citizenship and civic activism within Indonesian society, specifically focusing on Islamic activism within South Sulawesi. Prior to joining the KITLV, he completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge concerning Salafi piety and mobilisation in Java. Chris has also spent seven years living in Indonesia, researching and consulting for a number of international development institutions and human rights NGOs on issues of village development, elections, and security sector reform. He has been fortunate enough to have spent extensive time living in Java, Sulawesi and West Papua.
Date: Thursday 9 March 2017, Time: 15.30 h – 17.00 h, Venue: Lecture Hall 02, Mathias Vrieshof 2, Leiden University, If you wish to attend please register with Yayah Siegers: firstname.lastname@example.org
07 February 2017Film screening
The first screening of the ‘Framing Asia’ film series will focus on transgender issues in Indonesia. Two short films Renita, Renita and Accross Gender will be followed by discussion with Intan Paramaditha, Indonesian author and lecturer in media and film studies and one of the filmmakers, Anouk Houtman.
Renita, Renita (15min)
Trapped in a male body, Renita wanted to be a doctor and a woman since she was a child but her parents forced her to study at a Islamic school where she was bullied and ostracized. She rebelled by becoming a prostitute in the hope of finding freedom but instead, found that it came at a cost — she experienced brutality and was discriminated against by her family and the Indonesian society in which she lived.
Across Gender (24min)
What is it like being transgender in Yogyakarta? There is no single answer to this question. This film aims to show different ways of negotiating visibility in the Indonesian society when one ‘crosses gender’. The difficulty of this negotiation becomes apparent through the anti-LGBT sentiments and actions in early 2016.
Anouk Houtman is a young filmmaker with an MA in Visual Anthropology of Leiden University. She graduated with a film and thesis researching the visibility of transgenders in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Currently she is pursuing a second MA in Gender Studies and University Utrecht.
Intan Paramaditha is an Indonesian author and lecturer in media and film studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Focusing on contemporary film practice in Indonesia, her research explores the relation between media, cultural activism, and sexual politics in the convergence and tension between national and cosmopolitan trajectories.Time 19:30- hrs Venue Faculty of Humanities, Lipsius building, rom 028 Cleveringaplaats 1 Leiden Netherlands Google Maps
Praktisch: Free entrance
Doors open: 19:30
Women’s Resistance Through Arts and the Media in Indonesia
The discourse of sexuality is inseparable from the tension and polarization that characterize politics and culture in Indonesia. Last year, after a series of anti-LGBT statements were publicly expressed by government officials and public figures, “pro-family” groups proposed to outlaw non-marital sex and homosexuality. This is not a sudden turn as debates around sex, bodies, and morality have been a national obsession for the past two decades. Sexuality is a contested sphere that reflects the fractured nature of the post-authoritarian nation.
Growing conservatism in Indonesia, as elsewhere, entails the attempts to regulate and censor women’s bodies. …
By Marlupi (Utari Kusno), January 1943
The soul is crying sliced by sadness,
Dejected downcast overwhelmed by sorrow
The soul is weeping sobbing in grief
The body is weak racked by suffering.
Like the sound of howling wind,
Thick clouds rolling churning,
Lightning rumbling canon roaring,
All of nature seems to be grieving.
There are no friends to relieve the pain,
There is no sound of guests dropping in,
Alone the soul feels like it is drowning in flood water,
Is there no sound of people approaching?
The only sound heard is howling wind,
In the heavens above cold stretching;
Is there no one to extend a hand?
Yes, God whispering be patient.
Your own soul your friend of one heart,
God alone your only shelter,
So you believe
That all your suffering
Is as nothing against the suffering of this world;
That all suffering slowly
Will vanish swept away by time.
Jassin, H. B. Gema tanah air, prosa dan puisi 1942-1948 / H.B. Yassin Dinas Penerbitan Balai Pustaka Djakarta 1959, p. 20, attributing first publication to the revolution-era nationalist bimonthly journal Pantja Raja I:14, 1 June 1946.
By Emha Ainun Nadjib
I entrust myself
to the heart
I make a life ready
for the vibration
where courageous thoughts
are solely of the ultimate gift
which is the frailest
of all prayers
in this my small cell
on this aging mat
as I behold the wooden shelves
buildings of an overcast civilization
having done battle in the deceiving sun
I lay down my thoughts
I lift up my heart
in Your hands.
Emha Ainun Nadjib. 99 untuk Tuhanku [99 For My God], Pustaka Bandung 1983
By Emha Ainun Nadjib
Extinguish not the fire
with a bare foot
but allow me to cross it.
be pleased to permit me
in a world of fire
to attempt to tread
the boundary line
between vicious devils
with the source of drizzling rain.
I beseech you remain alert
within my soul
spray forth the fire
which I may soak in my blood
and so shown forth may be
make of me
part of that fire
which burns up the sun
opening the dawn of day.
before my future day arrives
to be able to divine
which is the false flame
and which the fire true.
Emha Ainun Nadjib. 99 untuk Tuhanku [99 For My God], Pustaka Bandung 1983
The image is “The seal of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Syah of Kedah. The Arabic inscription reads: al-‘azīz dhū al-mulk al-qadīr al-ghālib ghayr al-maghlūb al-sultān khalīfat Allāh ‘alā dā’īrah Kedah wa-huwa al-Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Syah ibn al-Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Syah sanat 1219, ‘The mighty one, possessor of the kingdom, the powerful one, the conquering [yet] unconquered one, the sultan [who is the] vicegerent of God over the territory of Kedah, and he is Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Syah, son of Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Syah, the year 1219 (1804/5)’. The seal is stamped on a letter from the Sultan to the Governor-General of Bengal, [Lord Minto], 26 Rabiulakhir 1226 (20 May 1811), pleading for protection against the Siamese. British Library, MSS Eur.D.742/1, f.3.” http://blogs.bl.uk/asian-and-african/2014/02/malay-ballad-from-kedah-the-naval-battle-for-phuket.html