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For the first event in the Colonial Spectres series, researcher and filmmaker Janilda Bartolomeu is joined by historian Caroline Drieënhuizen, curator Amanda Pinatih and scholar Robin Hartanto Honggare. They will discuss the contested histories of object collection in, during and after Dutch colonial rule in the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and how this practice helped forge Dutch identity.

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The starting point of Colonial Spectres is the speculation that the Dutch colonial elite brought haunted objects back to the Netherlands from the Dutch East Indies, coupled with a close reading of Dutch writer Louis Couperus' 1900 novel De Stille Kracht (The Hidden Force). The aim of this three-part series is to develop a cultural reading of the spectres which, in concrete form and as memories, are interwoven with bodies, material spaces and objects in Indonesia and the Netherlands. These themes are examined from the perspective of object collections, spectral tropicalism, pre-colonial folklore and early 20th-century occultism. In this programme, the colonial spirits take centre stage and are replaced by de-colonial perspectives.


19:30 – 21:00

Online event | Join the event on Zoom



Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.