Indonesia’s struggle for freedom to be displayed in exhibition at Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will organize an exhibition next year about the struggle Indonesians faced in their fight for independence during the Indonesian Revolution from 1945 to 1949. "Revolusi!" will explore the revolution after three centuries of Dutch colonial rule.
A team of Indonesian and Dutch curators brought together stories, historical objects, art pieces, propaganda posters, films and pictures for the exhibition. “By zooming in on personal stories of people who experienced colonial rule between the years 1945 to 1949, it becomes clear that history has many faces and voices”, the museum said about the exhibition.
During King Willem-Alexander’s state visit to Indonesia early last year, he apologized for the violence caused by the Dutch during the Indonesian Revolution. “I would like to express my regret and convey my apologies for the derailments of violence from the Dutch side during those years. I do this in full realization of the pain and sorrow the families will feel for generations”, the king said.
Official apologies were not offered by his mother, Beatrix, during her visit to Indonesia in 1995 when she was queen.
The Netherlands colonized Indonesia in the late 18th century. The Japanese occupation of Indonesia during the Second World War dismantled the hold the Netherlands had on Indonesia. Following the surrender of the Japanese in 1945, Indonesia declared independence which resulted in a four-and-a-half-year struggle with Dutch forces.
The Netherlands was known to commit arbitrary and summary killings of Indonesian villagers and farmers, as well as torture and the execution of prisoners. In 1949, the Netherlands formally recognized Indonesia’s sovereignty.
The exhibition in the Rijksmuseum will open in mid-February of 2022.