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Reproductie van een plattegrond van Batavia uit circa 1627. Collectie Tropenmuseum

Videoregistratie: Pim Westerkamp on the colonial occupation of Batavia and the role of slavery in the colony

As part of the upcoming exhibition Suspended Histories, Pim Westerkamp gave a presentation on Dutch colonial history in the East, especially the presence of slavery in the city of Batavia. The presentation took place on the occasion of the vistit by the Indonesian artist Arahmaiani (1961) to the Van Loon museum.


The Suspended Histories (2013) project regards the past as an ongoing dialogue between the past and the present. History is never complete, and is continuously revised or ‘deferred’. Contemporary discourse determines how we think about the past, and history is in short, ‘suspended’, in the reflections on the past in the contemporary. This incomplete and continually developing history is the starting point for this project.

Museum Van Loon will commission contemporary artists who are from the regions of the former colonies of the Dutch East India Company to reflect on the relationship between Museum Van Loon and the family history as a starting point. The artists will undertake research in the museum’s collection and its historical context, in order to provide an interpretation of the theme from their personal perspectives.


Pim Westerkamp

Pim Westerkamp

Curator, Author