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Resistance and Reconciliation: The Indonesian War of Independence in Dutch and Indonesian Popular Culture

Resistance and Reconciliation: The Indonesian War of Independence in Dutch and Indonesian Popular Culture

Bunche Hall Rm 10383

The Center for European and Russian Studies (CERS) invite you to a lecture by Arnoud Arps. The event will take place at Bunche Hall 10383 on Tuesday, November 28 2023 at 2pm. Register today!


Contemporary cultural memories of the Dutch colonial past and its violent end are highly contested, showing that the Netherlands is still struggling with this enduring legacy. At the same time, images of the Indonesian War of Independence (1945-1949) have been circulating freely within Indonesian popular culture since Indonesia was declared independent. Even though in both Indonesia and the Netherlands popular culture about this same war exist, one of the central questions in both countries is whose war is represented and how it is remembered. In the Netherlands, there is often talk of a so-called ‘shared history’ between Indonesia and the Netherlands, but a clear understanding of each other’s perspectives seems to be lacking. Putting both Dutch and Indonesian representations of the war into conversation with each other, this lecture answers the question of what we can learn from the other discussant – who speaks in another language – when they are actually invited into the conversation. In order to do so, this lecture focuses on literary and cinematic representations of the past, as well as other forms of popular culture such as historical re-enactment and electronic dance music. The lecture concludes with preliminary observations that provide grounds for further exploration into resistance and reconciliation with regard to the colonial past.

About the Speaker 

Arnoud Arps is a Niels Stensen Postdoctoral Fellow in Postcolonial and Memory Studies at the University of Oxford and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an incoming Assistant Professor of Extended Cinema, Film Heritage and Memory at the University of Amsterdam. The book manuscript for his first monograph is in progress. It is based on his PhD-project on how the Indonesian War of Independence is remembered in Indonesian popular culture from the last decade, which was funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). His postdoctoral research project investigates how the end of the colonial era is transculturally, transnationally, and cross-medially remembered in the Netherlands and Indonesia. Please visit for more information about his research and publications.


Bunche Hall 10383
(10th floor of Bunche Hall)
315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Parking Structure 5 is closest to the event venue. Parking Structure 5 is accessible from Royce Drive, south of Sunset Boulevard, and west of Hilgard Ave. (in the northeast section of the campus). Alternatively, Parking Structure 4 is also close to the venue and has Pay-By-Space Visitor Parking available. Guest drop/Ride-share drop off is closest at the turnaround at the front of Royce Hall located at: 10745 Dickson Court, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Accessible parking: If you have accessibility needs, you may park in the Pay-By-Space/Visitor Parking area on the rooftop (level 5) of this structure, and proceed to the Self-Service Pay Station machine to pay by credit card. Please visit our Campus Accessibility Map to view related information.


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Download file: Arps-Flyer-z1-2zi.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Comparative Literature

28 Nov 23
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

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