65 years of Moluccan presence in the Netherlands - Research Center for Material Culture
20 March 2016

65 years of Moluccan presence in the Netherlands

Event | 20 March 2016 | Tropenmuseum

2016 marks the 65th year after some 12.500 Moluccans arrived in 1951 as part of the postcolonial migration from Indonesia to the Netherlands. On 20 March, 2016 Tropenmuseum organizes an event to remember and reflect on 65 years of Moluccan migration.

Listening to the past, looking at the future

As one of the oldest migrant communities, Moluccans were on the forefront in the shaping of the Netherlands as a more diverse society after World War II. Now Moluccans consider themselves part of Dutch society without relinquishing their cultural heritage. As such they embody a dynamic and inclusive concept of identity that is fitting in a 21st century context. The museum holds over 4500 items that are linked to the Moluccas. The history of their journey to the museum collections is a reflection of colonial history but has also become a source of information and inspiration for the Moluccan community in the Netherlands.

In the talks and performances we hope to stimulate dialogue on questions such as:

  • What role can cultural heritage play in the ways in which migrant communities remember, construct and relate to the past? How can it increase a sense of belonging and help to create new shared histories?
  • How do contemporary musicians, designers and artists express, mobilize and rearticulate cultural identities in a postcolonial and multicultural society?


Listening to the past, looking at the future: 65 years of Moluccan presence in the Netherlands invites jewelry designers Yopi Abraham en Elinde Kersbergen (Aniata Design), fashion designer Andrea Tamaela, photographer Patricia Steur, historian Peter Keppy (NIOD), ethnomusicologist Christian Tamaela (Universitas Kristen Indonesia Maluku), and musicians Monica Akihary, Nippy Noya and Wudstik to reflect on and engage with the Moluccan collections in the museum, and evoke new perspectives and meanings. The conversations are moderated by Daan van Dartel (curator Fashion & Popular Culture) and Wim Manuhutu (historian).

Photos by Kirsten van Santen


Mondriaan Fund    Moluks Historisch Museum