The official opening of the exhibition Ons Land – decolonization, generations and stories, was February 8th, 2022. Representatives of The Indo Project were invited to take a sneak peek at the Sophiahof Museum in The Hague. ‘Ons Land’ is Dutch for Our Country.
This exhibition is about Dutch colonial history in the East and how it continues to have an impact to this day. Here at Museum Sophiahof, eyewitnesses of that history and their descendants tell their stories.
Currently, there are around two million people living in the Netherlands with a special bond with the former Dutch East Indies. They or their forefathers came to the Netherlands after the Republic of Indonesia was declared. It was the largest ever wave of migration to the Netherlands.
Some of them expected to stay here only temporarily. The voices of eight families are at the heart of the exhibition. These personal and varied stories will be familiar to many and provide an impression of complex post-colonial history and the different ways in which it is and has been lived. The family stories in ‘Ons Land’ begin in the present. From there, they lead us back into colonial history, The exhibition ends back in the here and now.
‘Ons Land’ is not neutral, the story is not complete and it is not over. It is a snapshot in an ongoing process of awareness-raising. Consider this exhibition to be an Invitation to take part in a conversation. Your contribution will enrich the bigger story of decolonisation and its aftermath.
If you visited the exhibit, please share your comments or review here.