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Seminar | The Dutch colonial past in the Indonesian present and future historical narrative | Bambang Purwanto

14/12/2023 @ 15:30 - 17:00

The historiographical differences and memories between Indonesia and the Netherlands regarding the Dutch colonial period in the Indonesian Archipelago are very real. Indonesia needs to maintain the historical narrative of Dutch present in the Indonesian Archipelago to legitimize its existence as an independent and sovereign nation-state.

The existence of the nation’s memory of Dutch colonialism is still needed to understand the historical roots of Indonesian nationalism. On the other hand the Dutch tries to forget and to liberate themselves from the realities of colonial history. Maintaining the memory of colonialism will be a disgrace, and at the same time a persistent feeling of guilt or to be blamed. Therefore, intellectually and culturally, both intelligence and wisdom are required simultaneously to repair and redress the issues of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia, in order to liberate both sides from long-standing resentment and the principle of blaming each other in the future.


Bambang Purwanto is a professor at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Department of History. He is a historian by training with main interest on Indonesian economic history, daily life history, and historiography. He is the author of the book Gagalnya Historiografi Indonesiasentris?!, where he discusses about deconstructing Indonesian historiography. His latest involvement in the project on ‘Revolutionary worlds: Local perspectives and dynamics during the Indonesian independence war, 1945-1949’ in cooperation with KITLV, brings him into intensive discussion on the Dutch colonial past in Indonesian historiography.


Diana Suhardiman is director of KITLV and appointed professor by special appointment of Natural Resource Governance, Climate and Equity at Leiden University. Her research looks at natural resource governance and development with particular focus on equity and inclusion.

Format, date, time & venue

This seminar is a hybrid event and will be held in the conference room of KITLV (room 1.68) and online via Zoom, on Thursday 14 December from 15.30 – 17.00 PM (CET).


If you want to join this seminar on location, please register via: [email protected].

If you wish to join this webinar online, please register here.


Indonesian Finance Minister Sumitro Djojohadikusumo upon his arrival in Jakarta greeted by an excited crowd demonstrators bringing poster ‘KMB berarti kita makanan Belanda (Round Table Conference makes us prey for the Dutch)’, Het Vaderland, Wednesday 22 February 1956.


15:30 - 17:00
Event Category:


KITLV, room 1.68 & via Zoom