Bankoff, Greg

Greg Bankoff is a historical geographer who focuses on the way societies interrelate with their environments over time, especially the way people adapt to frequent hazards. For the last 25 years, he has focused his research primarily on Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific and the North Sea seeking to understand how societies, both past and present, have learnt to normalise risk and the manner in which communities deal with crisis through applied interdisciplinary approach that combines archival analysis with fieldwork, community mapping, interviews and focus groups.

He has published extensively including over a 100 referred journal articles and book chapters. Among his publications are co-authoring The Red Cross’s World Disaster Report 2014: Focusing on Culture and Risk and a companion volume entitled Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction (2015). Read more.

Borgonjon, David

David Xu Borgonjon is a researcher based in New York completing a dissertation on Chinese-language print culture in Cold War Indonesia at Columbia University. He is also interested in translation and visual art.

While at KITLV, David will be researching publications of the Tionghoa (Chinese-Indonesian) left in Indonesia, particularly ones linked to the Sadar (Consciousness), the cultural arm of the minority rights organization Baperki, which included Sunday Courier, Sin Tjun, and Chiao Hsing . These were part of a vibrant print culture that thrived in the alliance between the Republic of Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China, connecting both peranakan (Indonesia-born) and totok (China-born) communities through a shared political commitment to decolonization, anti-racism, and socialism.

Jo, Clara

Clara Jo is an artist based in Berlin. She is a graduate of Bard College (NY) and the Institut für Raumexperimente / Universität der Künste Berlin. Her work has been exhibited and screened at ARKO Art Center (Seoul), Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Oldenburg), Spike Island (Bristol), Royal Academy of Arts (London), Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), and Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin). From 2022-2023 she was in residence at Art Explora Paris. From 2020-2021, she was a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. In 2018, she received the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. She has presented her work on panels at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), King’s College (London), The Barbican Centre/The Trampery (London), and the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL London). More information on Clara’s previous work.

Clara Jo is the new Atelier KITLV-Framer Framed Artist in Residence. In the coming months, she will work closely with KITLV & Framer Framed in developing her project ‘Epidemiological routes and ruptures in the Afrasian Sea’ through workshops and conversations around art, archive and activism.

Marcoes, Lies

Lies Marcoes is a senior gender expert, writer and researcher in the areas of women’s rights, child rights, gender and fundamentalism. Lies completed her master’s degree in medical anthropology at Amsterdam University (1999-2000). Previously she completed her bachelor’s degree at IAIN Jakarta in Islamic Theology and Philosophy/Ushuluddin (1978-1983). For more than 10 years (2002-2013), Lies worked as a gender expert at The Asia Foundation and was appointed as the director of research center Rumah Kitab (2013-2022).

She has written many books and op-eds on gender-related issues. More recently, she wrote a long article about kindergartens and radicalism. She has also published several books related to child marriage. In February 2021, she published her book, Merebut Tafsir (New Perspectives), a collection of essays on gender, Islam, and empowerment (Amongkarta, 2021). During her fellowship at KITLV she will work on her paper on gender and fundamentalism, and editing her new book Fitrah dan Fitnah.

Masnun, Leolita

Leolita Masnun is a researcher at LIPI (the Indonesian Institute of Sciences), currently integrated with BRIN (National Research and Innovation Agency) Indonesia. At LIPI, she has worked on various research projects on law and society in Indonesia. Between 2011 -2016, she was also involved in multidisciplinary research about endangered languages in eastern Indonesia. One of the research results is a movie about the Oirata speakers community in the province Maluku.

Leolita completed her PhD at the VU University Amsterdam in April 2022 with a dissertation project Contentious politics in a remote area of the Moluccan Archipelago, Indonesia, which reports on the reconfiguration of the local power structure in Maluku Barat Daya (Southwest Maluku) after Reformasi.  As an associated fellow at KITLV, Leolita is working on the Recording the Future project (RtF) with Fridus Steijlen and Ireen Hoogenboom. She is working on the content of the RtF collection and will write an article based on the RtF collection.

Nabibaks, Farida

Farida Nabibaks is founder and artistic director of music and dance-theatre company Reframing HERstory Art Foundation based in Arnhem. Farida uses dance and embodied knowledge to address the collective trauma of the colonial and slavery past, with the ultimate goal of healing. She studied Philosophy at the Radboud University Nijmegen and holds a MA in Philosophy of Behavioural Sciences. She was also co-researcher in the Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH) researchproject Feeling the Traces of the Colonial Past, led by professor Liedeke Plate. This was built around her performance Radiant Shadow, part one, Margaretha.

Farida will be an associate fellow at KITLV from 1 March until 1 October doing a practice-based research on healing from the colonial and slavery past through art, dance/ dance-theatre and embodied knowledge from multiple ethnic perspectives. Read more on Farida on the website of Mama Cash & Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor Kunsten.

Ong, Natalie S.Y.

Natalie S.Y. Ong’s research focuses on the material culture of ancient Southeast Asia. She was 2021–22 visiting fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) where her most recent work concentrated on a set of gold ornaments of ancient Temasek (Singapore) found on Fort Canning Hill. Part of that research was recently published in the IIAS Newsletter (Spring 2023, vol. 94), with a more detailed paper on the so-called ‘kala’ head armband forthcoming under the Temasek Working Paper Series. Her work can be found on her Academia page.

While at KITLV, she is involved in a book project on the impact of Indian philosophy on Old Javanese art and architecture.

Perkasa, Adrian

Adrian Perkasa received his Bachelor’s in history and international relations from Universitas Airlangga in 2012. His BA thesis was entitled Orang–Orang Tionghoa dan Islam di Majapahit (Chinese Muslims in Majapahit) and was published by Penerbit Ombak. In 2022, he participated in the Southeast Asia-Africa A New Axis of Knowledge Workshop in Senegal, which laid the groundwork for Collaborative Africa–Southeast Asia Platform. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Leiden. He is a Local Principal Investigator in Surabaya as part of the Southeast Asian Neighborhoods Network (SEANNET), the auspices of the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden.

As a fellow in the joint KITLV-NIOD fellowship program, he will engage with several issues, activities, and debates on accessing and unpacking ‘colonial-era’ object collections and histories. In addition, as the first fellow of this program, Adrian is also responsible for assisting and developing this program in the long run.

Setiadarma, Eunike G.

Eunike G. Setiadarma (Nik) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at Northwestern University, studying intellectual history of twentieth century Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Their dissertation, The Craft of Care: Home Life and the Politics of Emotions in Indonesia, 1900-1970, charts a history of care as a concept emerged from and within the depictions of sentiments and feelings in everyday life at home and neighborhood.

More broadly, Nik is interested in the intersection of political thought and popular culture, including the history of literary and art discourse.

Setijawati Soemarwi, Vera Wheni

Vera has started her career as an advocate. Her work focuses on access to justice and collective legal movement within the context of  climate-related water management in an urban context. She has been involved in research on violations of human rights, land rights, properties, and development for the public interest. Her prior work has brought her to write research topics in those areas.

She is currently working on a PhD dissertation about access to justice for marginalized people facing climate-related water management issues in Jakarta, with Diana Suhardiman (KITLV) and Adriaan Bedner (VVI/KITLV) as supervisors. Her research focuses on marginalized communities’ efforts to seeking justice through collective action and social movements when they become victims of climate change adaptation programs. It looks at the process of enforcing and implementing the rule of law in the development of water development program in Jakarta, in response to climate change, and its relations with public interest. She is currently researching the contestation of debates between legal and illegal kampong dwellers, informal settlements, and informal land tenure ownership of urban communities. The book is a reflection of marginalized communities’ involvement in Jakarta to vindicate and achieve justice in resettlement of kampung dwellers.

Stolwijk, Anton

Anton Stolwijk is a Dutch non-fiction writer. In his work, he focusses on the lives of ordinary people who deal with big (historical) events. He published three books: Aceh (a travelogue/historical account of the war between the colonial Netherlands and the Sumatran sultanate Aceh), Ons soort Amerika (about liberal Cambridge, Massachussetts during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency) and Buiten Dienst (about the last, ageing group of catholics in a church in Alkmaar that is about to close down for good).

Currently he is working on a book about Curacao, an island shaped by its turbulent history (including slavery, oil, catholic mission). In his new book, Stolwijk will investigate the effects of Curacao’s current focus on mass tourism, and provide some historical context. What happened in the buildings that are currently being converted into boutique hotels? How do local residents feel about the new cruise terminal, named after one of the leaders of the slave revolt of 1795? What’s it like to work in one of the new all-in resorts along the coast? More information on Anton.

Vermeulen, Remco

Remco Vermeulen is an external PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. His research focuses on colonial heritage engagement, particularly by young people, in postcolonial Indonesian cities. Remco works as urban heritage strategies specialist at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. His teaching focuses on gentrification, urban heritage management and postcolonial cities, particularly in Indonesia, as well as the (post)colonial relationship between Indonesia in the Netherlands. He is coordinator of the annual Urban Heritage Strategies course, wrote a chapter on understanding gentrification in a book on urban network learning, and has contributed to the BlendeEd collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture of TU Delft.

Remco is also working as advisor for cultural cooperation with Indonesia at DutchCulture, an organisation that stimulates international cultural cooperation as part of the Netherlands’ International cultural policy. He works closely together with cultural professionals in the Netherlands and Indonesia, as well as with Ministries, Embassies and cultural funds. He has been involved in the organization of events such as the biennial ‘Indonesia Now’, a seminar on the joint future of Indonesia and the Netherlands (in preparation for the 2020 state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Indonesia) and mini-festival ‘Tong Tong meets Erasmus Huis Jakarta’ in 2021. He recently published article series ‘The story of the Erasmus Huis’, the cultural centre of the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta, with two Indonesian historians. The articles, along with short videos based on the articles’ content, have also been published in Indonesian on


Our institute hosts several international postdoctoral research fellows. KITLV fellows are invited to present lectures, participate in seminars and cooperate in the institute’s research projects. This page lists, in alphabetical order, the visiting fellows currently staying at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.

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