Dutch colonialism, migration and cultural heritage: Past and present

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Migration flows in the former Dutch colonial orbit created an intricate web connecting the Netherlands to Africa, Asia and the Americas; Africa to the Americas and to Asia; in the nineteenth century Asia to the Americas, with, in the post-Second World War period, the direction of migration shifting to the Netherlands. Some of these migrations were voluntary, others were forced; they helped to create colonial societies that were never typically Dutch, but did have Dutch characteristics. Power imbalance, ethnic differences and creolization characterized the cultural configuration of these colonial societies. This book, with contributions by a number of Dutch scholars, provides state-of-the-art discussions on these migration histories. In addition, it presents reflections on the ways this past and its repercussions are remembered (or forgotten, or actively silenced) throughout the former colonial empire. This part of the book is embedded in the wider contemporary debate about the contested concept of cultural heritage, and about the possibility of meaningful cultural heritage policies in a post-colonial world. Gert Oostindie (1955) is director of the KITLV (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) and Professor of Caribbean History at Leiden University.

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