Sites, Bodies and Stories

The Dynamics of Heritage Formation in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia and the Netherlands

(This project ran from September 2008 to Januari 2013)

The research program 'Sites, Bodies and Stories' investigates cultural heritage formation in colonial and postcolonial Indonesia and the Netherlands since the beginning of the nineteenth century. It analyses the emergence of a colonial canon of Indonesian culture, and its impact on the dynamics of appropriation and belonging, inclusion and exclusion, during the process of (post)colonial state formation.

The project, which runs form September 2008 until Januari 2013, was realised through three linked case studies, focussing on different heritage domains. The case studies concerned: (1) archaeological-historical sites; (2) human remains and physical anthropological data; and (3) contemporary performing traditions and performance practices.

The program is a collaboration project between the History department of the VU University, the Gadjah Mada University, the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The SBS research program has been made possible by a major grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). SBS is part of the ‘Cultural Dynamics’ program of NWO. This is a multidisciplinary research program into the dynamic role of cultural heritage and the interaction between culture and society in both the past and the present.