It starts with two Indo’s
We are Sven and Juliette, Indo’s (Indonesian-Dutch people) of the third generation. Millenials with roots from the colonial Dutch East Indies. 70 years ago, our grandparents set out on their journey from the far Dutch East Indies to the Netherlands. Today, however, we barely know anything about our Indonesian ancestry. Within our families, it has almost never been spoken about.
But keeping silent is no solution. Three generations later, we feel a lack, a void, sometimes even a literal pain about the silenced past. Today, we feel there is a growing need to face these dark pages of Dutch history.
Through making a film, we want to invite you to join our personal search into the influence that the collective silence surrounding the history of the Dutch East Indies has had on us. But our gaze is especially directed at the future: how can we Indo’s of the third generation, with this knowledge of the past, find out who we are and be proud of who we are.
What will we make?
In Indo’s Silence we will follow three young Indonesian Dutch artists who will dive into their family’s past. They will process their research into an artwork, which will signify what it means for them to be of Indonesian descent nowadays. In the documentary we follow spoken-word artist Amara van der Elst (known for her performance during the National Remembrance Day on May the 4th 2021), DJ and visual artist Mei Oele and the dancer Jonathan van Slooten.
We want to bring an unknown yet important part of Dutch history to the attention. There has been lots of research and writing about the factual history of the Dutch East Indies. For us the next step is to see how we, as Indo’s, can carry on in the 21st century. Nowadays, there’s between 1.5 and 2 million Indonesian Dutch walking around in the Netherlands. How does the silenced past influence our current lives? What does the past mean to us in the present? And how can we proudly express that part of our identity that has been silenced up till now?
We need your help!
With a donation you help us to realise this documentary. We will have to rent a substantial part of our equipment from a rental company. We also have to hire a studio in which part of the documentary will be shot. Finally there is the costs for locations, insurance, the postproduction of sound (sound design and the mix), image (editing and colour grading). With €9000 we’ll be able to just cover these costs, so we can be sure the film can be made.
But it doesn’t end with this documentary. Our goal is to initiate a new wave of awareness about the Dutch East Indies. Not in the old fashioned way with archival material, but through using a new style and new media, in creations we would like to see ourselves.
In the future we would like to continue under the flag of Indisch Zwijgen to tell stories, create films and artworks, organize events, conventions, educational workshops, shows and exhibitions that all share the goal to connect Indo’s with their heritage. On our instagram page @Indisch Zwijgen, we already gathered dozens of stories and 950 followers.
Together we want to break the silence that has dominated for decades and proudly express our Dutch Indonesian identity.