Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence

Panel Discussion

Time : Saturday, 19 June 2010, 09.50-16.00
Place : LAK Theater, Lipsius, Leiden University.

When a group of Dutch intellectuals signed a petition urging their government to 'fully acknowledge' Indonesian independence in 1945, controversy sparked in the Netherlands. The proclamation of the Indonesian Independence on 17 August 1945 seems to rest more unresolved subjects with less capacity to tackle them. These include the on-going process surrounding state-formation and nation-building of the new born nation. Here, many aspects of them might be found in the foundations of the unspoken [for not saying unresolved] problems taking place in 1945-1950. It was the period when both Indonesian and Dutch experienced the turbulent years: the formation of the Republic on one side and the 'law and order' on the other. Some issues and stories have been put forward and discussed exhaustively; however, many have not been known yet within various Dutch and Indonesian communities respectively. Realizing that understanding various narratives of the past will shape the nature of relations of people of both countries, we feel that it is necessary to create space and fora to put forward those neglected and ignored voices, in order to stimulate them to speak up with their own narratives concerning the Indonesian Independence. We think that through such doing we can bridge some narratives within Dutch and Indonesian respectively, and link them each other. We are fully aware that this is not an easy and short journey. A follow up and juxtaposition of narratives should be made present in both Dutch and Indonesian communities through further efforts such as in a field of research, education and mass media.

1. To uncover various narratives of the history of Indonesian independence. The unfolding of the diverse narratives is expected to enrich the perspectives in reflecting the many facts of the history of Indonesian independence.
2. To recognize various implications which might arise if the Dutch government 'recognizes' 17 August 1945 as Indonesian Independence Day. Considering the recognition of sovereignty associated with different aspects of inter-state relations, it becomes important to understand the implications which might arise in various aspects of these relationships, both at the state and society level.
3. To explore the possibilities of creating spheres to facilitate sustainable discussions about the pluralization of narratives of Indonesian independence and the possibility to dissect the narratives through research. In addition to maintaining the continuity of dialogue, a sustainable discussion is also expected to trigger further review by various parties to provide scientific bases for the various narratives developing during the discussion.

4. To explore the possibilities of disseminating the various narratives on the history of Indonesian independence through education. The current narrative of Indonesian independence in both Dutch and Indonesia's schooling appears to be 'one-sided'; hence, it is essential to deconstruct the current curriculum to pave the way for the pluralization of the history of Indonesian independence.
5. To explore the possibilities of using mass media for the dissemination of the various narratives on Indonesian independence. Since formal schooling as a conventional method of learning history is not the only way, mass media can be an additional means to facilitate the exchange of discourses on the narratives.

09.50-10.00 Opening: Alpha Amirrachman

Session 1: Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
10.00-11.00 : Presentation
1. Umar Hadi (Deputy Chief of Mission, Indonesian Embassy) (confirmed)
Exploring the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Bracing new forms of relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands
2. Nico Schulte Nordholt (Twente University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Dutch
3. Nico Schrijver (Leiden University) (to be confirmed)
Framing human rights situation in Indonesia 1945-1950: An international public law perspective
4. Jan Breman (University of Amsterdam) (confirmed)
'Operatie product' as part and parcel of politico-economic motives?: A
5. Muhammad Yuanda Zara (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Uncovering the hidden narratives of Indonesian independence: Indonesian perspectives
6. Laurie Lijnders (Utrecht University) (confirmed)
Dutch high school experience on Indonesian independence: A view from

11.00-12.00 : Discussion, moderator M. Najib Azca
12.00-13.00 : Lunch Break


Session 2: The Implications of Pluralization of Narratives on Indonesian Independence
13.00-14.00 : Presentations
1. Frances Gouda (Amsterdam University) (to be confirmed)
Living voices of the past: Research agenda for Indonesian and Dutch
2. Martin van Bruinessen (Utrecht University) (to be confirmed)
Academic and political research on the theme of neglected and ignored
voices: Dutch agenda
3. Agus Suwignyo (Leiden University) (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Indonesian educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
4. Wim Manuhutu (confirmed)
Telling different narratives through Dutch educational channels:
Opportunities and challenges
5. Joss Wibisono (Radio Netherlands) (confirmed)
Actualizing different narratives through contemporary Indonesian mass
media: A sketch
6. Tjitske Lingsma (confirmed)
'How we Dutch could learn from Germans': A view of a Dutch journalist

14.00-15.00 : Discussion, moderator Dini Setyowati
15.00-15.15 : coffee break
15.15-15.30 : Poetry readings, Dini Setyowati
15.30-16.00 : Summary and recommendations: Alpha Amirrachman & Syahril Siddik

The Organizing Committee of 'Panel Discussion:
Pluralization of Narratives on the History of Indonesian Independence'.

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