Old Ties, New Connections: A trip via the Indonesian past to the present
The ties between The Netherlands and Indonesia is a complicated history, and has strongly influenced generations of people with roots in the Dutch Indies. How do writers from generations born in The Netherlands view the land of their (grand)parents? The country they only know from lore, and with which they have built a new relationship of their own? Old Ties, New Connections is about having roots in another country and another time, about displacement and fresh ties to Indonesia.
Adriaan van Dis' work leads back in part to his Dutch Indies background. His 2023 novel Naar zachtheid en een warm omhelzen (To Tenderness and a Warm Hug), deals with his youth with his grandfather and Ommie, the woman who cared for and brought him up when Van Dis could not go home because his father struggled with the trauma of having been in a internment camp.
Maddy Stolk wrote in her autofiction novel Soedah, laat maar (Soedah, Never Mind, 2023) about her mothers past in an internment camp and how it affected her whole youth while she empties the house after her mother's death. In this way, she confronts the ghosts of her youth one more time.
Authors Ellen Deckwitz, Lara Nuberg and Robin Block belong to the third generation of Indonesians in The Netherlands. How do they look at the preceding generations? What is their view of the country where their ancestors were born?
With a presentation by Adriaan van Dis, Ellen Deckwitz, Lara Nuberg and Robin Block.