Postcolonial Memory in the Netherlands
Postcolonial Memory in the Netherlands
Meaningful Voices, Meaningful Silences
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Table of Contents
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Table of contents
Postcolonial memory in the Netherlands: Meaningful voices; meaningful silences
Chapter one
Two cases of Moluccan identity articulation: Deceptive voices and empowering silences in individual and collective self-representation
Chapter two
The case of the train hijackings: Appropriated voices and protective silences in media representation
Chapter three
The case of Jan Pieterszoon Coen’s statue: Repressive voices and resistant silences in public space
Chapter four
The case of De Grauwe Eeuw: Disruptive voices and silences in social activism
Beyond logocentrism
“East Indian deafness”
Works cited

Gerlov van Engelenhoven

Postcolonial Memory in the Netherlands

Meaningful Voices, Meaningful Silences

This book is about postcolonial memory in the Netherlands. This term refers to conflicts in contemporary society about how the colonial past should be remembered. The question is often: who has the right or ability to tell their stories and who do not? In other words: who has a voice, and who is silenced? As such, these conflicts represent a wider tendency in cultural theory and activism to use voice as a metaphor for empowerment and silence as voice’s negative counterpart, signifying powerlessness. And yet, there are voices that do not liberate us from, but rather subject us to power. Meanwhile, silence can be powerful: it can protect, disrupt and reconfigure. Throughout this book, it will become clear how voice and silence function not as each other’s opposites, but as each other’s continuation, and that postcolonial memory is articulated through the interplay of meaningful voices and meaningful silences.

Gerlov van Engelenhoven

Gerlov van Engelenhoven is an assistant professor at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), teaching courses on postcolonial memory, law & culture, and cultural interaction. From 2024-2028 he will run a new research project on Silence as Empowerment in Contemporary Dutch Postcolonial Memory, funded by NWO through a Veni-grant.