4 June 2019

New grants by the Shared Cultural Heritage Matching Fund

Twelve new projects will receive support from DutchCulture’s Shared Cultural Heritage Matching Fund.

Hau, Eduard. White Hall of Peter I. Great Gatchina Palace, Russia. 1880 (source: Web, 4 June 2019).

The Matching Fund supports projects that contribute to the increased visibility of Shared Cultural Heritage. An independent Programme Council assessed a total of 37 applications received in the round of March 2019.

The next and final deadline until the end of 2020 is 13 October 2019.

Projects receiving a grant

Dutch Water Works Worldwide (DWWWW) is a project developed by Luuk Kramer, with the support of Dutch and international partners. The goal is to develop a book, a traveling exhibition and a photo series about shared cultural heritage in the field of water management. It will focus on waterworks that resulted from the Dutch presence over five centuries in different locations around the world, and in very diverse historical, social and political contexts.

In 1860 Multatuli wrote the book “Max Havelaar”, about the exploitation of the Javanese people by the indigenous rulers and the Dutch colonial regime. The book has since inspired (anti-colonial) activists and humanists all over the world. Many scholars have focused on the book and tried to understand to what extent it represented reality at the time. But no one ever asked the question: “what happened to the exploited people of Lebak which Multatuli stood up for?”. With the book “Max Havelaar” and footage from 1987, Tobing Agency from the Netherlands and the producer Bonnie Tryana from Indonesia, together with other partners are going to find out what has or has not changed since through the project Lebak, Twee Eeuwen, Twee Machten (Lebak, Two Centuries, Two Powers).

The photographer Maurice Boyer was born in Semarang and the film maker Dorna van Nieuwaal in Jakarta. They share a grandfather – Emile van Rouvery – but have different grandmothers. The grandmother of Maurice was the njai of their grandfather and her name was Enok. The project Finding Enok will search for traces of Enok, her fellow sufferers and descendants. With the support of Dutch and local partners, the project aims to examine, focused on the figure of the njai, what colour and origin mean then and now, and what their effect is on the Netherlands and Indonesia today. Iswanto Hartono, of Chinese descent, Maurice Boyer and Dorna van Nieuwaal will investigate cultural assimilation and immersive behaviour in relation to colour and identity.

In 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage will be celebrated by the USA, the Wampanoag Nation, the UK and the Netherlands through an inclusive four-nation commemoration programme. 2020 marks the first time that the four nations organise the commemoration together and that the chapters of the Netherlands – and Leiden in particular – and the Wampanoag are extensively discussed. Different local and national programmes will focus on themes that make this commemoration relevant and urgent today, such as migration, tolerance and oppression. For the Netherlands, and through the project Mayflower 400 Leiden, this commemoration offers a number of social, cultural and economic opportunities, in particular but also after 2020.

The Woiski vs. Woiski performance tells the poignant life story of father and son Woiski who, despite their difficult relationship, were successful and have enriched the Netherlands with their catchy music. Max sr. was one of the first Surinamese people to move to Amsterdam in the 1930’s, where he opened his first night club. He and his son Max jr. struggled there as people of colour. Max sr. managed to adapt, but Max jr. started to revolt. This is a story about identity, immigration and uprooting, in which skin colour is a central factor. The performance, produced by Orkater in collaboration with the Bijlmer Parktheater, was on show in January 2018 in Amsterdam and was a great success. And now it will travel to Suriname, with the support of DutchCulture and other Dutch and Surinamese institutions.

In the context of the discussion about white privilege, podcast maker Maartje Duin became curious about the slavery past of her mother’s family, of Dutch noble descent. She discovered that her ancestors co-owned the Surinamese sugar plantation Tout Lui Faut, and therefore owned enslaved people. Her search led to unrest - within her family, with the descendants of enslaved people, and within herself. How should they deal with this past? This was the starting point of the idea to create the podcast series De Plantage van Mijn Voorouders (The Plantation of my Ancestors). With additional programming, it aims to encourage people to search for traces of the history of slavery within family histories, as well as discussions around this difficult topic.

The project Sites of Memory is a theatrical tour about the hidden stories of the colonial and slavery history of Amsterdam and Cape Town, and the result of a collaboration between the Amsterdam Roots Festival, Black Heritage Tours, Afrovibes Festival, and Nowhere Amsterdam. Since 2016 it has annually taken place in Amsterdam. And in 2019 and 2020, it will involve an international exchange between South African and Dutch artists, sharing a contemporary view and narrative on the shared cultural heritage of both countries. The performance takes audiences through the historical centre of both cities, in which artists use poetry, dance, design and music to bring history to the present. Sites of Memory is a mix of past and presence, of what we know and rather forget.

Collections Connect is a project developed by the Museum Maluku in the Netherlands, where workshops and presentations in the museum Siwalima in Ambon (Indonesia) will engage with collections related to the Moluccas that are present in various heritage institutions in the Netherlands. The project aims to deepen and enrich the knowledge surrounding the collections and stimulate a more interactive and reciprocal use of these collections by communities in the Moluccas and in the Netherlands. The involvement of the Moluccan diaspora is an important element in the project that is seen as a first in a future series of events.

The Black Archives and the National Archives of Suriname will work together on the project Archieven Verbinden (Connecting Archives) to unravel and make visible the shared cultural heritage around Surinamese emancipation movements - in particular the independence movement. In the fall of 2019 the exhibition "Zwart & Revolutionair: het verhaal van Hermina en Otto Huiswoud” (Black & Revolutionary: the story of Hermina and Otto Huiswoud) will open in Suriname and in the fall of 2020 the exhibition "Van Manspasi naar Srefidensi" (From Emancipation to Independence) in Suriname and in the Netherlands. Within this collaboration, research will be conducted and knowledge about the archive collections will be exchanged to make this shared heritage accessible to a wide audience.

Anna Pavlovna experience, home in two countries is a (mobile) storytelling concept created by Theo Meereboer that researches, connects and creates an experience about shared cultural heritage at various locations in the Netherlands and Russia, for a broad audience in both countries. It will bridge the locations where Anna Pavlovna lived, grew up and returned several times, such as Gatchina and Pavlovsk, and locations she moved to, stayed and influenced, such as Het Loo, Kneuterdijk and Soestdijk. Crucial is the life, thinking and travels of Anna, the tsar’s daughter who became Queen of the Netherlands. And how this story, together with the locations, can be made relevant and meaningful for audiences today. 

In 2018 and 2019, the Volksoperahuis collaborated with Artscape in Cape Town on the music theatre production Krotoa, Eva van de Kaap. A layered story about Jan van Riebeeck and his maid Krotoa that is representative of the shared history of the Netherlands and South Africa. In July 2019, during the Vrystaat Kunstefees in South Africa, the makers want to develop a pilot for a fringe programme that can roll out during a major tour in 2020 at various vanues and festivals in the country. Much like the creation of the show itself, reciprocity of input in this programme is essential, which means that the Amsterdam-based theatre makers will work closely together with partners in South Africa.

The transnational collaborative research project Cities, Archives & Colonialism: fashioning convivial futures brings together activists, artists, designers, urban planners and other creatives to exchange ideas and develop new methodologies for fashioning more equitable futures within plural polities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Cape Town. The project is framed around the concept of shared heritage, which is taken to be site of negotiation around colonial histories, and where contested or difficult histories can be addressed to serve the present. Urban in its focus, and transnational in its reach, this project brings stakeholders primarily from South Africa, Brazil, Suriname and Indonesia together with those in the Netherlands, within an action research environment that foster co-creative methodologies. 

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