Europalia is a programme of the European Union to pay attention to 'the other' (alium), in case another big coutry. For 2017 the EU has planned a programme on Indonesian culture, society and history. There is a big exhibition in Brussels, encounters in many places in Frans, Belgium and the Netherlands with intellectuals and artists. Ayu Utami will also come, next November.
For Amsterdam there is an exhibition by the artist Iswanto Hartono.
Coen stand here in a side chapel, in the back of the church (West-side). On the northern side in some chapels Hartono had made images of the murder of the population of the Banda Islands, some 2000 people. The great castel, Benteng Belgica stand also with burning candels, waiting to be destroyed.
Spice harvesters are depicted here with the horns of deer.
Colonialism is ere never seen as an encounter of different nations and cultures, not as an opportunity for international trade and promotion of some agriculture, but quite simply and only as oppression and exploitation. Or should we consider the image of the Batavia Church as something different from the rest: probably not, because it is also temporary, made of wax.
For Hartono the personality of Coen is equal to corruption, to the oppression of the Chinese, to Soeharto's New Order. Does he work in the line of Mangunwijaya, who wrote a book on early colonialism under the title Ikan-ikan Hiu, Ido, Homa [Sharks, tuna and sprat, after the big fishes
who eat the smaller ones, who again live from the smallest]. The novel depicts
the period of Western expansion in the beginning of the seventeenth century,
when the Dutch tried to take over the Portuguese spice trade in the Moluccan
archipelago. Both parties had to win the support of the Muslim Sultanates of
Ternate and Tidore. In this novel the arrival of the colonizing powers is not
depicted as a conflict between West and East or between Christians and Muslims,
but as just another stage in the history of the rich and powerful who
manipulate and exploit the poor. Sharks eat the tuna fish or middle class and they eat the sprat.