installations situations Social sculptures


In the 12th century, Marie de France narrated her stories with 'and so it happened' or 'and so it was told to me.' In this way, the narrator takes a step back and opens up her story, thus giving the listener the opportunity for reflection and a personal interpretation. This idea is at the heart of the SO exhibition.
The SO exhibition developed with members of the Moluccan community in and around Arnhem. During intensive meetings, called Cerita Cerita (stories), things were made, conversations were held and stories were told. The things that were made, such as identity stones and hand puppets made out of clay and textile, served as a means of telling a story.                                                        
During these meetings, topics such as colonisation and immigration in general were discussed, with a special focus on Moluccan immigration, as well as the current position of Moluccans, the limited visibility of Moluccan heritage in Dutch museums and the closure of the Moluccan Historical Museum.
Things, names and songs are part of the oral culture of the Moluccan archipelago. The stories are fragmentary and non-linear, and often run parallel to one another. The truth is irrelevant in these stories.                        
The role of the Moluccan storyteller can be compared to the role of the 12th century Western European storytelling tradition of Marie De France. Storyteller and listener are as it were in transaction; both determine the content and storyline.
SO is a multimedia exhibition set up in Museum Bronbeek's 38m long Djaga Raga archery range. Travel chests belonging to Moluccan soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL) are exhibited on the gallery floor among 19th century heavy guns. The hand puppets hang in between the heavy guns, as though they are performing some kind of festive dance. Above the exhibition, at a height of 1.24 m, is a soundscape platform. Visitors can hear conversations alternated with mantras of words, oneliners and a traditional Moluccan story accompanied by singing.
Halfway along the platform is a representation of a Moluccan woman. She connects history with the world of today. Her presence also emphasises the position of the Moluccan woman, and the offspring of the soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army.
The SO exhibition in the Djaga Raga range presents a wide range of views, alongside each other and varying greatly. The former archery range makes reference to the 1849 war in Djaga Raga on Bali. Busts of King William III, Queen Anna Paulowna and Queen Emma are normally also on display in this gallery. The works of art tell the story of the effect of the exercise of power and migration, of social injustice and identity issues, at the same time celebrating peace, equality and social, cultural and religious diversity. It is up to the visitors to listen to the different storytellers and decide on the content and storyline.
Participants: Francy Leatemia-Tomatala, Corry Uwuratuw, Sandra Saya, Lucie Louhenapessy, Laura Rikken, Jaqueline Lekahena , Jael Kakisina, Sonja Turumena, Margreet Lammertink-Papilaja, Corry Nanuru, Thomas Sopaheluwakan, Augustina Uwuratuw, Mimi Sasabone, Maria Sasabone, Lourens Kruizinga, Loraine Lauw, Marielle Verdijk, Nanneke Wigard, Aone van Engelenhoven, Nellie Noija, Herda Talapessy, Nona Talapessy-Laisina, Thekla Tomatala, Anja Matakena-de Jongh, Maggy ter Haar-Claproth, Ietje van Leeuwen-Mauer, Nus Tahitu, and Bep van Leeuwen-Folkeringa
Background information:
Exactly 65 years ago, the 12,000 former KNIL soldiers came from Indonesia to the Netherlands, where they were for the most part housed in temporary barracks, were not entitled to work, and had little social security. Their strong feelings of pride, honour and belief in their ‘Adat’ (tradition), through which they kept a strong connection to the Moluccans, made living in the Netherlands and integrating into Dutch society difficult. The war traumas of the first generation of Moluccans in the Netherlands were passed on to the second generation. In Sadée’s view, the second generation of Moluccans lives in a state of ‘in-between’, as they want to remain faithful to their Moluccan-born parents and their traditions, and pass these on to the third generation, which has always been more independent in this regard. It is striking that the stories of the first generation are told again and again, which makes Sadée wonder how the second generation experienced all of this. What was family life to them? How did they deal with the past of their parents and the unresolved trauma? What was the impact on the community of the violent train hijackings, protests and hostage-takings in the seventies, which were the result of frustration and unrealised expectations? The second generation of women, in particular, do not really have a voice. Through this project, Sadée wants to give these women a face and a voice.  
The SO exhibition shows the impact of colonisation and immigration, which is applicable to migrants all over the world, and has been and will be for centuries.


We would like to thank:
All participants, trainee Rocio Frenken de Sosa, assistant Winfried Kramer
SONSBEEK ‘16: transACTION, curator Ruangrupa, Museum Bronbeek, the Defence Facilities Service

Ory Konstructie-Adviesburo Rijckholt
Iskander Maastricht


Juul Sadée, 04-06-2016
You can download the text by going to the museum's website, www.bronbeek.nl