Of late, there has been a growing interest in The Netherlands to re-examine the decolonisation of Indonesia (1945-1949), particularly the military conflict between the two countries. This seminar in Leiden, organized by Ariel Heryanto, professor at the School Culture, History and Language (The Australian National University) is called ‘Decolonializing Indonesia: The Left and Indonesia Calling’. The paper offers a preliminary analysis of the conflict and its cultural and political dimensions within a broader regional context, including Australia, The Netherlands and Indonesia. At the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies

Taking the production of Joris Ivens’ documentary film Indonesia Calling! (1946) as a point of departure, this study aims to show three things. First, Indonesia Calling represents a high point in left politics across Europe and the Asia-Pacific, with significant impacts on Indonesia’s decolonization. Second, it investigates why this extraordinary achievement in the 1940s was quickly erased for decades from public memory in Australia, The Netherlands and Indonesia alike. Finally, it speculates the reasons for the recent growth in interest to re-examine the past history in all three countries is not simply an attempt to disclose the truth about the past or redress the mistakes, but is part of a broader trend across the globe in reconfiguring identity politics.
Ariel Heryanto is currently researching Indonesia’s postcoloniality.
If you wish to attend, please send an email to ln.vltik@vltik.

Thursday 27 October: 15.30-17.00 PM
Location: KITLV (Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde), room 138, Reuvensplaats 2, Leiden


Contact us


  • +31 (0)6 53960552




  • Visit address:
    Tweede Walstraat 19
    Nijmegen, the Netherlands


  • Post address:
    Tweede Walstraat 19
    6511LN, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Social Media

Ivens.nl Archive


83 Items


5695 Items


29572 Items


678 Items


212 Items